Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fun Recycling Bird Project

For the last few months I've been using this plastic plant saucer to feed the birds that like to ground feed. I usually put black oil sunflowers and cracked corn in it and it is very popular, even with its close proximity to the house.

It is on the patio right in front of the sliding glass doors. The cat and the dog will stay in front of the door for hours watching the Bird Channel. When the glass is cleaned of all the pet nose smudges, I can sit at the kitchen table and and take pictures without getting cold.

It is the perfect set-up. Well, not exactly...

because it often looks like this. It is very windy here, and when it rains the seed gets wet. It can make quite the mess on the patio.

Several months ago, maybe even as long as a year ago, my husband got a large freight package from his employer. It was delivered on a wooden pallet. For some reason I couldn't bring myself to dispose of it. I thought maybe I could use the wood for a project. I had been wanting a proper ground feeder for a long time, but didn't want to spend the money on one. I thought I might be able to make one from the pallet. Today was the day! I kind of had an idea of how I wanted to make it, but I am no handyman or handy woman for that matter. In fact, I'm such a klutz that I can be downright dangerous with tools and sharp objects. I cut off half of the pallet, and used that wood to enclose the screen stapled to the sides.

I was so pleased that my project turned out! I already had some screen here so this project cost me absolutely nothing! Now I have a ground feeder that will drain when it rains and won't get blown around in the wind! I can even attach hooks on the corners if I eventually want to hang it. It may not last that long in the weather, but it certainly was fun being creative and recycling the pallet.

It wasn't exactly a pretty day but it was gloriously warm, almost 70 degrees! I was able to do my project in the garage, and I even did a little gardening today. I cleaned up some and planted a few bulbs that I bought on clearance a few weeks ago.

Oh, just a little warning to anyone who might decide to throw kitty litter on an icy side walk. Make sure it isn't the clumping kind! Yes, I did it. I was desperate and it was all I had at the time. I think an outside cat took advantage of it, yuck! I hooked up the water hose today to clean up the clumpy, very nasty mess. I sprayed it into the grass. After everything was washed off the sidewalk, I went to turn off the water hose. I stepped on the grass and my feet immediately flew out from under me. Guess what? Wet clumping kitty litter is as slick as ice on the grass! Thankfully nothing is broken, just very sore ankle and wrist.

I hope everyone else had warmer weather to enjoy today!


Amy said...

Wow, what a great idea Robin! We have a few ground feeding visitors who would love this, especially after a big snow when they have trouble finding the seeds that fell from the feeders. I'm glad you're okay after your fall - I go all weak in the knees just reading about a mishap like that :)


Mary said...

Oh, Robin (clumping kitty litter). Sounds like something I'd try... Glad you are OK!!!

The screened platform feeder is a brilliant idea! I sprinkle black oil sunflower seed around for the ground feeders but it's very messy to walk in. Hmmmm. Maybe I'll give Michael a little project to work on during his few days off :o)


Meems @HoeandShovel said...

Hi Robin, Great job on your project. So glad you were able to get out in the warm weather, too. If I put out any kind of food in a ground feeder the squirrels would certainly love me. Only I don't think the birds would get to enjoy very much of it. Mourning doves make themselves at home roosting on the feeders high in the air... even then an occasional squirrel manages to steal their food.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! on the ankle and wrist! And yes, kitty litter does turn into a slippery clay when wet -- like you, I learned it the hard way, which I won't detail here, but let's just say that it isn't EVER flushable. :-s

Your bird feeder tray is perfect!

Naturegirl said...

Robin I am very impressed with your creative thinking! Good for you!
I just might make one I love placing feeders next to the patio doors for views from the window!
Happy New Year!

Stacy said...

I should have planted my extra bulbs today - would have been perfect, tho a little wet!

Great idea on the bird project!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

You win some,you lose some.LOL The feeder is a great idea,kitty litter may not be the best,from what you are saying.I hope the birds enjoy that new feeder.

Laurie said...

I'm glad you're ok Robin, though I'm sorry I did get a chuckle. I hate learning the hard way!
LOVE your project! I'll have to try that one!

Ewa said...

Very creative bird feeder! I think birds and you will be more happy with it!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wonderful ground feeder Robin. Well done! I bet it lasts a long time.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...


What a wonderful project! That's a great feeder. I can just imagine your pets watching the "Bird Channel" through the doors! I know all about nose prints, too. LOL


Carol said...

That feeder is a great idea. The ground feeding birds here just get what falls from the feeders. I might have to see if there is some scrap wood in the garage for something like what you made.

And I'm glad you didn't hurt yourself in the fall!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Gail said...


A great idea and inexpensive, too. I was at the bird supply shop recently and their ground feeders are tres expensive! Not nearly as cool as yours! We rarely have snow fall so the birds and squirrels can easily find the dropped seeds....but I might still try this easy to construct project.

Wasn't the warm weather a treat? I was able to plant a few things and instantly my mood was better...gardens are a good place to be!

Very glad you are ok after your fall! Hope the wrist and ankle heal quickly.


Debbie said...

Great project, Robin! It came out very nice.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Oh, you poor thing! I'm so glad you didn't break anything. I loved your screened ground feeder. I bet the birds will love it too. I also planted bulbs on a sunny day last week. Hope they have time to cool before really growing.~~Dee

Scott said...

I like your use of the plastic plant saucer as a bird feeder. We got a stack of frisbees and have been using those in a similar fashion.

My next project is to nail one to the top of a post to get it elevated. It is a lot more fun to up-cycle rather than recycle or throw away.

Barbarapc said...

The things you can learn by following blogs - clumping kittie litter is slippery on grass - had a giggle until I read that you'd fallen - do take care.Like your ideas for the ground feeding birds - very practical.

Sherri said...

What a great recycling project! Glad everything worked out. Sorry you fell though, feel better!

Kerri said...

Our 2 house cats love to watch 'the bird channel' too :) My hubby put a tray feeder on the porch railing, which brings them in close for viewing and photos.
You did a great job with the ground feeder. Clever girl!
I do hope your wrist and ankle were not badly hurt in your fall. We'll be sure not to use that kitty litter! Thanks for the tip.
We had that warm spell yesterday too. It was a nice reprieve! Back to very cold wind here today though.

Frances said...

Oh my goodness, Robin, thank heavens you weren't hurt! Your pallet idea is fantastic, you solved all of your problems and it was even free! Your photos are so clear even through the glass. I wanted to tell you that I got a grow light to start seedlings this year, you were my inspiration with the good results you had last winter. Thanks!

Kathleen said...

I have lots of nose prints on my patio doors too Robin! It seems like I am forever cleaning them off but if it makes them happy, it's good, right?! You are the most resourceful person! Good job not throwing the crate out. I keep wanting a platform feeder but yours, with the screen in the bottom, is better. No free crates here tho! I might have to put on my thinking cap. Good to know about clumping cat litter. I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt. Enjoy the warm weather too!

Patricia said...

You are so clever! I could use something like that for birdseed during our summer rainy season. I do hope your injuries are healing. Ouch!