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How do I Build a Bird Feeder?

By Miranda Fine
Updated Feb 22, 2024
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You don’t need to buy a fancy feeder to attract feathered friends to your yard or window. You can build a bird feeder out of materials you have at home. These projects are easy to make and fun to do with kids.

Build a bird feeder with cereal! You will need ring shaped cereal such as Cheerios and string. Kids as young as two can make this birdfeeder — you simply string the cereal. You can make a garland to put in a tree or loop into rings to hang. Make sure you place the bird feeder near a branch the birds can perch on. You can also make this feeder with popcorn, using a yarn or other large needle to string the popcorn.

Build a bird feeder with a pinecone. You will need a medium to large pinecone, peanut butter, birdseed or crushed cereal and yarn or string. This is another simple bird feeder. Tie the yarn or string onto the top of the pinecone. Spread peanut butter on the pinecone and then roll in the birdseed or cereal. Hang your feeder in a tree near a branch the birds can use to perch.

Build a bird feeder from a plastic bottle using one of two methods. You will need a small empty soda or water bottle with cap, two small sticks or a lid from a larger container such as a coffee can, glue, large nail or screwdriver, scissors, birdseed and string or yarn. The first way to build a bird feeder from a plastic bottle is to punch four holes at even intervals around the bottom of the bottle. Depending on how sturdy your bottle is, you can use a large nail, a screwdriver or scissors to do this. Insert each stick through two holes to make a perch for the birds. Make sure the end of the stick extends from the bottle about two inches on each side. Punch several more holes around the bottle, making sure they are large enough for birdseed to come through. Tie a string around the top of the bottle, fill with birdseed, and cap. Hang your feeder in a tree.

Another way to build a bird feeder with a plastic bottle is to use sharp scissors to cut four small (about one inch tall and one half inch wide) holes at the bottom of the bottle. Punch some small holes around the rest of the bottle and glue the bottom of the bottle to the lid. Make sure the lid is upside down, so the edge of the lid faces up, and that the bottle is centered in the lid. The birds will perch on the lid. When the glue is dry, tie a string around the top of the bottle, fill with birdseed and hang outside.

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Discussion Comments
By GiraffeEars — On Feb 03, 2011

@ Babalaas- You may want to try looking up plans on how to build a platform bird feeder. The larger birds like the ones you are trying to attract do not like to feed while precariously perched above the ground. You will need a sturdy feeder that offers them a place to roost while they feed.

A platform feeder with a mesh bottom would be ideal. You may also want to put an inverted metal cone around the middle of the feeder to deter the pesky squirrels. You want some type of flange that will prevent them from climbing up the pole.

By Babalaas — On Feb 02, 2011

I built a squirrel proof bird feeder out of a clear plastic cylinder and a few dowels, but it doesn't attract the doves and cardinals that frequent the areas. All I get are the drab little finches, and other little not so colorful birds. Does anyone know what type of bird feeder I could make to attract the birds I want?

By parmnparsley — On Jan 30, 2011

What a great article on how to build a bird feeder for kids. My daughter is two years old, and I am constantly trying to find constructive projects that she can participate in. She is not in daycare yet so she gets really bored just staying at home most days. We made the pinecone bird feeders and hung them just over the patio railing. She was very happy to see the little birds swoop down and pick seeds from the pinecone.

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