Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Attach two side rails to two end rails forming a rectangle of 1 by 2s. 1 5/8" screws should be driven into side rails which overlap the end rails. Attach this rectangle of 1 by 2s to plywood floor with 1 5/8" screws driven in from plywood side (see Figure 3B). This railing will hold seed on the platform.
Assemble body of feeder utilizing two 2 x 12 x 12 1/2" ends and two 12 x 26" sides. Attach 12" plywood sides to the longer (12 1/2") length of the end pieces with four 1". screws. The 1/2" gap remaining at the bottom of the rectangular box will function to release seeds from the body of the feeder (refer to Figure 3C).
Center body of feeder on top of floor and attach from bottom of floor with 1 5/8" screws. Screws should come up through plywood and into the 2 x 12" ends.
Drill at least six 1/4" drain holes into floor of feeder platform.
Place roof assembly on the ground with roof stops facing upward. Turn body of floor assembly upside down, grasp the floor, and insert body of feeder between roof stops. (Body of feeder should fit snugly between roof stops.) Attach two hinges to one roof stop and two latch hooks to other roof stop. Attach hinges and latch hooks to body of feeder. Use 1" screws to attach hinges (refer to Figure 3D).
With roof latched and top of roof on the ground, center 4 x 4 post on bottom of floor and mark with pencil. Position brackets using pencil outline of 4 x 4 post. Mark and drill bracket holes through plywood and attach brackets with l" x 3/16" bolts, tighten. Place 4 x 4 post into position and fasten using 15/8 screws. (Disregard this step if you plan to move the feeder to its final location in two pieces.)
Optional: Add a center peak structure as illustrated by the dashed line in Figure 3E. Two pieces of either 1/2" plywood or pine should be cut 26" long and approximately 5" wide. Nail or screw together to form a 45 degree angle and fasten to the center of the floor of the feeder body. (This structure prevents old seed from accumulating in the center of the seed reservoir and increases efficiency of seed dispersal.)
To erect feeder, dig a hole approximately two feet deep. Place post in hole and keep straight while occasionally packing dirt as hole is filled. IMPORTANT NOTE: Feeders must be coated with a good exterior paint for long life and weather proofing. This may be done before or after putting the feeder up. However, the portion of the post being buried should be painted unless lumber is pre-treated.
Additional: Figure 2 demonstrates how to get the necessary plywood pieces to construct two large winter bird feeders from one sheet of plywood. (The cost of approximately $9 per feeder for plywood and a $6 charge per 4 x 4 post demonstrates that the material to build this feeder can be purchased for under $25.)