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A License to Feed

Readers have long been sending us photos of their outdoors-themed personalized license plates for publication. As people have a fondness of their vehicles, they also take pride in the government-issued items that identify their chosen rides.

If you’re like me, your hoarder instincts kick in when it comes time to get a new set of license plates and find a place for the old ones. Thankfully, I’ve found a way to save those plates and help wildlife while I’m at it. Bird house construction is one answer.

Justin Haag/NEBRASKAland Magazine

To make one all you need is a license plate, some scrap lumber, a drill, hand saw, and some screws and nails.

I didn’t start out with any measurements. I just fashioned a little scrap lumber to the form of a tray for holding seed this is smaller than the roof. I cut the ends of a couple of equal-lengths of 1×1 to a point and attached those boards to the sides of the tray in vertical fashion. I bent the license plate to match the angle on the pointed boards and drilled two screw holes along the crease. I attached the roof to the vertical boards, and voilà … bird feeder.

I went shiny-side up with the roof, but I don’t think it makes much difference. For hanging, I drilled a couple of holes near the crease and inserted an s-hook from my junk drawer. I expect the feeder to last a long time, thanks to the anti-corrosive aluminum construction of the roof.

Best of all, I’m satisfying those hoarder tendencies while creating a place for birds to take refuge from the weather for a hearty meal.

About Justin Haag

Justin Haag has served the Commission as a public information officer in the Panhandle since 2013. His duties include serving as regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and have two children.

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