2014 - Volume #38, Issue #1, Page #44[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
World's Biggest Bird Feeder
He lowers the gigantic feeder to the ground via a chain hoist, removes two side panels and the floors of the top compartment and pours in 40-lb. bags of seed. Then he replaces the second story floors and adds more seed, replaces the sides and pulls the feeder back up with the chain hoist.
“The feeder hangs between two stout trees on a 3/8-in. steel cable,” Greene says. “It’s about 7 ft. above the ground to keep it away from bears. It’s not squirrel proof, although round wood baffles on the cable at each end make it more difficult for the squirrels to jump to the feeder.”
The science teacher decided to break the bird feeder record when he recognized the interest his students and friends had in watching birds at his feeders near Keister, W. Va., along the Greenbrier River. He figured he could easily surpass the world record feeder in England that held 230 lbs.
With help from carpenter and amateur birder, Chris Ide, he designed and built the feeder out of 3/4-in. plywood with sheet metal ports to discourage chewing by squirrels. The floors with 45-degree inclines help seed flow to the 40 feeder ports from eight feeder compartments. Occasionally, Greene hits the feeder bottom with a sledge hammer to shake down the seed.
The bird feeder is a popular attraction near Greene’s cabin. With stained glass accents in the peak it’s attractive, and, of course, it’s loaded with birds. It’s not uncommon to have more than 100 finches, eating, on the ground or perched in nearby bushes. While finches sometimes chase each other away from the feeding ports, most bird species mix easily and Greene has seen close to a couple dozen species from indigo buntings to chickadees to cardinals.
Within a couple of months of hanging the feeder he had gone through more than 200 lbs. of seed. By the end of 2013, Greene had spent about $200 on seed.
“The best thing about the feeder is the interest it has generated in people–young and old–in birds, bird watching, nature studies, etc.,” Greene says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, William Greene, 35 Rowan Rd., White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. 24986 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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