By building your own bird feeder, you can start experiencing nature up close. Whether you’ve just started bird watching or you’re an avid, long-time birder, these creations are guaranteed to bring many different bird species flocking to your yard. Even the process of creating a bird feeder is cathartic and incredibly rewarding. You’ll get hours of stress-reducing pleasure both during your project and long after it.
It’s important to spend some time considering the different materials you want to use. The supplies for feeders are incredibly cheap, and you may have plenty of items already on hand. From empty soda bottles and teacups to paper plates and coffee cans, there are a number of everyday items that will suit this purpose. There are even comprehensive kits with easy-to-understand plans and pre-cut components for people who want to create ornate, all-wood birdhouses. When choosing your materials, make sure that they don’t have toxic paints, plastic components that might degrade when exposed to sunlight, or any other dangerous elements that could cause harm. If building and painting an all-wood bird feeder, get help in choosing stains or paints that are right for this task.
Consider the Types of Bird That You Hope to Attract
Certain birds are incredibly territorial. For instance, despite their diminutive size, hummingbirds can actually become quite aggressive when competing for space at feeders. If you’ve already seen a few of these birds flitting around your yard and hope to attract more of them with nectar, be sure to choose a feeder that limits competition and fighting. If multiple hummingbirds can dine at once, you’ll be a lot less likely to have these birds engaging in intense, long-running battles in your outdoor area.
During the research and planning phase of your project, try to learn more about the different birds found in your regions. In certain regions, building birdfeeders can be downright lifesaving. Some birds may not be able to adhere to their normal migratory patterns due to age and injuries. For these birds, access to well-stocked feeders will keep them fortified during times of inclement or overbearing weather.
Choose the Right Food
Although there are slight crossovers with foods that people can eat and foods that birds can eat, you should never attempt to feed birds outside of your pantry without giving your ingredients some serious thought. For instance, while birds like seeds of nearly every variety, the roasted, salted pumpkin seeds that you snack on will either be eschewed by most birds, or cause some significant health problems. Shop for sunflower seeds for birds instead, and focus on products that have been specifically harvested and packaged for them. This option will be bakery-grade, unsalted, and processed without any heat or chemicals that might cause harm. When allocating your budget for your bird feeder, getting quality food should always be your top priority.
Consider Replacement and Cleaning Needs
Before getting started, make sure that you have a solid plan for replacing and cleaning your feeder. This is especially important when offering birds nectar. Spoiled, moldy foods can be bad for both birds and any other outside pets or animals that visit these stations and indulge. To prevent food spoilage, try not to overfill your feeder. Moreover, when planning your design and creating it, choose materials that can be easily emptied and rinsed, or options with components that can be discarded and replaced completely.
Put Your Plans in Action
There are a few, basic elements that every feeder should have. This includes a stable base, a means for suspension, and an accessible platform or container that can be easily filled, emptied and cleaned. If your bird feeder budget is a modest one, you can suspend your creation with twine, rope, or braided yarn. Although aesthetics are often a key concern when building birdfeeders, it’s important to keep bird safety at the forefront of your mind. Your design should prevent crowding, aggressive behaviors, and rapid food spoilage. It should also be free of additions such as low-grade glues, low-quality plastics, or highly toxic stains or paints that might degrade and contaminate the food, or make birds sick upon contact.
With careful planning, you can build an eye-catching station that birds love visiting. Birds like hummingbirds that have high-energy needs will certainly appreciate your effort. Feeders that are regularly filled with sweet nectar and nutritious seeds can be especially beneficial whenever the outside temperatures are especially hot or cold.