Visual Impact: Build Your Own Feeders

I can’t even say the word “titmouse” without giggling like a schoolgirl ee hee! Ee hee hee hee hee hee!–Homer Simpson

Juniper Titmouse, Portal, Arizona
Juniper Titmouse, Portal, Arizona. The rotted-out cavities in this Arizona sycamore log have been filled with black oil sunflower seeds and suet. Juniper Titmice are among the quickest birds I have ever photographed. They make warblers look like slow-pokes! Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

Nothing messes up a bird photo more thoroughly than a feeder being present in the shot. A fairly straightforward solution to this problem is to build your own feeders out of attractive pieces of found wood.

Bridled Titmouse, Portal, Arizona
Bridled Titmouse, Portal, Arizona. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

As I’ve been clearing brush, I’ve made a point of setting aside particularly nice pieces of deadfall, mostly Arizona sycamore logs. Knots, rotted out cavities, woodpecker holes and granaries all make for visual interest.

White-breasted Nuthatch, Portal, Arizona
White-breasted Nuthatch, Portal, Arizona. Note that this Arizona sycamore log has been attacked by Acorn Woodpeckers for use as a granary as well as a nest cavity. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

The biggest problem with bird feeders still remains: mammalian pests. The feeders I have built with found wood are set up on 3 5/8” bird feeder posts. One anti-squirrel/raccoon baffle I have foils chipmunks and coatis. I watched a coati (from no more than ten feet away!) tear down a feeder I had just built on a post without a baffle. Can’t skimp on baffles: any but the expensive metal kind will be torn up in a heart-beat out here in the Arizona sticks!

Northern Cardinal, Portal, Arizona
What, these seeds aren’t free? Male Northern Cardinal, Portal, Arizona. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

©2018 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.