Pratique means practice, or practical, in French.
Inventing a novel feeder
I thought a feeder that would make birds do a trick for a seed would be a nice father's day present. I invented one with a crankshaft that activated a seed valve when the wheel turned. The one I gave my father worked in the lab. But, not in the field. A squirrel chewed it up like a piece of toast. Took him 5 minutes. Squirrels were another force of nature that I hadn't anticipated. It was something to be reckoned with. I made several more prototypes. I finally had one that worked for the birds, that squirrels would not attack. It was made of all wood. A classmate from Taiwan sent me 100 rope perches. I fabricated 21 wooden units. Sold a few and distributed the rest for testing. They worked until it rained. The wheel got too heavy for the chickadees to turn. Seed got wet inside and wouldn't slide out the shoot. I redesigned the top and wheel frame to be made out of plastic. I started making molds in the garage. It took another year to produce the first one. It worked good. Six years later the first unit still cranks out. Seed stays dry. Squirrels use it, but don't harm it. It works in all kinds of weather, even covered with snow. I patented the design and the easy-access top. Produced 47 units in the garage. Replaced the wooden ones sold. Sold others for $200, and distributed the rest for further testing and promotion. The Dynamic Feeder is ready for mass production.
Birds are really smart
When I first started working on this invention I had no idea weather a bird would actually use such a thing. They have lots of other alternatives to go to for food. Luckily it dispenses weather they figure it out or not. When they start out, they don't know what they're doing. But, it doesn't
See the feeder and solar powered fountain together in the summer. It's cool to experience all the motion of the fountain rotating, water shooting, birds working, and the feeder wheel turning -- all from nature's energy -- seeds, birds, gravity, and sun.
Indigo Bunting clip||Woodpecker clip||Rose Breasted Grossbeak clip
Nuthatch clip||Chipmunk clip||Rose Breasted Grossbeak clip||Goldfinch solos for Dynamic feeder demo
Sketch by Aaron Mac Donald, Smart Media Productions. Color and animation by Chris Gates