Have Fun - Building a bird feeder

Building your own bird feeder is relatively easy, provided you have the plans, instructions and materials at hand. You can probably make any type of bird feeder you want ranging from the simple bird feeders from recycled materials to the elaborately designed bird feeders.

Making intricately designed bird feeders would be fun, but it isn’t exactly advisable for beginners and people with skills at an intermediate level. You can try starting with a basic bird feeder and work your way up the different difficulty levels or you can try making inexpensive yet effective bird feeders. Here are a few tips to help you along.

- Spending a ridiculous amount of money on ‘sophisticated and sure-fire’ bird feeders is not necessary. Buying a very expensive bird feeder is not a guarantee that birds will come and feed from your feeder. In fact, some birds might not even come at all.

- A simple platform bird feeder will do well. You can use a 1” thick plywood for this, of any size you want. Attach molding strips around its edges to prevent seeds from falling off. You can nail and secure this simple feeder to the top of a post.

- When using wood for your feeder, remember to treat it with an oil-based stain. Rub all the excess off and allow the feeder to age for a few days before using it.

- Try adding a roof to your platform feeder. A roof will reduce the amount of light that strikes the feeder but it will keep the rain off. You can also use 1” plywood for this, at a size slightly larger than the platform itself. Use dowels to hold it in place, at about 1 foot above the platform.

- Tube feeders can be made from plastic water pipes or gutter downspouts.

- Use an old Frisbee to catch any uneaten seeds that might fall from your tube feeder.

- Make your own suet feeder using a piece of log. Drill 1” holes into the log and fill the holes with suet.

- Homemade suet can be prepared by mixing equal parts of black sunflower seeds, millet and chunky or plain peanut butter with a few dabs of vegetable shortening. Keep this mix and any left over suet in the refrigerator.

- Use non metal trays for water baths. Try putting the tray at an angle so that birds can choose any depth of water they want. Keep your birds healthy by cleaning the water containers twice or thrice a week.

Any type of bird feeder will not be as effective if you do not find the right location for them. Place your feeders at an area where you can see them, where there is natural shelter and protection available for the birds. You should also use a variety of bird feeders and bird seeds to attract the widest variety of birds in your area. And remember, if you keep your visiting birds well fed, happy and healthy, they will always come back for more.

2 Liter Soda Bottle Birdfeeder

1) Remove all the labels and stickers from the soda bottle.

2) Wash and dry the bottle.

3) The bottom of the bottle will be top of the feeder.

4) Drill two small holes in the bottom of the bottle. Thread wire through one hole and out the other. Twist the ends of the wire together to make a loop for hanging the feeder. Use a small piece of duct tape or caulk to seal the holes so rain can not get into the feeder.

5) Using a drill, make 5/16" holes that are on opposite sides of the bottle. Insert 8" - 9" by 5/16" dowels into the pairs of holes.

6) Repeat the above step to make several more perches.

7) If you want a thistle (niger) seed feeder, make 1/4" by 1/8" slots 1 ½" above the perches.

8) If you want a sunflower seed feeder, make 5/15" holes 1 ½" - 2" above the perches.