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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 9 January 2005 Issue

Folger's Feeding The Birds
Beacon Journal worker designs feeder For Birds

On a recent morning, I ventured outside in freezing temperatures dressed in boots, hat, coat and gloves just to get my morning paper. It was the first time this winter I had to bundle up to ward off the cold and snow to get to the end of my driveway -- a journey that takes maybe two minutes in and out.

As I made my way down the drive, I heard the piercing cry of a red-tailed hawk in search of his breakfast. I looked up and saw him gliding overhead and it reminded me that all God's creatures would have a hard time dealing with the frigid temperatures and the inclement weather today. This time of year, when the snowbirds are constant visitors under the thistle feeder (they are the dark-eyed juncos that arrive just before the cold weather does each year), it is important we keep the feeders filled -- most especially on days we dread going outside.

So, each year about this time, I like to find new ways to feed the birds seeking refuge in our yards. If those directions make use of things you already have at home, all the better.

Suzanne Lias of Springfield Township thought there ought to be a way to make some use of the new, sturdy plastic coffee cans that are designed with side hand molds and snap-on lids. She also thought there ought to be a way to recycle them into bird feeders and delegated the job to her son, Akron Beacon Journal Home Delivery Manager Dan Lias. He took on the project and came up with a clever design that he kindly shared with me.

Lias used a Folger's coffee can for the project, the same kind that sparked his mother's idea. Also, you will need two coat hangers that you get from a dry cleaner, thekind that hold trousers on a removable cardboard roll.

When your bird feeder is ready to hang, find a place near shrubbery where the birds can safely eat their meals. Out in the open, they might become breakfast for that hungry hawk soaring above your house.

Supplies you will need:

 1 plastic molded No. 2 Folger's coffee can.

 2 coat hangers with removable cardboard roll.





 Craft wire.

Begin by cutting out the two square sections on each side of the can that have the Folger's logo. Make a starting place for your scissors with a nail and hammer. Make as many holes as you need to get one scissor blade through the side to start cutting.

Leave about 2 inches of the plastic between the bottom of the can and the bottom of the cut-out sections.

To insert the hanger, make four nail holes on the molded bead that circles the can. The bead is about 1 inch below the lid near the top of the can. Place them on each side about 1 inch from the cut-out side panels.

Remove the cardboard rolls from the hangers. Use pliers to straighten the ends of the wires.

With your hands, slightly straighten both sides of each coat hanger from the centers so the ends can be placed into the holes.

Thread 1 inch of each of the ends of one coat hanger through each of the holes on one side of the can from the outside to the inside.

Use the pliers to turn up the ends of each wire to keep them from slipping back through the holes.

Repeat with the second coat hanger on the opposite side of the can.

Connect the two coat hangers just below the hooks at the top by wrapping craft wire around the twisted sections.

Fill with bird seed to the bottom of the cut-out sections and hang outside.

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