Natural Bird Feeders – Easy DIY Bird Feeder Ideas

By: , Certified Urban Agriculturist
DIY Bird Feeder On A Tree
Image by Oksana_Schmidt

Fall sees the end of harvests and the die back of much of our natural plant life. This can make foraging for food hard on birds. During the cold season, making a bird feeder DIY project can help our feathered friends. Bird feeder designs abound, with some sophisticated and others perfect for children. Get some tips on how to make homemade bird feeder crafts that will provide much needed food for members of the Aves genus. 

Tips on Bird Feeder Craft

Birds have varied diets depending upon species, but most count plants and insects as their primary food. Cold weather means the disappearance of many insects and the die back of plant life. A bird feeder craft can help satisfy that scarcity and make sure they will stay well fed. 

Different birds have different dietary needs. For instance, millet may satisfy sparrows, bobwhite, and mourning doves, but sunflower seeds are better for blue jays, cardinals, and finch. If you know your local birds you can create the right food mix, or you can go with a mixed bird seed that will attract a variety of birds. Feeders must be kept clean and should be in a dry location to prevent molding of seed which can be dangerous to birds. You should also provide clean, unfrozen water in the location. Humming bird feeders should be changed frequently and cleaned. Food sources may be:

  • oranges
  • sugar water
  • millet
  • sunflower seed
  • thistle
  • suet
  • peanut butter
  • jelly
  • peanuts
  • other nuts
  • corn
  • squash and melon seeds

How to Make a Homemade Bird Feeder

A quick search on the internet finds lots of bird feeder designs. Thanksgiving leftover ideas abound. Thanksgiving leftover ideas incorporate the classic elements of the meal. Corn, pecans, bread, fruits, and other items will likely be part of your kitchen prep, and can go into bird feed. Avoid using turkey fat as a substitute for suet or peanut butter, as it can be dangerous for birds. 

A very basic bird feeder DIY recommends hollowing out an orange and threading a skewer through it as a stand for the birds. Pull twine through the top to hang the feeder. Fill with a suet or peanut butter mixture containing seeds. Another easy feeder is the pinecone rolled in peanut butter and seeds. 

Wild Bird Cookies

These are not baked but will still hold their shape thanks to gelatin. Make gelatin according to package directions. Add plenty of bird seed to the gelatin until it is firming up a bit. Set cookie cutters on a waxed baking sheet. Fill each with the gelatin/seed mixture and press in firmly. Make a small hole in each cookie for string. Refrigerate until solid. Thread string through the cookies and hang outdoors for birds to enjoy. 

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