The sounds of spring are in full force now that the weather has warmed up across Long Island, and birds all over are chirping and nesting. Invite some of your neighborhood feathered friends to your yard with a bird feeder, but instead of buying one, try making your own with simple materials from around the house.
If you are looking to attract certain species of birds, be sure to do your research to see which kinds of seeds they like the best. Also, be sure that your bird feeder does not turn into a squirrel feeder, and hang your homemade feeder somewhere that will be more challenging for squirrels to reach. If doing this with children, be sure to supervise them and help with scissors and craft knives.
Spoonfeed your birds (not literally) with this feeder, which uses old wooden spoons as perches for your backyard birds to sit on as they eat their seed from the feeder.
- 2 wooden spoons
- 1 empty soda bottle
- Craft knife
- Small eye screw
- Twine for hanging
- Draw two Xs on the side of a bottle, one about 3 inches below the other. Then put two Xs on the opposite side of the bottle directly across from the first Xs.
- Use a craft knife to cut slits at each X – this will be where you will insert the wooden spoons.
- Insert the wooden spoons through the slits one at a time, handle first, until each spoon skewers the bottle.
- Remove the bottle cap and twist the eye screw into it for hanging. Put the cap back on.
- Cut a length of twine and thread it through the eye screw.
- Fill the bottle with bird seed and hang it from a tree.
Bird Seed Wreath
It may be a while until the holidays, but bird seed wreaths are always in season, and can attract all sorts of feathered friends to your door.
- 2 cups bird seed
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Bundt pan
- 2 packet gelatin
- 1 cup water
- Mix two packets of gelatin in 1 cup of water. Simmer until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
- Stir in two cups of bird seed, mix well.
- Spray your bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour seed-gelatin mix into the pan, and press lightly to pack it in so it takes the complete shape of the pan. Chill for two hours in the fridge.
- Turn pan upside down to remove. If it is still stuck to the pan, run a butter knife along the side to release it.
- Hang the wreath with a length of ribbon from a tree or fence.
Milk Carton Bird Feeder
The classic DIY bird feeder: Reuse your old milk or orange juice cartons to make this feeder and feel especially good about giving back to the environment.
- Empty milk or juice carton
- Using the scissors, cut a piece of the front of the carton, as well as part of the side. Make sure you make the space big enough for a bird to fit in and perch while they eat.
- Poke a hole through the top flap on the carton, and string the twine through it.
- Fill the bird feeder until the seed reaches the bottom of your opening (so that it does not spill out).
- Hang your feeder on a branch for the birds to enjoy.
Jug Bird Feeder
For an even bigger feeder, try using a milk jug or an empty, cleaned bleach or detergent jug.
- Milk jug or bleach/detergent jug
- Eye screw
- Using the marker, draw a doorway on the jug that is large enough for a bird to fit in.
- Where you drew, use the scissors to cut the door open. You can leave the bottom part attached so the bird has a bit more of a perch to use.
- Push an eye screw into the top and secure it, then put string through it and tie to a tree.
- Fill with bird seed and see who comes to visit your feeder.