GROW: The Book
A finished building a little bird feeder out of scrap wood yesterday. I stained the wood to protect it from the elements, but now I'm having second thoughts on how that might affect the health of the birds eating from it.
If the stain is fully dry, the main danger to the birds would be seeds absorbing any chemicals. Maybe cure it awhile longer after seeds are consumed? (It would be a danger to pet birds because they would chew the wood.)
Looks like good woodworking. I like the bird outline on the roof.
Coconut oil would have helped to keep wood from drying out and would be bird safe, maybe not bug safe. I wonder if there is food grade stain/color that would help to preserve the wood.
The stain was allowed over a full day to dry, but you might be right in that in needs a bit longer. I think I will also sand off the stain on the feeding tray area and coat it with a food grade wood sealer like shellac.
Thanks for the compliment! As with all my wood working projects, I was able to somewhat hide all the inevitable little mistakes. ;p
Here is a closeup of the birdy that I half wood-burned/half hand-etched with a 3" screw. 🐤
I wanted to also mention that the little plastic panels were cut out from the top of an old seed starter tray. I love re-purposing/recycling things into other projects!
@Jimerson You and I love our birds. Also, I seem to remember that you were going to create some small wood works of art for jewelry makers or carvings collectors? You appear to have artistic ability.
(I am now starting to save the weirdest things for upcycling, including the tops of food takeout containers to use as plant drip trays.)
@Jimerson What's this I read about small wooden works of art? Do you have any pictures?
@shllnzl@LaurieLovesLearning I never got around to getting any sort of carving tools, but that will change now! I just ordered a little wood carving starter set... so we'll see what happens.
Super cool, dude! What a sweet project. I wish I had a handyman around to do stuff like that around here. Looks like I need to invest in a little wood carving set myself! :)
Nice job! I like little works of art like that in the garden. Don't know the answer to your question, but I found this:
Nice bird feeder! You must have better behaved squirrels.
In my yard it wouldn't last very long b/c the squirrels would either carry it off into the woods to steal the bird food or if I used a zip tie to make sure they couldn't steel it they'd naw a much large whole in it and drop all of the food on the ground.
@dianne.misspooz You should totally get yourself a set! I found some basic tools and basswood blanks for about $20. : ) Can't wait to see what you carve up!
@Mary Linda Bittle Thank you for that link. It says to not apply finish to the eating surface.. I'm definitely going to sand that area!
@kbmbillups1 Thank you! The squirrels aren't too terrible. I think only 1-2 have claimed this territory. At most I've seen them nibble off the seeds that the birds spray to the ground when they take off. They must have a nice source of food somewhere nearby because they look extremely well-fed!
I'm having a good laugh picturing a gang of squirrels hauling the feeder off to their lair!
@Jimerson I'm glad I could give you a laugh. The squirrels in my yard are horrible! I stopped feeding the birds last year when I found my bird feeder in the woods in pieces. It had been hanging on a hook outside my living room window. Recently, I bought a suet feeder to try again and it went well for a couple suet cakes. Last week I found the feeder open and the suet cake on the ground twice. So, I wire tired it shut in 2 places. What did the squirrels do? They stole the entire thing and drug it into the woods! I retrieved it, put in a new suet cake, and wire tired it to the shepherds hook. So far they haven't figured out how to do any harm and we've been able to watch the woodpecker, chickadees, and mama Carolina wren feeding on it.
They are horrible creatures! A couple years ago I had planted corn and it grew nicely. The only thing was that for some reason the squirrels liked it too. We watched them naw it off at ground level and drag the stalks into the woods. I'm sure that sounds funny but it really made me mad. A friend of mine who plants a large area of corn every year told me that they plant several rows just for the squirrels.
I hope your squirrels stay the way they are. Enjoy watching the birds!
