Bird feeders are highly popular with kids and adults who enjoy bird watching. If you love the twitter of birds in your gardens and enjoy watching them feed, then you should consider hanging a bird feeder or several of them in your garden. This article is all about how to choose the right bird feeder for your garden and instructions for making simple bird feeders.
You can make feeders out of a variety of materials like wood, plastic, metal, cardboard, pine cones and edible foods like bagel and doughnuts. Of course, you need to decide if you would like to have permanent bird feeder or a temporary one.
Permanent bird feeders should have the following features:
- They should withstand harsh weather conditions
- These feeders should keep the seeds dry
- Should be large enough to avoid constant refilling
- Should be easy to take apart and clean
- Provide some protection from squirrels and other critters
Types of bird feeders
Based on structure there are three types of feeders that you can make or buy.
1. Tube bird feeder
You can hang them from branches. They keep the seeds dry and provide protection from squirrels.
2. House bird feeders
They are in the shape of a small house with windows and doors. They keep the seeds reasonably dry but provide no protection from squirrels.
3. Platform bird feeders
They provide no protection from squirrels and they don’t keep the seeds dry either but they are easy to install and they attract a wide variety of birds.
You would do well to use different types of bird feeders in your garden instead of going for just one variety. This way you will be able to attract several types of birds, for example sparrows and juncos are usually ground feeders while wood peckers prefer their feeders on tree trunks, while some other birds love hanging feeders.
Choosing the right type of food for birds
If you want to invite a wide range of birds then you will need to cater to their needs. Most birds love millet and sunflower seeds. These two ingredients should form the major part of bird food but you can also include some other seeds, bread crumbs, rice and crushed peanuts. It is also a good idea to purchase some bird seeds from pet stores.
Building bird feeders out of kits
There are several ready to make bird feeder kits available at home stores and pet shops. You can get the kids involved in assembling these kits to create attractive feeders. There are no hassles and it is fun to assemble the various parts of the kit. Screws, pegs and other bits of hardware are included in the kit and it also includes some wood glue and paint that can be used in the construction. You can make easy bird feeders with these kits or you can even make some elaborate colonial style homes or other complex structures. The manual will contain detailed building plans, bird feeders of different forms can sometimes be made out of the same kit.
The pieces in these ready to make kits are well measured and pre-cut to ensure easy assembly. You will not need to drill any hole as they come pre-drilled. You will mostly just need to let the glue dry before they are ready to be hung outside.
Making simple bird feeders at home
If you are wondering how to make easy bird feeders at home then this is the section for you. You can get your kids involved in this project, they will certainly love it. Here are a few ideas that you can implement.
1. Pine cone bird feeder
These are really easy to make. You will need some medium sized pine cones and some bird food. This is what you do.
- Tie a length of string to the pine cone
- Paint the pine cone with peanut butter
- Roll the cone in some bird seed so they stick to it.
- Hang it up from the trees
2. A bagel feeder
This is an edible bird feeder that you can easily make out of some bagel and bird seeds. This is what you do.
- Tie a string around the bagel
- Paint it with some peanut butter
- Roll it is a basket of bird seeds so they stick to it
- Hang it up in the garden
3. Milk carton bird feeders
You can use a plastic bottle or a milk carton for this purpose. This is what you do.
- Make holes on the top of the carton or plastic bottle, thread a string through these holes. This string will act as the hanger.
- Make two window holes on the two sides of the carton 2 inches from the bottom. This is the hole through with the birds will eat the seeds.
- Insert a lengths of stout stick or a long pencil just below the window. This dowel will act as a perch for the birds.
Hang up this simple bird feeders from a tree branch.
You can come up with your own ideas for making simple bird feeders at home. Just remember to allow for a bird perch and ample hole size for feeding. There is nothing like home made bird feeders to add a personal touch to the garden.
If you are using a ready to make kit just follow the instructions for building the bird feeders as illustrated in the manual and it will be a cinch.