Normal bird feeders have a lot of problems. Being low to the ground, they are susceptible to neighborhood cats. Hanging from a tree and you still have problems with the squirrels. Wanting to solve these problems while being able to view the birds from my second story office, the Window Bird Feeder was created.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Table saw with flat top saw blade for cutting dados
- Router and router bits
Step 2: Cut All Sides
This bird feeder is constructed using scrap pine. It has two sides, front, back, bottom, and roof. Cut the two sides with equal 45 degree angles. Mine measured about 12 inches tall and 4 inches wide.
Step 3: Cut Dado for Bottom
Using a crosscut sled, make multiple passes to cut the dado for the bottom of the bird feeder to sit. Make sure that it fits but isn't too tight.
Step 4: Cut Rabbet for Front and Back
Using the crosscut sled, cut rabbets in the front and back of the side pieces. Cut them deep enough to allow the front and back sections. You will need to cut the bottom to be the new width of the sides with the rabbets in place. My bird feeder is about 12 inches wide.
Step 5: Make Boards for Mounting
I used some old wood from a discarded headboard. I had originally thought to have two braces across the back, but decided against it once I had it put together. I realized that it would block the view of the birds. If I was making this again, I would probably make these back pieces from thin steel or tough plastic to keep them strong and easy to mount the suction cups on.
If you want to duplicate my bird house, cut one more dado on each side the size of the mounting board.
Step 6: Drill Mounting Holes
Because of this change in my design I needed to drill holes for the suction cups in the bottom of the bird feeder as well as the the mounting bar. I drilled the inner hole just larger than the threaded rod coming from the back of the suction cup. The larger hole is for clearance of the wing nuts to secure the suction cups.
Step 7: Glue and Test
Glue all the pieces together. Once dry, test and make sure that you can easily attach it to a window. Keep in mind that if you are finding it difficult to attach while standing in front of it, it will be infinitely harder to attach while working through a second story window. You can drill the clearance hole deeper if you are unable to attach the bird feeder to the suction cups.
Step 8: Sand and Router
After you are sure that you can easily mount the bird feeder, it's time for final sanding and routeing. I used a half inch roundover bit.
Step 9: Attach Roof
Cut a piece of plywood that will overhang the front and two sides of the bird feeder by about an inch. Mine measured roughly 14 inches by 8 inches. Glue and nail plywood roof in place. (This is when I also filled in the two dados on the sides that were no longer needed)
Step 10: Make Shingles and Ridge Cap
Taking a piece of cedar that's about 3/4 of an inch thick, split the shingles off one at a time with a chisel. Cut a ridge cap the length of the plywood roof that was attached in the previous step.
Step 11: Glue Shingles and Ridge Cap
Staring at the bottom, glue one row of shingles at a time. There isn't a need to wait for the glue to dry to move on to the next row. Once all the rows are in place, glue on the ridge cap and tape in place.
Step 12: Apply Finnish
I applied an outdoor urethane to protect it from the elements.
Step 13: Secure Bird Feeder
Now that the bird feeder is finished, it's time to attach it outside the window of choice. If you are unable to reach the exterior of the window from the outside, follow these steps to secure it safely.
- Open window and remove screen
- Tie one end of a rope to the bird feeder and the other to something inside your home (this will make it safe on the off chance that the bird feeder falls while trying to install it)
- Insert the suction cups into the top bar of the bird feeder only
- Reach outside the window with the bird feeder and position it where you'd like
- Depress the threaded rods to secure the suction cups
- Tighten the suction cups using the wing nuts
- Place the third and forth suction cups in place
- Tighten the wingnuts to secure the whole bird feeder in place
- Fill with bird seed
- Replace window screen and close window