Letters to the Editor

Bird feeder makes use of John Deere tractor parts


| April 2006



Birdfeeder.jpg

I built this bird feeder using a hand-start 2-cylinder John Deere tractor flywheel for the base. About 30 inches up the center post, I rolled a piece of polished aluminum into an inverted funnel and pop-riveted it to the post. It is so slick that squirrels cannot climb it.

The main feeder is a no. 91 John Deere chain-driven fertilizer box. It holds enough birdseed for most of the winter. With the flow control almost fully open, it handles larger birdseed really well. It even cracks corn as you turn the sprocket. Rotating the sprocket either way a couple of revolutions is enough for a day's feeding.

Under the box is a removable tray that catches the seed. It can be taken out and cleaned when needed.

On the sides, I have two pieces of hollow oak tree trunks hanging, filled with small seed that flows to the half-round oak that I have bolted to the bottom. Another half-round on top keeps out rain and snow.

Placed on top of the hangers on one side, I have a suet box and on the other I have a sunflower head full of seed the birds can peck at. On top of the fertilizer box I have a baby chick waterer laying horizontal with a series of holes drilled in it. It is clear plastic and I put kernel corn, peanuts and sunflower seeds in the jar. A gas welding rod pierces through the top and out the bottom, and another one through the water bowl is long enough to hold a half ear of corn on each end. Then I built a stand with a tray underneath to catch the seed. The chick waterer rotates freely when the birds land on the ears of corn or peck at them, spilling seed on the tray below.

I have had a lot of fun building it and watching the birds feed. I think I have had most every bird in the whole county come for a visit.