DIY bird feeders for your small backyard

Bird seedToday, I want to share ideas for making bird feeders from stuff you already have in your kitchen. These are suitable even if you have only a balcony. This follows my recent article about attracting birds to a small backyard garden. If you start putting out seeds now, the birds will know where to find food when temperatures begin to drop. Insects are not as plentiful in the colder months, and your feathered friends will welcome any source of food.

I will explain how you can make three different bird feeders by recycling items in your pantry and kitchen. You can hang them from tree branches in your garden or even on your patio or balcony.

bird feeder, seeds

Bird feeders made from plastic bottles

Get into DIY mode and gather an empty water or soda bottle and two dowel sticks, or two wooden spoons. You will need a string or rope to hang your feeder, and a knife, scissors or a box cutter. If you have bits of leftover brightly colored paint, you can make your bird feeders more attractive.

Poke two holes on opposite sides of the bottle, about halfway up from the bottom. Make one slightly lower than the other. Use the scissors to make the holes big enough for the wooden spoon to go through. The lower hole must be a bit bigger than the other one. Push the wooden spoon through the holes from the lower to the higher one. This will allow seeds to spill out of the bottle and into the spoon’s bowl. You can make another pair of holes to fit another spoon.

Thumbtack
Use a thumbtack to poke holes in the bottle

Use a thumbtack to poke small holes in the bottom of the bottle to avoid moisture accumulation.

Be creative with your paintbrush before you fill the bottle with birdseed. Tie the rope around the bottle’s neck and find the perfect spot to hang it.

Another version of this bird feeder is to cut off the tops of plastic soda bottles to give you funnel-shaped pieces. Make holes in the bottom half of another bottle, to allow the screw tops of your funnels to fit tightly. Make additional holes for the dowel sticks or wooden spoons to allow birds to perch on them. The seeds will spill into the funnels, so place the perches with that in mind.

Bird feeder with birds
Version 2 of soda bottle bird feeder

Pine cone feeders

For this bird feeder, you need pine cones, peanut butter, birdseed and string to hang them. If you want to make these colorful, paint the tops and bottoms of the pine cones first. Once the paint is dry, spread peanut butter on the pine cone, making sure you get some in the crevices. Pour some birdseed in a bowl, and roll the peanut butter-coated pine cone in the seeds. Pat them down a bit to make sure the seeds stick. Wrap the string around the pine cone, and hang them on the patio, balcony or in a tree. You can even hang them in a line in a tall window.

Bid feeder, pine cone

Cookie cutter feeders

cookie cuttersThis is a fun project that you can do with your children. You can use all shapes and sizes of cookie cutters to make these bird feeders. Use thick, hard flatbread, cut to the shape of the cookie cutter. Remember to make a hole in the flatbread for the string. Spread both sides with peanut butter and cover with birdseed. Pat it down to fix the seeds.

Refrigerate the feeders before hanging them out with brightly colored strings.

Cookie cutter feeders

These DIY bird feeders could also make perfect Xmas gifts for people who would welcome birds into their gardens, patios or balconies.

 

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