Up the Creek: Birdfeeders
By Ken Blomberg
My 96 year-old uncle and I sat in the SUV patiently while the boss was in the Wausau bird feeding supply store last month stocking up. You see, she takes her wild bird watching seriously. Keeping twelve feeders full around the front and side yards is a never ending chore. A labor of love. A fondness for songbirds of all stripes. Entertainment the whole day long, rain or shine. In addition, she also keeps my 96 year-old mother’s bird feeders full at a nearby nursing home.
“That’s a pretty fancy bird feeding station they have on display by the front door.” I remarked to Charles as we waited contently in the parking lot. “The last time I asked, she wanted to buy one, but said it was too expensive.”
“Looks like the perfect gift for her. That would be money well spent, in my opinion. Besides, you can’t take the money with you.”
She came out of the store with an arm load of bird feed. And as she placed the bags on the back seat I asked, “How much was that fancy feeder by the door?”
“Too much, why?”
“Charles thinks I ought to buy it for you.”
She was shaking her head no as I got out of the vehicle and headed in the store.
“We’ll have to special order one for you,” the clerk explained. “An Amish gentleman from Indiana makes them one at a time, then ships them directly to your house.”
So, I ordered ours and within a week or so it arrived with “some assembly required” at our doorstep. After reading the instructions, those three words I dread faded. “I can do this,” I thought to myself.
Phase 1 consisted of digging a 3 foot post hole, then cementing in an angle iron base. Phase 2 (after the 24-hour cement drying period) required attaching several crossarms and a hand crank winch to a 2-piece, square center post – then threading a wire cable from the winch, through a pulley and attaching to a bird feeder rack assembly which slides up and down the center post by way of the winch and cable.
Phase 3 involved filling six feeders and adjusting it to the proper height. Promoted as bear and raccoon proof, we raised it initially to a height that the boss could watch over from her upstairs sewing room and also all enjoy from the kitchen window. The birds love it. They flock to it all day long. With the recent addition of this year’s young birds, the feeder’s getting crowded.
The ultimate bird feeder. Built to last for a lifetime. Too expensive at first glance. But when I divided the cost by the minutes, hours and days of enjoyment, the price quickly dwindled.
“Money well spent, in my opinion,” according to Uncle Charles.