Bird feeder project

I posted pictures of the bird feeders the other day. Kim asked about the baffles that I use. I have 2 different kinds and they work really well for me.  Here is a picture of them from a distance:

With a cardinal sitting on one of the feeders, too.  The trick for these baffles is that they have to be high enough from the ground so a squirrel can’t jump over them and they also have to be far enough away from any tree or other type of launching platform for them to jump onto the pole on the top – which is at least 6 feet.  So, these are kind of in the open.

You can see how the poles are bent over a little from squirrels messing around trying to get up there. When the ground is soft, the squirrels thrash and push the poles while hanging onto the baffle before they fall off.  I know not everyone has luck with these, but I might get a few more poles and baffles when the budget allows since they have been so successful for me.

Here is a bit of a sad update on the woodpecker. He has officially been named Woodrow (not the sad part). The other day he came out to the suet feeder again. It was bright and sunny, so it was good picture taking weather:

I was happily snapping away when I noticed something weird:

Something definitely off there. It wasn’t until he flipped around that I could see the problem:

His leg is broken 🙁  It just dangles there. I get the feeling this isn’t a recent injury because he doesn’t seem bothered by it, but what do I know about birds and their pain threshold?  You can see an issue with him feeding. Woodpeckers like to rest their tails for support when feeding. This guy’s tail was split over the pole and without the use of his other leg, I wanted to figure out some way to help him balance.  They do sell woodpecker feeders, but you know me and my penchant for Macgyver-ing everything.

I scrounged for some thin scrap wood and cut a couple pieces for 2 different suet feeders:

This was one of those times when scrap I saved actually was useful instead of just making me wonder why I have it 😀

And yes, that is the suet cake still in there. Too messy to try to take it out, although it was just messy in general working with the cage.

One of the feeders is a double, so I decided to make another one with a single cake feeder in case the birds find that easier:

I drilled a couple holes in the wood and attached it to the feeder with some wire:

After some finagling and moving of feeders, I put them back to back:

Of course, today nobody came to the feeder. I haven’t seen Woodrow today. Nature is hard sometimes. I hope he will be able to survive and maybe this will help him eat easier. I keep you updated if he comes back.

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8 thoughts on “Bird feeder project

  1. debby

    Well aren’t you kind! I watch Dr. Oakley Yukon Vet, and they are always fixing birds with broken legs/feet, and usually they can release them back into the wild. This guy seems like he’s doing fine on his own.
    debby´s last blog post ..Stronger

    1. Lori Post author

      He is at more of an advantage of a bird that needs its talons to hunt with, so he will do okay as long as there is an easy food source. Predators are probably his biggest threat.

  2. Kim

    Thanks for responding, I love bird talk. Nature is fascinating and a balance of “real world” vs. my middle school “everyone’s a winner” mentality. I remember a few years ago enjoying watching birds feeding in my backyard and suddenly a hawk swooped in and got one of the little bird. I was ticked until coming to grips with the fact that hawks are part of nature and have to eat as well. It’s unusual to see an injured animal make it – maybe Woodrow has adapted. Hope he comes back to enjoy more suet! Great post, Lori.

    1. Lori Post author

      I am just a big softie. Plus environment and nature is going to completely get the shaft for the next few years, so I’m trying to do my part.


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