Enticing a variety of birds to your yard with a homemade bird feeder is a fun and easy project. You can help kids make a bird feeder using a few simple materials found around the house or yard. Use a pine cone for a natural look or recycle a plastic bottle to make a refillable feeder. Let your children complete each step of the project themselves, except for cutting the plastic. Make several feeders and hang them in nearby trees or in front of your window for easy viewing.
Things You'll Need
- Bird seed
- Heavy string
- 2-liter plastic bottle
- Marker or pen
- Craft knife or pointed scissors
- Branch or stick
- Funnel (optional)
- Pine cone
- Peanut butter
- Spoon or butter knife
- Cookie sheet
Wash the plastic bottle in warm, soapy water and rinse it well. Let the bottle dry thoroughly.
Draw two circles that measure about 2-3 inches in diameter opposite one another, 3-4inches from the bottom of the bottle. An adult should cut out the circles with a craft knife or pointed scissors, because this part can be a bit difficult.
Cut a small “X” about 2 inches below each circle with the craft knife or pointed scissors. Again, an adult should complete this step.
Push the branch in through one hole created by the cut “X” and out through the other to create a perch beneath the circle openings on each side of the bottle. Make sure the branch is sturdy enough to support the weight of a bird, and thick enough to fit snugly into the hole in the "X."
Cut a 20-inch to 30-inch piece of strong string. Wrap one end of the string tightly around the neck of the bottle twice, just beneath the ridge at the base of the bottle cap. Tie a secure knot.
Pour birdseed through either side opening into the bottom of your bottle bird feeder. Fill the feeder to the level of the openings. Use a funnel to pour the seed.
Take your bird feeder outside and securely tie it to a tree limb or suspend it from the eves in front of a window, using thick string.
Check your bird feeder often and add more birdseed as needed.
Pine Cone Feeder
Find a medium-size pine cone. Look for one that has a lot of open areas and is not too heavy.
Cut a 20-inch to 30-inch piece of strong string. Wrap one end of the string tightly around the pine cone a few inches from the top and tie a knot. Make sure the string is secure within the “petals” of the cone.
Set the pine cone onto a cookie sheet. Scoop up small amounts of peanut butter with a spoon or butter knife, and fill the openings in the pine cone with peanut butter. Hold the pine cone steady and turn it with one hand while you add the peanut butter with the other.
Pour some birdseed onto the cookie sheet and roll the pine cone in the seed. Press the birdseed into the peanut butter with your fingers, if necessary. Continue to roll the pine cone in the birdseed until the peanut butter is thoroughly covered.
Carry the pine cone outside on the cookie sheet to keep the floor clean. Tie your pine cone bird feeder securely to a tree branch.
Tips & Warnings
- You can substitute a dowel or wooden spoon handle for the branch to make a perch.
- To protect the birds, hang your feeders out of the reach of cats.
- Photo Credit Bird image by michalk123 from Fotolia.com
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