Modifying My Hopper Bird Feeder

bird feeding station

I love feeding birds!

It’s fun to watch their antics, their personalities and their pecking orders.  Every morning, before I make my pot of coffee, I am drawn to the window to see what the birds are up to and to record which birds are in the yard.  Some of the migratory birds are starting to come through now, so there are new species to watch.

Inevitably, if you feed birds, you will also feed squirrels.  Those little darlings will not be gracious enough to leave the seeds alone.

Usually, I put safflower seeds in the open feeders to keep the squirrels away, since  safflower seeds are too bitter for them.  I thought the only drawback to that was the extra cost, but I made a discovery.

When we went to Iowa last fall, I filled all the feeders with sunflower seeds, which was all I had on hand.  When we got back, we had Blue Jays visiting our yard, which they hadn’t done all year!

So, in trying to win the battle against squirrels, I seem to have lost the war.  I now wonder what types of birds we could have had all summer if I hadn’t been stingy with my sunflower seeds.

I decided to try an experiment and feed the birds (and squirrels) with black oil sunflower seeds.  Hopefully, that will attract a larger variety of birds!

I also decided to modify my hopper bird feeder we put up last Spring, when we made our homemade rain barrel.  The perch was too small for larger birds like Cardinals and Blue Jays to comfortably eat, but it was an easy fix!

bird feeder

I took some pickets from an old wire and picket border fence that I wasn’t using anymore.  I just made simple corners with 3 nails to each corner.  One thing to remember when nailing is which boards are supposed to be nailed to the outside.  I did it wrong the first time (senior moment), but it was gorgeous outside, so darn it, I just had to stay outside a little longer! 😉

modifying a bird feeder

When I got it nailed together properly, I just slipped it over the top and finessed it into place.  My measurement was snug enough that I didn’t need to nail it onto the feeder, but I did anyway because the weather will be sure to loosen it at some point.

The modification was FREE!  I always have jars of nails and wood laying around.

The modified feeder will now let me feed a larger number of birds for less money!

Safflower seed is $1.32 per pound

Sunflower seed is $.38 per pound

I use on average, 200 pounds of bird feed per year.

MONEY SAVED $188.00!!

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