He did it. I drew it, he built it – and as the old saying goes “If you build it, they will come” – they did.
We used to have several shepherd’s hooks weighted down with 5-10 pound seed filled feeders, and we’ve been wanting to consolidate everything into one location – this design allows for 8 feeders, and we purchased coated chain link to drop some things down lower to allow for ease of access for the birds. The cool thing? The squirrels can’t get down the 2×4’s to get to the hooks very easily – so we’ve eliminated the need for squirrel proofing anything – and we’ve also got a tray feeder to catch falling seed and put things out for the squirrels, too.
It took a day or two to build, and our new Grand Central Bird Feeding Station was up and has been well occupied for a couple of weeks now. I have to say, I’m quite impressed with the functionality and ease in changing and refilling the feeders. We’ve had a larger bird visiting – I’m not sure what kind since all I’m finding is his droppings, but they’re about the size of Canadian Goose droppings – I’m guessing it’s either the Red Tailed Hawk or the Kestrel living nearby. I think I’ll flip my lid if it ends up being the Turkey Vulture. That guy is creepy!
It’s a real treat to sit outside on the patio and have dinner now. I love watching our birds flying in and out, the squirrels and bunnies casually walking past our feet to go eat, it’s really nice – especially considering we’re sortof in the middle of town. There’s nothing more relaxing and captivating than watching God’s creatures in action and better yet – know that they don’t feel threatened by our presence around them. We get such a great variety of birds now, from Hairy Woodpeckers to Brown Creepers, they’re all amazing.
We went to Chicago this past weekend to visit my family, and sitting in my sister’s backyard, I heard one bird. Just one. I’m not sure if she regularly hears and sees more than that, but I noticed their absence, and it really made me appreciate our location and feeder so much more.
I wonder why folks don’t pay more attention to nature. For example, I’ll be out taking a walk, stop and chat with a neighbor and notice a Great Blue Heron flying overhead. I’ll point him out, and it does catch my neighbors attention, but it’s not something he’d normally look for. He was talking about how they’d put up a Hummingbird feeder but hadn’t seen any Hummingbirds. A few minutes later, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a Hummingbird speed right past his feeder and perch in his tree, probably waiting for us to leave so he could eat. It’s a matter of timing, and paying attention, too.
If more people stopped more often to pay attention to, appreciate, nurture and respect the beautiful things that surrounds us in nature, there would be a lot less stress. It’s amazing what 10 minutes of sitting down in the grass with bare feet – looking up at the clouds or watching birds fly in and out of our yard to eat at our feeder can do to lower my own blood pressure. I encourage you to take 10 minutes today and do just that. And let me know how that makes you feel. You might find it addicting – I know I have.
And if you want one of these Grand Central Feeding Stations, here are the basics:
10ft 4×4 green treated lumber
8ft. green treated 2×4 cut in two 4ft pieces
Wood screws (2 inch)
Large screw in hooks
Jigsaw openings in the 4×4 for the 2×4 pieces. Mine are about 18 inches and 12 inches down from the top. Slide your 2×4 pieces into the holes and secure them with wood screws. Screw your hooks into place and bury your post about 2 feet underground (I have about 8 feet exposed). The tray didn’t work out – it rotted and grew some crazy plants from the seed that fell beneath – so I don’t recommend the tray. It’s really easy to build – lots of folks have used my photo to make their own! Very cool! Have fun with it!