Agree about the squirrels 🐿 grrrr...I’ve put Vaseline on the bottoms of my poles to deter them but it wears off and then they’re at it again! Can’t have any plastic on the feeders or they chew right through it. Truly the enemy when feeding my birds. Not sure I should post this here but...I have a nerf gun that shoots small round nerf balls; my porch screen has a hole. When they are disturbing my peace watching the birds, and the peace of the birds trying to feed i shoot them with the nerf balls. It doesn’t hurt them at all but surely startled them when it hits them. It makes me feel better that I disturbed their peace for a moment. They jump, look around, and sometimes run off; sometimes go right back to it. Dirty varmints!
Now are all of you talking about the larger fox squirrels?
@kbmbillups1 I wonder if raccoons are stealing your bird food? They have gone after my feeders. Bears will also take bird feeders.
@maimover Interesting aside re: the nerf ball:
We looked at a cabin for sale that had a squirrel launcher mounted on the deck rail. The owner of the cabin bragged about it -- I of course was horrified at the idea.
We know the person who finally bought the cabin and have learned that the squirrels don't mind the squirrel launcher; apparently, the squirrels go to the launcher to get the offered food, and enjoy the ride as they are flung into the air. The same squirrels come back for more.
@shllnzl Somewhere on this internet has to exist a video of a squirrel launching and returning for more! I'm also horrified by the idea of launching unsuspecting animals through the air, but if one likes it.. 🙃
I left a comment earlier for @shllnzl & @Jimerson but it's gone. Strange. I have to say I laughed at this clip. The squirrels are terrible in my yard.
@kbmbillups1 that is hilarious! It's aimed so that it goes into a bushy part of a tree so a soft landing. Squirrels are such acrobatic creatures! So far they haven't messed with my bird feeder but then we are surrounded by pecan trees in both neighbors' yards. They shortcut from one yard to the other by means of our garage and house roof and top of the privacy fence. Our lab is an inside dog but when we take her out to the yard she takes exception to the squirrels lol. She has come so close to getting them, but I hope she never does. They can sure get into stuff though and be very destructive.
Awesome bird feeder @Jimerson!
Hey there are people who still bungee cord jump, ,sky dive, zip line ride, etc. I believe there are probably squirrels that love the adrenaline rush of the launcher flight, just like there are people who love adrenaline rushes form some activities.
@shllnzl that is awesome! They are the worst, I think even more than garden pests. I feel like they are just lazy vermin who don’t want to go harvest their own food and invade everybody else’s territory so they don’t have to do the work. I’d love to have one of those, lol.
@kbmbillups1 and @Jimerson i knew there was a video of that; thanks for posting...
Regarding the various squirrels -- I can't help but admire how cute they are, even as I am mad at them.
(I had a pet gray squirrel as a child too. It was a tiny orphan that climbed my toddler sister.)
@shllnzl We had a squirrel a couple years ago that my husband was feeding peanuts b/c it looked like it had been attacked by some animal or maybe picked up by a hawk and dropped. It looked like the places on both sides of it's body behind it's arms had gotten infected and were very red and puffy. The squirrel came every day at the same time for its peanuts and finally after several months started looking better. We were very worried about it for quite a while.
@kbmbillups1 Having empathy for other living things is a wonderful personality trait. I welcome friends who have that trait.
My kids want a catapult. I think that a squirrel one will do. I would hate to think of them taking a ride on a scaled up version.
They enjoyed watching the squirrel fly, by the way.
@LaurieLovesLearning Where do I sign up for that physics course? :D
@Jimerson Not at our homeschool, but both my husband & I could see our adventurous kids building one. 😲😳 We have bales & most know how to use a tractor. All the ingredients are here. I was surprised they hadn't thought of it on their own yet.
We showed them the picture, which they all thoroughly enjoyed and immediately understood...even the youngest (eep!) & we both said DON'T DO THIS. So, they got the message in stereo. Maybe that was a stupid thing to do. 😖
Yep, so on second thought, come over any time for that course. It probably won't be long now... haha
Looks great. Thank you for posting. I remember my grandfather doing so many bird and whirlybird gig projects out of scrap.
@Melinda Thank you! I had to look up whirlybird gig- those seem fun to make.
@Jimerson my favorite was one of a farmer milking a cow lol