This One is for The Birds (and their human admirers)

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Published on: Mar. 2, 1996

Last revision: Oct. 21, 2010

cup: 480, and by that count determined a filling requires over 20,000 seeds, and you can believe they empty it in eight hours in the summer time. I have to get a 50-pound bag about every six weeks in the summer, but I love their company." Haenni is 92 years old and until 1987, owned Arneson Pattern Company - Wood Patterns and Models in St. Louis.

Hand painted decorations, tall steeples with bells, footed columns and a split-shingle, gingerbread roof adorn Sullivan resident Lawrence Schnelting's bird feeder. He made use of new materials, such as lattice, cedar and CCA-treated wood to construct his decorative and roomy feeder.

If Schnelting has constructed the Taj Mahal of bird feeders, Shirley White has discovered the cozy economy of the trailer-house bird feeder. A resident of Piedmont, White made a feeder out of a standard highway mailbox. She cut a hole in the top of it, turned it upside down, let the post run up through the hole she cut, and propped the door open. The door serves as a roof or porch awning. She bent the red flag out sideways to make a perch for visitors. The seed is inside the box where the mail used to belong.

And speaking of mailboxes, Arthur Hampton of DeSoto, wrote, "There used to be a rough spot on the edge of the blacktop in the middle of a curve by our house. Cars hitting this spot sometimes lose hubcaps. I'd lean them against my mailbox post for owners to spot and reclaim them. One was never picked up, so I put a 14-inch length of 6-inch galvanized furnace duct upright in the "bowl" of the hubcap and attached it with pieces of scrap metal bent at a 90 degree angle, leaving about a quarter-inch gap at the bottom for the bird seed to spill through into the bowl." He fashioned a roof out of part of a discarded water heater.

Hampton's wife was skeptical. "What's-her-name pronounced it to be ugly," wrote Hampton. "But so am I. In a few days we got used to it, and besides, it's in the back of the house, and the birds like it!"

And isn't that the point? Next time you think about tossing that collection of coffee cans, hauling away the broken dryer or composting scrap lumber, pause and think a minute. Maybe, quite literally, it could all be "for the birds." triangle

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