Detailed Instructions For Making Natural Bird Feeder

Bird watching is a fun activity people of all ages can enjoy. For an opportunity to see a wider variety of birds in your own backyard, use these instructions for making a natural bird feeder...

Bird watching is a fun activity people of all ages can enjoy. It is also a good way to celebrate Arbor Day which was founded in April of 1872. Children will especially enjoy using a pair of binoculars and identifying the different varieties with the help of a Audubon field guide available at your local library. For an opportunity to see a wider variety of birds in your own backyard, try making a birdfeeder!

Feeders like birdhouses, range from the weird and whimsical shapes to practical and even collectable!

Feeders can be made out of a wide variety of materials from redwood, cedar, pine, or mesquite wood to withstand climates with extreme temperatures. All feeders should be constructed by gluing pieces together using nails as well to remain durable. Seal birdhouses with a clear polyurethane varnish to avoid painted houses that chip and peal. Permanent bird feeders should also include easy access to re-fill with food and clean out as necessary. They will also need a way to hang the feeder or a post to mount it on that is high enough to protect birds from predator's.



When building a birdfeeder where the bird needs to enter a small opening, you will need to also take into consideration the size of birds you want to feed. To Medium sized birds such as finches, chickadees, sparrows, cardinals and doves your opening needs be at least 1". Wrens will only need a 7/8" opening.

Children can enjoy making disposable, temporary birdfeeders by attaching a wire to a large pinecone. Spread peanut butter (crunchy or smooth) over the pinecone and then roll it in a mixture of 1/2 cup cornmeal & 1/2 cup birdseed.

Another easy Feeder can be made from a coconut. Poke small holes in the coconut and drain out the milk. Next cut a 1" hole in the side of the coconut towards the bottom as your entrance. Wrap a wire through your original drainage holes to create a hanging loop. You can also drive a short piece of dowel into the coconut below the entrance for a perch. Birds will eat the coconut insides clean!

In general birds receive about 20% of their nutritional diet from birdseed so you don't need to worry that the birds will become dependant on your feeder alone for their survival. Birds are high energy creatures that require a very balanced diet. You will find that they like to eat a wide variety of foods fruits, nuts, insects, and flowers among them. They also eat a variety of different seeds in nature to support their high metabolism.

Make a high energy breakfast mix for the birds by mixing sunflower seeds, birdseed, raisins, cracked corn and oatmeal.

Commercially there are many good hummingbird feeders available. You can easily mix your own liquid solution with a combination of diluted sugar and water. DO NOT use red food coloring in your solution, as there have been some reports that these additives may be harmful to hummingbirds. You may find that when you first start feeding hummingbirds, it's hard to get them to identify the feeder as a food source, even if the feeder and liquid is red. Hanging your feeder near a flowering plant such as Trumpet Vine or Fuchsia can help. You can also try tying a red ribbon to your feeder. Once these beautiful birds recognize your feeder for what it is you can put the feeder anywhere in your yard and they will find it.

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