One of our sons really wanted to have a bird feeder.  He tried a number of ways to make his own.  One of those was peanut butter and raisins.on a toilet paper tube, that one didn’t attract any birds.  He also convinced Lynn to buy a large bag of bird seed, which he put some of in a container on our picnic table.  That idea did attract some birds, but they pooped on our table.  Personally, I find that to be less then optimal.

Because we had the bag of seeds, and I wanted to help him out I decided to look up how to build a bird feeder.  I wanted to find one that I could make out of materials I had on hand so I wouldn’t have to spend any money if it didn’t attract birds.  After looking at many pictures online, I found this idea to make a bird feeder out of an old bottle.  It is a simple idea and is easily customized to the materials you have on hand.

I found an old San Pellegrino bottle in the recycling bag, all I had to do was remove the label.

I also had some scrap wood sitting around that I was able to cut to the right sizes.  The original place I got my idea just had two pieces of wood screwed together.  I always build stronger than that so I cut some angled pieces to go under the horizontal board for strength. After screwing the wood pieces together, I painted them with primer to help protect from moisture.

Then I drilled holes in the vertical board where the bottle would be hanging from.  I don’t have any specific measurements for where to put the holes.  It will depend on the size of the bottle and backboard that you use. The original plan called for wire to hang the bottle, but all I had was garden twine.  The twine works just fine (haha a rhyme), but will not last as long as the wire would.

Last I took an old 4×4 that was in the yard when I moved in and buried about a foot of it in the ground, then I attached the bird feeder boards I made to the 4×4.

The hardest part might have been filling the bottle with bird seeds.  I think the easiest way is to make a funnel out of a piece of paper and dump the seeds down that into the bottle.

The feeder does attract birds.  So far I have only seen doves drawn to the feeder, but it is fun watching the doves sit on the feeder and eat the seeds.  This is an easy project that I think just about anybody can do.  There isn’t a need for any specialized tools.  In fact, if your boards are already the correct size then all you need is a drill.


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  1. A_Boleyn

    Great project as it helps feeds the birds, of course, but it also gives young children a chance to study and appreciate nature, and the various birds that may visit at different times of the year may be the start of a lifelong bird watcher with a birding life list and the ambition to travel around the world seeing new species.

    Photography, life drawing, ornithology, veterinary medicine, environmental studies … who knows where it could lead.

  2. pbodwell

    Fun project. What kind of birds visit your yard? Different birds like different food so it would be fun to research what birds are in your area and feed to attract them. If you don’t like to grow your own seed from the seed that drops on the ground there varieties that won’t sprout – usually called patio mix or something like that. This could be the start of a backyard habitat. Next will be attracting bees and butterflies.

    1. Lynn-Marie

      We have doves, sparrows, and hummingbirds for sure. We also have a baby bunny living in our neighbor’s yard, which Josh isn’t too happy about! Our yard is a great place for bugs, birds, butterflies, bees, and lizards. The kids love it 🙂 well, except for the bees. Our oldest is afraid of them!

  3. Lynn-Marie

    Our second boy is an animal person. 🙂 He has so many interests though that it is hard to tell exactly what he will end up doing! Although it wouldn’t surprise me if he does a little bit of everything!

    Note: This is supposed to be a reply to Anne’s comment, but it ended up in the wrong place.

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