The snow was falling hard and fast. Accumulations were predicted to reach an inch per hour, if not more. Apparently my birds knew about this ahead of time, because there were dozens of them lining the tree branches awaiting their turn at the feeders.
I needed to add another place for them to eat, but I had no more feeders handy. Keep in mind that there are 8 more feeders in other parts of my yard that were also filled with woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, blue jays, juncos and more finches, among others!
Scratching my head, I finally came up with a solution that I had stashed in my sunroom—an old basket with a long handle, and not too deep. The perfect bird feeder because it was rather loosely woven, and provided plenty of holes for drainage.
But the holes in the basket were obviously way too big to keep my bird seed from falling through. Aha! Also in my sunroom was an aluminum pie pan I had used under a large pot at one time. I washed the pie pan thoroughly and dried it so that the seeds would not mold. The pie pan needed drainage holes, so I hunted up my trusty hammer and a small nail. I punched several holes in the aluminum pan, and filled the bottom with black oil sunflower seeds and a little bit of fruit and nut seed mixture.
I looped a flexible piece of wire under the handle and up through the hole in a weather shield I had used before for other open bird feeders. That shield works very well to keep snow and rain from soaking the seeds. Then I finished the loop over my clothesline. If I had had another bird feeder pole, I would have used that instead, but the clothesline was very handy and easy to see from my living room window.
An alternative to the weather shield might be another larger aluminum pie pan with a hole punched in the middle, or even an old aluminum pizza pan. Anything that will keep the seeds dry so the birds can enjoy them will work.
I was very pleased to see some of my goldfinches taking advantage of their new food source. I have even had woodpeckers jump in for a seed or nut and then take off to the nearest tree with its treat. I spent a lot of time that day watching my birds out the window. There were breaks in the snowfall at times, but it snowed heavily other times. The birds didn’t seem to mind, and continued to visit all the feeders. It tickled me to see that I had provided yet another good spot for them to eat.
So if you have a basket, an aluminum pie plate, hammer, nail, pizza pan and a bit of wire, you have the makings for a fun bird feeder!