awhile back, when machine project took over LACMA for the day one of the cool things i saw on an upper level patio were these platform bird feeders that some of the artists built. they were really simple, sculptural pieces built as extensions of existing railings, with a few trays of seeds for birds to land on and eat. i don’t really have room for all that, but i thought it was a cool idea.
my grandmother passed away shortly after, which began a process of cleaning out her home and garage. my grandfather had been a sound engineer, but additionally was an incredibly talented and resourceful person who could build or make nearly everything himself. the relics of electronics parts past is something for another post [something i have to dig out of my mom’s archives and photograph], but one of the collections he had was a lot of scrap wood and simple molding pieces, so i took whatever could be re-purposed, and eventually decided this platform bird feeder idea had to happen. considering it’s made with stuff from my grandparents home in the same tradition, i suppose it’s the marian & cal frisk memorial bird feeder.
this was a fairly simple project, considering i have a small makita cordless circular saw. it just involved measuring and cutting a longer piece of wood into 2 pieces that would make an L-shape, setting with wood glue, reinforcing the seam with 2 brackets [one on the inner corner, one on the outside flat edge], cutting and setting the molding along the edge with wood glue, and nailing it in place. i installed it on the post with 2 L-brackets, filled it up and it was ready to go. for days, though, no birdies visited, so i wondered how it would all work out. but then came the finches! [subsequently, i found this guy on the left is a house sparrow.]
i’ve noticed these guys coming to visit and eat, sometimes up to 5 at a time. i figured they were finches, but wanted to find out what kind. they like to eat at certain times of day and are nowhere to be found others, it’s interesting. house finches got their name because they prefer to nest against structures for added safety. they’re also somewhat fearless in that they are known to fiercely protect their homes and drive out invading birds. they’re smart and have good taste, and i like them. i mean, look, this one is eating artichoke seeds.
i’m also getting mourning doves. unlike finches, who do a lot of hopping, mourning doves get comfy, sitting in one spot to eat, and are less scared of me and my camera. i had no idea the whinnying sound they make is made by their wings as they take flight. now that i’ve seen them up close, i can see they have this pretty ring of bright blue eyeliner.
i’ll keep my eye out for more. from what i’ve read, i can put little baskets up in the eaves and the house finches may nest there. i’ve also set aside all kinds of wine corks for building a little bird house, so at least one of these things will happen & we’ll see what kind of bird friends i can make.