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Attract chickadees, nuthatches, tufted titmice, house finches and woodpeckers with this simple, inexpensive and effective bird magnet.
Don Eslinger of Waukon offered us this idea, his second, more refined version that better wards off squirrels.
Hang the feeder using 16 to 18 inches of stout wire. “Squirrels will try to hang by their back legs from the branch, so the long wire makes it harder. It doesn’t guarantee anything, they can figure anything out,” he offers.
Cost: Just a few dollars.
Time: 30 minutes to construct. “It’s not a big project,” he says.
• Use enough stout, metal rat-wire mesh or hardware cloth to make two sections, each 6.5 x 7 inches
• 1-foot piece of 1x4 pine, rip cut lengthwise into three equal width pieces
• 2 1.5 inch wood screws
• Large head nails or wood staples
• About 3 feet of stiff, heavy, gauge bailing wire
Optional: 4 1/8-inch wood strips ¾ inches wide by 7-inches long.
With snips, cut mesh into two sections, each 6.5 x 7 inches. Cut the pine to make two 9-inch long pieces for the uprights and one 6.75 inch piece for the base. Next, drill the base about a half-inch in from each end and use wood screws to attach base to uprights. Nail or staple wire mesh to both sides of the uprights. For a more finished look, use 1/8-inch wood strips to cover over the wire mesh edges on the uprights, although it isn’t necessary.
Drill holes through top of each upright and tie short loop of thick gauge wire to hang the unit. Hang from tree branch with remaining long wire. Fill with several scoops of peanut butter.
As an additional squirrel deterrent and to help keep the peanut butter dry, hang a circular plastic plant pot tray base over the feeder. Simply drill a small hole through it and string through hanging wire.
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2007 issue of Iowa Outdoors magazine.Subscribe today or explore more on Pinterest on our Iowa Outdoors magazine board.