Thursday, July 4, 2024

Where Birds Get Together


Before I tell you about our "big" project we accomplished in May, I want to briefly get back to my last post about the nesting Mourning Doves. Someone asked what happened to the babies after one of the parents was caught by the hawk. Thankfully, the little doves had already left the nest when this happened. The other parent is still on his or her own (I really can't tell whether it's female or male) and sometimes hanging around our backyard.

Now let's get to our May project. We need to go way back more than 25 years when we were still living in Germany and bought a sun umbrella by Ombrelloni di creco, a German company who manufactured their beautiful sun umbrellas in the village near Tübingen where we were living. These umbrellas are of very high quality and the frame is made of wood.

Fast forward more than 20 years and the fabric of this heavily used sun umbrella started to deteriorate. Because of its rectangular shape we weren't able to find a replacement, so the wooden frame went into the shed. And finally we had a brilliant idea - turn it into a bird feeding station.

The Geek started the process by sanding the whole thing down.

After he had completely disassembled it, we varnished it on a warm Sunday - four coats with two hours each of drying time in between. Of course it took the entire day to do this. Kibeau was our supervisor.

After a couple days of drying out, the Geek re-assembled the frame, again under the supervision of Kibeau.

Finally we were able to put it up - here it is in all its glory. 

The hummingbird likes to hang out on the thin rope that stabilizes the "branches" of the new "tree".

So do the House Finches, before they land at the feeders.

The Hooded Orioles are frequent visitors at the little bowl filled with organic grape jelly.

But look at that! The California Scrub Jay likes that jelly, too! Can you see all the red stuff in his beak?

I love to see the Chestnut-Backed Chickadees at the feeders. They buzz in and out and always seem to be busy.

The Oak Titmouse first seems to check things out before settling down for a snack. They also like to nibble the jelly.

And of course it took the squirrel less than 15 minutes to figure out the new feeder opportunities!

With all these sweet faces I'm joining again Nicole's Friday Face Off.


Tom said...

...that's quite a smorgasbord and I see that the squirrels have made themselves right at home.

Elephant's Child said...

I forsee many, many happy hours watching 'your' birds.

roentare said...

Admiring anyone who can do DIY. The birds are lovely to view

Marit said...

Your umbrella seems to be a perfect birdfeeder. It's a very good idea! Beautiful photos.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

It is nothing short of fantastic, Carola. What a great new idea for this old parasol, and there’s a lesson in recycling there for all of us. Such a great variety of birds too. I think we just have to accept that the squirrels will get their share! Hugs - David

Iris Flavia said...

Das ist ein supertolles zweites Leben für den Schirm!!!
Und für die Vögel und für euch - tolle Idee!

Gene Black said...

I love watching birds. Using the umbrella frame as a giant feeder stand is brilliant.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I see why birds love you!

Kinga K. said...

Lovely birds :D

carol l mckenna said...

Such a creative 'bird feeder) so talented ~ great bird photos too
~ Kudos to the man ~

Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Eclecticity said...

Impressive collection of faces photos.

DVArtist said...

Wow! That is a great project. Well done too. Thank you for sharing with FFO and have a nice weekend.

Jeanie said...

That's a huge project and how beautifully done it is! I thought you might say you recovered it (which would be nice, too) but I love the look of it as a frame and how you put it to use with your feeder. Squirrels will have trouble with that one! And your bird visitors are simply fantastic. Well done on all counts!

Teresa said...

Que interesante y que bien os ha quedado, los pájaros estarán muy felices. Besos.

Iris Flavia said...

Hallo Carola, du hast bei mir das "+" überlesen.
Vordiplom: 4 Semester, Bachelor: 6 Semester und damit darf man sich Ingenieur nennen.
Warum der Dipl.-Ing weg ist, weiß ich nicht, ist mir auch egal, ich hab ihn ja noch :-)

Divers and Sundry said...

Squirrels, whatcha gonna do. Nice try, though. We get house finches here and mourning doves and the very occasional titmouse, but those others... You get a great variety :)

(I'm here from Nicole's Friday Face Off.)

Lowcarb team member said...

I just love watching birds at the feeder, and squirrels too!
Lovely to see your photographs.

All the best Jan

Rostrose said...

Liebe Carola,
das war wirklich eine geniale Idee und tolle Ausführung. Wäre doch wirklich zu schade gewesen, dieses wertige Gestell nicht mehr zu verwenden - und so haben nun viele, viele Lebewesen etwas davon, vor allem die gefiederten, aber offenbar auch die Eichhörnchen. Und für den Geek und dich und wohl auch den eifrigen Supervisor Kibeau gibt es jetzt immer etwas Spannendes zu beobachten :-D
Alles Liebe, Traude

Mae Travels said...

Your birds are fantastic. I love seeing all those Western species that have come to your birdie buffet.
best… mae at

Barwitzki said...

Welch tolle Idee diesen kleinen Schatz wiederverwendbar zu machen.
Eine Freude für euch und die Vögel.
Es ist schön die Vielfalt in eurem Garten zu sehen.
Fröhliche Grüsse kommen zu euch von Viola
p.s. Sommerwetter ist wieder hier... ich liebe es.

Veronica Lee said...

What a brilliant idea to turn your old sun umbrella into a bird feeding station!
The variety of birds you attract is amazing.

Kudos to you, the Geek, and Kibeau for this wonderful project!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Carola, add my kudos to the Geek and yourself for doing all the work on this new fantastic bird feeder, Like Jeanie, I also thought you would consider getting a new top for it, but that most likely be nearly impossible and then costly if it could be done. Instead, this recycled project is not only providing a variety of birds with seed, but also giving you the ability to get some wonderful photos to share here. Well done !

My name is Erika. said...

I guess I am really behind on posts. :) This is such a cool bird feeder pole. The wood looks great, and ha ha to those squirrels. They are smart little buggers for certain. Hope July is treating you well. hugs-Erika