The challenge of this project is to create a window bird feeder that takes into account many users of the product. It must incorporate design friendly and attractive to birds, while keeping the human aspect entertaining and engaging.
Brainstorming and researching the task at hand came up with a lot of useful information. Attracting birds is boiled down to 5 main factors. The first is to have water which can make birds travel for miles to drink or bathe in. Food is another major factor as it can be species specific or a general blend. One factor that is usually not thought about when placing a window feeder by a user is safety cover nearby. Birds like to scope out the feeder and area before going to expose themselves and eat. Placing the feeder where birds naturally live will also increase usage of the feeder. Color of the feeder can also change attractiveness of the feeder to birds but is hard to pin down. On the human side of the window feeder design is to make it interactive and feels like it is doing something for the viewer.
This design is more interactive and fun for the user. Inspired by regular tube feeders with weight sensitive perches, this feeder brings those and a counter to the window. The weighted perches would move a counter up one digit showing the user how many times a squirrel or other pest tried to steal some food.
These are some of the first ideas that came to my head after brainstorming and determining what I wanted to pursue. This first design incorporated the gravity feed system while taking more of a platform feeder form.
This feeder is also gravity fed and uses the reflection on the outside of the window to clean up its appearance. Using the seeds, the eating tray is protected and sheltered as the clear acrylic plastic is filled with dark seeds. They also provide security to the birds which helps to keep them at the feeder for longer.
My final design is a wood and acrylic, gravity fed bird feeder. The top of the feeder is removed and filled with bird seed and then hung against the window. The bird seed filling the hollow spaces in the feeder create a nice frame around the bird when it is eating. Since the feeder is pressed right against the glass, the seed is an easy place for a camera to focus on giving the viewer a fantastic picture of any bird. The gravity fed system also increases the time between refills compared to traditional trays.