Here are a couple of ideas for easy-to-make bird feeders. You need:
- a large pine cone
about 2 feet of thin, stiff wire
bird seed (optional)
Run the thin wire through the top of the pine cone and secure it well (string can be used unless you have squirrels, who can lift the pine cone with the string).
"Magic Mix" - Mix peanut butter and corn meal to a consistency that is barely sticky, but not crumbly. You can add a small amount of suet during cool weather when it will stay fairly hard. Experiment with the amounts of ingredients, but the idea is to reduce the amount of (expensive!) peanut butter yet leave the mixture gooey enough to stick to the cone. Bird seed can also be added to the mixture but is not necessary. Press the mixture well into the "shelves" of the cone, filling it as full as possible.
Fasten the cone to a tree branch or clothesline so that it hangs 1 to 1-1/2 feet down from the branch and away from the trunk or pole. Then wait for chickadees and other small birds to find your treasure! (Larger birds like blue jays and grackles will be too heavy for the feeder.)
If you don't have pine cones, you can purchase a small amount of 1/4-inch mesh hardware cloth (the small mesh keeps large beaks out). Make a cylinder of the cloth about 6 inches long and 2 inches in diameter.
This can be fastened at the bottom with small nails to an existing bird feeder, or you can put a bottom on the cylinder (a board or a piece of hardware cloth will do) and hang it as you would the pine cone. If desired, cover the cylinder with a small pie pan and fasten it down. Fill the cylinder about 2/3 of the way with "Magic Mix." You might be lucky enough to attract the Carolina wren, which can't cling to a pine cone, but will really enjoy your peanut butter treat.
Log Feeder for Peanut Butter Suet
Log or branch 7" to 14" long
One stick of 1/4" dowel rod
Sturdy wire or jute for hanging
Medium size eye bolt
Cut a piece of a log to be somewhere between 7" and 14" in length, depending on the number of holes you want to fill with suet. (The one in the picture above is 7" long with a total of 8 holes). The thickness of the log above is 4" - that can also vary. It will be easier to use a straight piece of log or branch for this feeder.
Drill holes about 1" in diameter and about 3/4 of an inch deep. In a 7" log, drill 2 holes (see picture) on all 4 sides.
Use a quarter inch dowel rod for the perches. Drill small holes below the larger holes and insert the 1/4" dowels into these holes. Glue in place with wood glue.
Screw a medium or large size eye bolt into the top end of the log. Using about a 10" piece of wire or jute, make a looped hanger through the eye bolt for hanging.
Awesome post, Tracy!!!
I used a litre soda bottle to make my feeder. I had bought a bottle cap with 2 perches at a local store. It fits most any bottle. I added a hanger and now I have another bird feeder.