Easy Ways To Make A Bird Feeder

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Watching birds up-close brings a sense of wonder to almost everyone, and bird feeders are a great way to attract birds to your yard. You don't have to buy an expensive feeder; bird feeders are easy to make from materials you probably already have around the house. Whether a brilliant cardinal or a sweet-faced common sparrow stops by for a snack, you and your family are bound to feel a thrill. Over time, you'll be surprised at the variety of beautiful birds you never knew shared your neighborhood.

Easy Hummingbird Feeders: Hummingbirds are unlike any other birds that may visit you. These tiny miracles of nature can flap their wings up to 78 times per second and need to eat half their weight in food every day to survive. While burning all those calories, they perform all kinds of aerial acrobatics by flying backwards, upside down and even hovering in place like helicopters.

To attract these charming visitors, you'll need a special hummingbird feeder. You can make one at home with these common household items:

  • Clear large plastic soda bottle, thoroughly washed with label removed
  • Non-toxic waterproof glue
  • Plastic straw
  • Red plastic flowers or red cardboard
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Sugar
  • Water

Here are the simple steps to create your feeder:

1. Cut a small hole in the bottle, about one inch from the cap.

2. Poke a straw through the hole.

3. Fill the bottle with water and turn it upside down. Adjust the position of the straw until it fills with water but doesn't spill out.

4. Empty out the water, let the bottle dry out and then glue the straw into position.

5. Glue red plastic flowers or a circle of red cardboard around the straw to help attract hummingbirds.

6. Tie a string around the top of the bottle to hang the feeder.

Hummingbirds need a special food solution that is much like the nectar from flowers. To make hummingbird food:

  • mix one cup of hot water with one half cup of sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Then add a cup of cold water and pour the solution into your feeder.

To protect your hummingbird friends from spoiled food, be sure to carefully wash out your feeder every few days and refill it. You can keep extra hummingbird solution in your fridge for up to two weeks.

Ready for Planting Finished Product

Simple Bird Feeders: You can create a bird feeder in just a few minutes with ingredients from your refrigerator and knitting bag. Here's what you'll need:

  • Birdseed
  • Bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Yarn

1. Take a slice of bread and poke a small hole in it.

2. Thread some yarn through the hole and tie it gently so that the bread hangs from the string of yarn.

3. Spread some peanut butter on one or both sides of the slice.

4. On a plate or other smooth surface, sprinkle some birdseed and press the coated bread into it firmly to get it as many seeds as possible to stick to the peanut butter.

When the feeder is complete, you can take it outside and hang it from a tree in your yard. Eventually birds will eat everything except the yarn, and you can have fun making a new feeder.

Long Lasting Plastic Bird Feeders: Plastic isn't biodegradable, and sadly much of it ends up in landfills. You can attract birds, recycle and take advantage of the durability of plastic by making a bird feeder from an empty plastic milk jug. To make a long-lasting milk jug bird feeder, you will need:

  • Birdseed
  • Empty, clean gallon milk jug
  • Non-toxic markers or paint
  • Scissors
  • Wire or strong string

To assemble your bird feeder:

1. Start by outlining two holes to cut out of the jug on opposite sides, away from the handle.

2. Carefully cut out the holes with a scissor.

3. So you'll be able to hang your feeder, remove the cap and wind wire around the opening snugly, leaving enough wire hanging from the ends to form a loop you can hang from a tree branch. Replace the cap to secure the wire around the opening.

4. Paint and decorate your feeder with non-toxic paints or markers and let dry.

5. Fill your feeder with birdseed.

6. Hang your bird feeder in your yard and enjoy.

Happy Bird Watching!

A bird feeder will bring you and your family many hours of fun and learning as you become familiar with your amazing visitors. If you have good woodworking skills, you may want to try your hand at a more involved, wooden bird feeder project. Many detailed plans for wood feeders are available online. Here are a few great sites:

  • Woodworkers Workshop: http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/birdfeeders.php
  • My Carpentry.com:http://www.mycarpentry.com/wooden-bird-feeder-plans.html.
Last Updated: July 28, 2011
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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