If you enjoy bird watching and spend any money on feed, the last thing you want to have happen is for rain water to get into the feeder and leave behind soggy, moldy seed that the birds will no longer eat! While a rain shield is not fool proof, it does offer some protection. The shields I have seen sell for around twenty-five dollars! This one is made from a one-dollar plastic salad bowl, the threading and lid from a two-liter bottle, an old chip clip, and some glue. I began by cutting the lid section off of a two-liter soda bottle right below the ring at the base of the the cap. I then used a crafting tool (such as the ones used for wood burning) to “cut” (melt) a hole in the center bottom of the bowl. The hole was just large enough to admit the threaded section of the bottle, but not the ring. When the lid was screwed into place, the bowl was held securely between the two pieces of the bottle. Using the crafting tool again, I made two small holes in the bottle lid; this allowed me to pass a slightly straightened chip clip up and then back down through the holes and tuck the end into the coil at its center. I had cut one side of the the clip off, but it could have been bent down to act as the lower hook instead of the the S-hook that I then had to add! The final lid assembly is pictured here. There are many other things that could be substituted for the the chip clip/S-hook assembly; for instance, long plastic-coated twist ties or even bent clothes hangers could be used. The important thing is to make sure you use some glue to seal the cut edge of the bowl (where it touches the lid) and the two holes in the cap, to make the shield water tight. Viewed outside with the feeder, I was surprised how well it mimicked the appearance of the pricier shields.

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