Here is a bird/squirrel feeder hubby made for our yard. Although the design is not his own, he saw one in his customer's yard and came home, made it out of scrap wood (leftover from a boat he is working on), and a large pickle jar we had in the house.
We neglected to coat it with a clearcoat to protect it from the elements, but we'll make another and be sure to do so. It has already has repeat visits from a family of titmice, and squirrels, and one bumblebee who we had to let out due to him bumping into the glass *grin*.
By APRIL from North Augusta, SC
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Please do not reuse the plastic onion/vegetable bags for the wild birds. I had used the bags for well over five years without a problem. It took one incident to change my mind about using these bags.
A birdfeeder (or birdbath) can be made easily using a large glass lid, a wire clothes hanger, some string, and grape vines.
Cut your orange in half scoop out the edible part. Poke two holes in each side of the orange, use a piece a string and thread through the holes. Then put bird seed in it, and hang on a tree.
This is how to make a bird feeder for absolutely no cost. First, I ask the butcher in my supermarket for suet. I've never been charged for this because they throw it away anyway.
I have been able to make what seems to be squirrel proof suet cage covers that work beautifully from a clean 1 gallon bleach bottle, a metal wire coat hanger, and a twisty tie.
Today I hung out styles 1-3 of my handmade feeders. I think you will find them easy. One is safer for the kids as there are no sharp or hot things needed.
This is not only a good gift idea for bird lovers (like me), but also for homebound/seniors that enjoy watching the birds.
Clean an empty 2 liter bottle. Replace the cap and cut a hole on the side close to the top. For a feeder, cut a hole on both sides of the bottle.
I remove the dead plants in the fall from my hanging plastic basket. I leave the soil in tact, and add seed over them. The birds love eating off my hanging basket while I watch. Sometimes 'mother' or 'father' stand guard while "family" eats away.
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By Jackie from Salisbury, MD
etsy.com is a site where people sell their craft items. You could also take them to different novelty type stores in your area and see if they would be willing to sell them.
Jackie - Your picture of the bird feeder looks very cute and clever. Have you and your husband looked into the craft sales events in your area and/are you willing to travel within a few states' area on weekends two or three seasons each year?
Seems that if these bird feeders are priced reasonably, they might be a big contender / great hit on the arts and crafts circuit! Good luck and best wishes.
Brenda from Beaverdam, Virginia
Different species of birds have different ways of feeding, just like they have different food preferences. To attract the widest variety of birds, you'll want hanging or platform feeders, a ground feeder and a feeder filled with suet.
I'm an advocate of using recycled items for bird feeders (like plastic milk jugs, pie tins and scrap lumber). An easy and inexpensive way to make the non-natural look natural is to use silicone glue to add bits of moss, lichen, bark, stones, twigs, etc., to the outside of the feeder.
Drill 1" to 1 1/2" wide holes into a 6" to 8" long log that is 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Drill the holes completely through. If you want to add perches, drill smaller holes below the large holes to insert dowels. Secure the dowel perches with wood glue. Attach an eye hook to one end of the long for hanging and fill the large holes with suet.
For another easy suet feeder, fill a small onion sack or fruit sack with suit and hang.
Take a coffee can (with a lid) and using a bottle opener, punch three to four holes near the bottom of the can. Place the can on top of a saucer (like the type put under plant pots) and center both the can and saucer on top of a small block of wood. You're going to attach the saucer to the can by drilling a small hole through the center of the bottom of the can, and through the center of the saucer and screwing them into the block of wood.
With scraps of wood and a small piece of window screen, you can make a simple ground feeder. Nail together a rectangle frame and staple screen across the frame for the bottom. Attach a 1-2 inch leg on each corner of the frame. This will keep the feeder slightly off the ground to let water drain out. This is really all you need for a ground feeder. To convert this to a hanging feeder, skip the legs and attach an eye hook to each corner so you can secure ropes or small chains for hanging. If you want to make a roof, drill holes in each corner and insert dowel rods (use wood glue). For a flat roof, simply attach a piece of plywood with nails to each dowel. For a pitched roof, attach two pieces of wood together with L-brackets. Drill shallow holes in the roof at the four corners to attach the roof to the dowels.
Other natural looking feeders that work well are hollow gourds and citrus halves, and pine cones rolled in peanut butter and birdseed.
By Ellen Brown
personally I think the pine cone ones with peanut butter and seeds on the outside look quit natural. You could make a feeder out of a milk carten and spray paint it an earthy tone. Gourds also make realy nice bird house but you could probally make a feeder as well. a plastic flower pot saucers are cheap, come in good color tones and you could make it into a bird feeder. Just drill some holes in the rim then hang it from a tree with twine and fill the saucer with the bird seed. You can use spray painted sour cream containers the sam way.
This is a warning against using onion or vegetable mesh bags to hold suet for feeding the wild birds. For many years, I used these bags without having any problems. One time a woodpecker had its' leg tangled in the mesh. It was screaming and yanking. It was terrible. I did manage to cut the mesh without injuring the poor fellow. The stress that we both went through was traumatic. I was happy that I was home, I couldn't image it being caught like that in the freezing cold and probably dying a terrible death. After that I used the suet cages or just sometimes hang a large piece on a post. So please do not use those mesh vegetable bags, it only takes one time.
has patterns for making gazebo style bird feeders like the one in the picture.
I have made a log suet feeder out of well, a log :D
Any size log will likely work, but the one I used was small tree that someone else cut down (I don't condone killing trees).
Simply bore out several holes within the log and then a smaller hole below the larger one to put pegs in. (A rough bark log will likely not need perches though).
Fill in the large holes with Suet and hang from a pole or nearby tree...
A close up of the holes...
I am trying to glue birdseed to Styrofoam balls, but regular old school glue is not working. The seeds keep falling off.Does anyone know of a tackier glue that would work? I sealed the Styrofoam with Mod Podge.