Bird feeders that laugh at the weather!
Q: I wondered if you have any ideas on how to feed the birds in a DIY project for the winter…Of course I’m up here in the tundra so I need something that will not freeze….something to hang from the trees because snow is coming! ~~ Caprize Segall
A: Yes, we do! Here are __ideas straight from our Flea Market Gardeners. All are do-it-yourself and built by real people, in real gardens! ~~ FMG
Bird feeders don’t always have to be waterproof or weather proof, but using one of these feeders is the best way to keep the seed fresh and dry. Adjust the amount of seed you put out to supply the birds you get at your feeders.
Linda and Eddie Garcia have a bird feeder made from a galvanized chimney bonnet. Linda says, “My dad made this and I begged it from him! There are three removable wing nuts on top to refill the birdseed. I added a cut off 5 gallon Sparkletts bottle for a seed reservoir. Adding 2″ mesh keeps the really large birds out.
If you have a porch, try Sue Jordan’s trough feeder under the eaves,…it looks like loads of fun! You only need two long wooden boards, nailed at a 90º angle and two triangular wood pieces are nailed at each end to hold the seed in. A couple pieces of ropes to act as slings on either end. Hang from the porch roof, just inside the roof edge to shelter the seed from the weather.
From Cornell Lab of Ornithology “Some feeders offer no protection against rain and snow and without excellent drainage, seeds may become wet enough to sprout, and wet seeds may also foster fungal and bacterial growth. The best feeders have a screened, rather than solid, bottom to promote complete drainage; at the very least.”
Ann Brody had a great idea, especially recycling the little feeding ports in her DIY bird feeder. Ann says,” This is 4″ pvc with feeder holes from a broken feeder. My birds love it and it holds 1.5 gallons of seed which only takes them 2 days to empty. We plan to paint it this summer”
No time for that birdseed to get stale. They like it fresh!
Margie Ann says, “Love it I have found many treasures along the road here is one, a bird feeder with a pole attached!”
Marlene Kindred In the summer, I have squirrels who come and sun themselves inside of my bird feeder!
Ann Elias made a stacked bird feeder from Flea market dishes, a glass votive and metal filigree pieces. She tells us, “We’re enjoying our newly filled feeder on a nice day. It has black sunflower seeds in it.
Sue Gerdes from Flea2Fab found another use for her collection of plates…The idea came from a store in Texas. Sue keeps he eye out for future projects at craft and antique stores. We’ve all done it,…said, “I could make that!” And we do!
Sue says, “Here’s a better picture (below) of bird feeder so you can make one…this one was at the store.
Sue says, “All I did was drill the plates and bowl with a ceramic bit on a drill press, then connected them with threaded ‘ready rod’ that fit the size of the hole drilled. Then I attached them all with bolts to hold the plates up and a eyelet on top to attach the chain for hanging. We didn’t have a eyelet for supporting the chain so a washer was attached at the top and it works just as well.”
DeeDee Kier says, “We’ve had a lot of rain here in South Carolina this summer. I was tired of changing out my birdseed, so I zip-tied one of my hubby’s old golf umbrellas to the bird feeder post. It works like a charm!”
More rain proof feeders
Rob Ryan spotted a really neat bird feeder when he was out shopping at the local feed store. He says, “Our little feathery friends will love it as much as I do……… I went in for suet but couldn’t resist! Nice and weather-proof!”
Unique feeders for unique ‘eaters’
Orioles have a sweet tooth, and they prefer a range of foods that offer not only the proper nutrition, but also a touch of sugar. They love insects, flowers, fruits, especially oranges, apples and peaches and jelly, especially grape and orange marmalade! Jeanne Sammons and her husband made this elegant style with a roof.
Jeanne tells us, “This is one of my favorite birdfeeders…it’s an Oriole grape jelly feeder and we make them out of old barnwood. We buy the flea market glass cups to hold grape jelly that they love and then sell them at Farmer’s Markets. I love this picture cause a lone ‘Catbird’ decided he liked the feeder, too! My husband uses polyurethane on the Oriole feeders when he makes new ones…ours has weathered for many years and is still going strong.
Nell Stelzer also made an oriole feeder to hold jelly and orange halves. She says, “This is our homemade feeder in my gardens,…thanks to Jeanne Sammons fro the design.”
Tips from the Audubon Society:
Clean feeders and rake up spilled grain and hulls
Uneaten seed can become soggy and grow deadly mold. Empty and clean feeders twice a year (spring and fall); more often if feeders are used during humid summers. Using a long-handled bottlebrush, scrub with dish detergent and rinse with a powerful hose; then soak in a bucket of 10% non-chlorine bleach solution, rinse well, and dry in the sun. In early spring, rake up spilled grain and sunflower hulls.
Best bird website ever!
From Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
Welcome to All About Birds
Your online guide to birds and bird watching