Easy to Build Bird Feeders
Bird feeders from recycled items
- Pie tin feeder: Place a clean pie tin on a stool or flat surface such as a tree trunk, or hang it from a plant hanger, punching small drainage holes for rain; fill it with bird seed.
Screen feeder: Use a rectangle of old window screen and carefully crimp the wire edges back using needle-nosed pliers; fold the screen in half and run two string hangers through the corners on each side; slide in a suet or birdseed cake from the grocery store, and hang the feeder.
Soda bottle feeder: Draw a 1/2-inch asterisk on the side of a clean one-liter soda bottle, about four inches from the bottom, then rotate the bottle 90 degrees and draw another asterisk two inches from the bottom. Draw a one-inch-wide circle on the two sides of the bottle that are away from each asterisk. Use a craft knife to slit the asterisk lines and cut out the circles, then insert a wooden spoon handle through each slit and hole and out the matching opposite side to serve as a bird perch. Remove the bottle cap and twist a small-eye screw into the top for hanging; fill the bottle with birdseed and recap it.
Milk carton feeder: Wash and dry a paper milk carton and staple the top shut. Make a hole about 2 1/2 inches wide on both sides for pouring in the bird seed. Make a tiny hole on both sides to slide a wooden dowel or pencil through to make a perch; if desired, paint the feeder with gesso, then acrylic paint. Attach a wire or string to hang the feeder.
Baby food jar feeder: Tie a string around the neck of a lid-less baby food jar and fill it with orange juice. Hang it from a tree.
Bird feeders from the kitchen
- Pine cone feeder: Coat a pine cone with peanut butter, roll it in birdseed, and hang it from a tree branch with string.
Wreath feeder: Cut out a circle about 10 inches in diameter from corrugated cardboard, then cut a center hole in the circle about four inches in diameter. Mix a packet of clear gelatin according to the instructions on the package; stir two quarts of birdseed into the gelatin, and once the mixture has cooled, mold the mixture by hand onto the cardboard (if it doesn't stick, use wire to secure it into place). Attach wire at the top for hanging and add any desired decorations, such as a bow.
Breakfast feeder: Punch holes with a pen or pencil into slices of stale bread or toast. String the bread crusts and several pieces of any "O"-shaped cereal through the holes with yarn and hang the feeder from a tree.
Grapefruit feeder: Use the scraped-out half of a grapefruit; punch four equally spaced holes one-half inch down from the grapefruit rim; tie a piece of twine to each hole. Roll a piece of beef suet in birdseed to place in the rind. Knot the twine ends together and hang the grapefruit feeder from a tree branch using another strand of twine.
Coconut feeder: Take half a coconut and remove the coconut meat, leaving a little behind for the birds; drill three equally spaced holes around the rim of the coconut and thread a 24-inch length of twine through each one of the holes. Bring the ends together evenly and knot all the strings together at the end; hang from a plant hanger or tree branch.