Eateries for the modern backyard bird


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As the leaves have begun to return to the limbs of my ash tree, so have the birds. The chirping has become so enticing lately, in fact, that I have become something of a backyard birder (otherwise known as ‘a yard work procrastinator’).

So in an effort to put off weeding ... I mean, to attract more birds, I have been searching for an appropriate bird feeder. While there are certainly a lot of great-looking modern bird feeders available, I felt those might seem to be slumming it in my neglected, toy-strewn back 40. Yet the ones I found at my neighborhood hardware store seemed too corny.


Enter St. Louis artist Joe Papendick, whose sculpted steel bird feeders, shown above, feel just right. They are a little rough, just like my yard, and yet visually striking and colorful enough to be appreciated from a far kitchen window.

His new “Home” series, (in cinnamon, on the right) measures 6 inches square and 18 inches tall and is inspired by the shape of old wooden birdhouses (presumably the ones I didn’t like). The Sunscreen Sunflower feeder (in yellow, at left) is designed specifically to hold Black Oil Sunflower Seeds. It also appears to be squirrel-resistant. The pieces hang from a 20-inch galvanized steel wire, all the better to keep squirrels and other rodents at bay.

The feeders range from $65 to $85 and are available on Papendick’s Etsy page and 1000 Markets. For more information and custom orders, click here. -- Lisa Boone

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