You can construct a bird feeder with your own hands by the use of wood, plywood, plastic bottles, milk, juice or cereal packages, of pumpkins, empty coconuts, old car headlights and other materials on hand. The feeder will help our winged friends to survive challenging times. It may also add a bit of jazz to your garden or backyard. And if you would not forget to supplement something yummy to the feeder when warmer period comes, the avain community will not leave your garden all year round! The trick is to know for sure who should and who should not be attracted, because while some species of birds help the garden, thoroughly disinfecting it, others would not be above eating their fill of your fruit, doing it altogether impudently and unceremoniously.
It is easy to purchase a pretty feeder for your garden, but that would be too commonplace and uncreative. It will be so much more fun to use your imagination and involving all your family members in the process of constructing a brand-new feeder. Especially fascinating, enlightening and useful this lesson will be for kids. And it is our pleasure to pitch you a couple of interesting examples…
How to Construct a Classic Wooden Bird Feeder
A classic version of a house-shaped bird feeder can be constructed using wooden planks with a thickness of 16-20 mm or moisture-resistant plywood. All the required details for the construction can be cut out of a 200 cm long and 20 cm wide board. A complete schematic with exact proportions will help you to make the side walls.
To fit the plexiglas in the side walls we cut in the grooves to a depth of 4 mm with a milling machine. If you do not have the cutter at hand, common screws will do to attach the side panels of plexiglas to the edges of the side walls. But be sure to have the size of plexiglas increased to 150×250 mm when working with the screws. You can even construct a feeder without plexiglas, but in this case you’ll have to add food every day.
All structural components are joined against each other with screws or wooden dowels and glue. The edges of all the details should be carefully sandpapered. A round plank may serve as a bird perch. To install it, we drill holes with a diameter of 10 mm along the edges of the sides. The crease and the right half of the roof are to be joined in a single unit separately from the left half of the roof, which has to be nailed thoroughly to the side walls of the feeder. To connect the right and left parts of the roof use furniture hinges.
The ready-to-serve feeder should be painted or coated with drying oil before installation. After installation, open the lid of the feeder and fill it in with bird-seed. The gap between the plexiglas and the bottom of the feed will ensure gradual pouring. One refill will be enough to feed the birds for several weeks. Transparent plexiglass makes it easy to monitor the amount of bird-seed left. Good to look at, neat and functional!
Techno-Style – a Car Headlight into a Bird-Feeder
Techno-style lovers should consider building this original feeder from a plastic automobile headlight, which will not only attract hungry birds, but is sure to catch the eye of the neighbors. Functionality in this case is also doubtless: it is very convenient to fill in the feeder, while the upper part of the corrugated plastic perfectly protects the bird-seed from active weather.
To construct this feeder, we need a plastic headlight, three S-shaped hooks, and stainless steel cable and rubber discs. First of all, clean up really well and polish the headlight. Then carefully drill holes on three sides of headlights and thread a cable through the loops. To strengthen the bracing use rubber discs. With the use of S-hooks, attach the cable to the feeder’s bottom plate. We connect all three cables in the upper part and hang the feeder in a convenient place ready for the ‘clients’.
How to Make a Simple Feeder from a Cardboard Box
To make this feeder, we need a milk carton or any empty cardboard box of suitable dimensions. Use a box cutter to make a small hole in the front plank of the box so that the birds could smoothly get inside. Make another hole at the bottom of the box for a perch, securing it with a thick cardboard or a small wooden plank. If the box is not colorful enough to attract the attention of the bird kind, paint it with marker ink pens or decorate with pieces of colored cardboard.
Halloween-Style Pumpkin Feeder for the Fearless Among the Feathered
For this endeavor we need a small round pumpkin. Cut in it two holes, remove the squash and insert a small plate. We tie a rope to the tail and fix the feeder on a branch. Fill the plate with some bird-seed. You may even consider painting the pumpkin on the outside for a greater effect.
Overhung Edible Bird Feeders with Your Own Hands
If you really look for an eccentric approach, consider making edible overhung feeders. For making of these delicacies we need some suet, dried fruits, nuts, coarse oats and sunflower seeds. We may also need wire, rope, a plastic ball, plastic cups or other suitable frames. Carefully cut the ball in two halves, make a small round opening on its top, and then join the halves again and fix the ball with wire.
Put some suet in a saucepan and liquefy it at low temperature. While the lard is melting, prepare a mixture of nuts, seeds and oats with dried fruits. Add the mixture to the melted lard and thoroughly stir the brew so that all the dry ingredients are well saturated with lard. In the center of prepared ball or in the molds insert the wire with the rope attached. It is better to bend the frame-submerged end of the wire in the form of a loop. Fill the frame with still warm mixture, let it completely cool down and then put the semi-finished feeders to the freezer. When the mixture hardens, remove the frame and fix your beautiful edible feeders in the garden for the birds to appraise. Such ‘pies’ can be also fixed in small colorful nets.
A DIY Garland Feeder for Birds
Garland feeders are an elegant decoration for your backyard that will also be an outright gift for the birds. To make those pretties, you need to thread dried fruits, nuts, crackers, biscuits, and pieces of unsalted lard on a fleecy thread and hang them on the branches in the garden as common garlands or beading. For greater effect, you can fix several threads on the same ledge.
How to Make Plastic Bottles into Bird Feeders
A DIY homemade plastic bottle feeder is the easiest thing imaginable. All you need is some imagination with a hint of savviness and the eventual piece of work may turn out a nice and extraordinary item.
Proper Bird-Seed for the Feeder or Bird’s Most Favorite Treats
Most birds would not refuse some unroasted sunflower seeds, which are a good source of energy for small birds. A great option will be also millet, oats, corn, pumpkin/melon/watermelon seeds, burdock/nettle/thistle seeds and quinoa. In late autumn, winter and early spring, birds are especially short of high-calorie food, so it will be a great idea to treat them with some margarine or unsalted lard. Tits and sparrows enjoy unsalted bacon. By the way, titmice are the only kind of birds that are able to feed on the fly, and so pieces of bacon can be fixed for them right on the rope in a manner of bird fast food. It is also advisable to mix soft animal fat with other treats: oats, seeds and grains, nuts, chicken eggshells, food crumbs, crackers, honey. Eggshell calcium extra nutrition is also very popular with birds. As well as boiled potatoes and eggs, canned pet food, breadcrumbs and pieces of wheat bread. Just make sure not to add to the feed any black bread as it turns sour in bird’s crop and may cause indigestion. Last but not least, remember not to feed birds with roasted, spicy, salty and sour types of food.
It is easy to purchase a pretty feeder for your garden, but that would be too commonplace and uncreative.