If you’re looking to attract wild birds to your garden there are so many ways to make a simple birdfeeder yourself. This is a fantastic way to get the kids doing something creative and outdoorsy on the weekend - and it helps encourage an interest in the garden too.
Here are a few ways of making functional and even decorative birdfeeders for your garden.
Upcycled Plastic Jar Feeder
Needs: One large plastic jar, one nail, a hammer, an old pencil, scissors and some seed.
Quite a simple feeder, and suitable for even young children to help create.
1. Get started by cutting a circle a little smaller than a tennis ball about half way up the jar - you may need to help smaller children with this
2. Hammer a nail part way into the surface you are fixing the feeder to. Take the nail back out and pop it through the inside wall of the jar to fix the jar to the wall
3. Make a small incision an inch or two under the main hole and push the pencil through (to make a perch)
4. Fill the jar around a third full with wild bird seed
5. Pop the lid on to keep the elements at bay!
This is a great way to make use of any kind of plastic jar, plus this upcycled bird feeder should last throughout the winter.
Squash or Pumpkin Feeder
Needs: A pumpkin or large squash; a skewer, string and seed.
This one is a truly organic solution and possibly even easier to make than the first example. You can even make soup with the inside!
1. Cut your pumpkin in half across the horizontal plane. Keep the bottom half and scoop out the flesh - use this bit for your cooking. Use a metal barbeque skewer to make four holes around the top edge of the pumpkin, allowing around a centimetre to the top to avoid the skin splitting
2. Thread your string from one hole to another to the opposing corner to that you criss-cross, knotting on one side. (Remember to allow enough slack to form a good hanging length).
3. Take a separate piece of string and create a loop at one end (to hang your feeder) and use the other end to secure your criss-crossing supports in the middle
This is a really nice feeder if you’re keen to preserve the natural beauty of your garden without adding any artificial or permanent features.
Biscuit-Cutter Birdseed Balls
Needs: Bird seed, gelatin, mixing bowl, boiling water, drinking straws, biscuit cutters (or lolly moulds work just as well) and some string or twine
This is a really simple and decorative way to make your own version of the seed balls you can buy at the garden centre.
1. Dissolve around two sheets of gelatin in half a cup of boiling water. Once dissolved and cooled, it’s time to get the kids in to mess up your kitchen!
2. Put around two cups of bird seed into your mixing bowl and add about half of your gelatin solution mixing for a few minutes
3. Add a little more gelatin if your seed mix isn’t wet enough or doesn’t feel like it is coming together
4. Once the mix starts to cohere, pour it into your moulds
5. Cut the straws into smaller pieces then poke into the mould shapes to create the hole for the string
6. Leave the shapes to firm up for a few hours
7. If using metal or plastic moulds pop the seed mix out and allow to harden overnight
8. Silicone moulds are fine to leave overnight and the seed mix should keep its shape well when you pop it out of the mould in the morning
9. Carefully remove the straw and thread the twine through the birdseed ball to hang
Tip: Use a little red or tartan ribbon to make these at Christmas time!
Do you have any other ways of making bird feeders or suggestions on how to attract particularly rare wild birds? Tweet us @HIPPOBAG
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