Birds appreciate supplemental food and fresh water, especially in fall and winter. You can stop feedings in summer, but a continuing supply of food will encourage birds to nest and raise young in your yard. Get the most out of your backyard by feeding birds with the help of this glass bottle feeder you can make yourself.
What You Need:
- 1/2-inch metal ring
- Glass bottle with a twist top
- Hot-glue gun
- Painters tape
- (8) 5/16-inch brass washers
- (12) 1/4-inch brass washers
- (2) 1/4-inch copper couplings
- Bottletop bird feeder
Step 1: Wrap Metal Ring
Wrap metal ring tightly with twine and hot-glue to secure end. Let dry. This will be the hanging ring.
Step 2: Tie Twine to Bottle
Cut (4) 96-inch pieces of twine. Fold one strand in half and wrap tightly around the top of the bottle and tie knot. Repeat with another strand, placing opposite first. Repeat with the next two strands, adjacent from the first two.
Step 3: Add Washers
To prepare, tear multiple strips of painters tape and lay on table edge. Take a single strand from one of the twine pairs and a single strand from the next pair to make a double strand. Slide a small washer onto the double strand and push up, leaving about 2 inches between it and bottle top. Place a piece of painters tape over washer to hold in place. Repeat this around the rest of the bottle, using washers of the same size, until first row is complete.
Now repeat this step with larger washers and continue around the bottle until four rows are complete.
Step 4: Tie Knots
Tie knots with pairs around the bottom of the bottle and tape each to secure. Bring opposite strands together to tie a knot and repeat with adjacent strands. These knots should be tight against the bottom of the bottle. Move up approximately one inch and tie another knot with all the strands.
Step 5: Make Hanging Rope
Slip coupling onto strands to meet knot. Tie knot above coupling. Repeat, adding desired decorative knots. Tie the rope to the twine-covered ring, which we made in Step 1.
Step 6: Fill With Bird Seed
Use a funnel to fill decorated bottle with bird seed. Secure feeder attachment to the top of the bottle and flip upside down. Hang from your favorite tree!
- Different species feed at different levels. So feed birds on the ground, at tabletop level, from hanging feeders, and from feeders placed against tree trunks.
- Place food near shrubs or trees so birds will have the security of an escape perch nearby.
- Sprinkle small amounts of food on the ground until you can gauge what's eaten in a day. This will prevent extra food from rotting and making birds ill.
- Rely on a good-quality birdseed mixture that will attract the widest variety of birds.
- Serve sunflower seeds in a hanging or post feeder and niger seed in a tube feeder or fine-mesh bag hung from a wire or tree branch.
- Buy beef suet from your butcher; place it in a mesh bag or in a wire basket and fasten it to the side of a tree or post. It's best to stop serving this when summer comes, as suet will go rancid in the heat.
- If you live in a frost-free climate, serving sugar water (4 parts water to 1 part sugar) will make you popular year-round with hummingbirds, tanagers, grosbeaks, house finches, and some warblers. In colder climates, serve sugar water during warm months only.
Birds' Favorite Treats
Attract your favorite bird with its favorite food!
- Hummingbird: sugar water
- Bluebird: beef suet, peanuts
- Blue Jay: beef suet, peanuts, sunflower seed
- Red-Winged Blackbird: millet, peanuts
- Cardinal: peanuts, sunflower seeds
- American Goldfinch: millet, peanuts, sunflower seed
- Baltimore Oriole: beef suet, peanuts, sugar water
- Chickadee: beef suet, niger seed, peanuts, sunflower seed
- Rose-Breasted Grosbeak: sunflower seed, sugar water
- White-Breasted Nuthatch: beef suet, peanuts, sunflower seed