Living on a farm I get to enjoy all types of birds and I love listening to their sweet melodies every morning. Outside my office window I have a bird feeder and sometimes I catch myself watching them for extended periods of time, which doesn’t help my procrastination habits.
One of the great ways to attract birds to your home is by feeding them. Below are some easy ways make bird feeders and suet. If you have kids or grandkids, get them involved so they will learn to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation too.
Net Bird Cake
This is a great way to reuse net bags such as those used for onions, potatoes, and citrus fruits. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Net bags, cut or torn into roughly 8-inch by 8-inch pieces
- Paper cups
- String or twine
- Lard or suet
- Chopped peanuts (no salt as it is harmful to wild birds)
- Sunflower seeds, thistle, or mixed birdseed
Let the lard come up to room temperature. Cut it into pieces and put these in a bowl. Add the peanuts and seeds, and mash it all together. Next, line the paper cups with pieces of netting, leaving several inches of netting over the top of the cup. Fill the net-lined cups with the lard mixture. Tie the tops of the netting with string, leaving long string “tails” for hanging. Refrigerate the cups for several hours or overnight. Then remove the bags from the cups and hang them up by the string.
Another suggestion would be to use chunky peanut butter and add the seed mix. A word of caution, when using lard or animal fat, be sure to remove it from the feeders after 24 hours during the summertime otherwise it becomes rancid. Chances are, once birds know that they can depend on you for food, all the food (with lard/fat) will be done long before 24 hours.
Bottle Bird Feeder
Re-use plastic bottles, milk jugs, or cartons to make bird feeders. Here’s how to make one from a cardboard milk carton.
- Half-gallon milk carton, cleaned and dried
- Wooden pencils, sharpened (at least 8)
- Yarn, string, or twine
- Acrylic paint (optional)
- Mixed birdseed
Cut the top off the milk carton so you’re left with a tall, hollow rectangular box. Using one pencil, poke two holes through the carton from one side to the other near the top. Leave the pencil there (you will be hanging the feeder from this pencil). Using another sharp pencil, poke lots of holes on all four sides of the carton. Make them no closer than two inches apart.
If you want to paint the carton, do so now before the next step. Choose a bright color like orange or red as it attracts more birds. When the paint is dry, choose at least two of the holes on each side, one toward the top and one toward the bottom. Into these holes, stick the sharpened pencils and leave them there as perches. Tie the yarn to the ends of the pencil that goes through the top to hang the feeder. Fill the feeder with seed, and the birds will pick seed from the open holes.
A word of caution. When using plastics (such as a milk jug), hang the feeder in a shady area. Studies have shown that poisons can be released from the UV rays of the sun. I don’t want to get into a debate about this, it’s just a safety precaution to keep the birds healthy.
There are so many containers you can use to make bird feeders and bird cakes! Here are some miscellaneous ideas for feeders you can fill with sunflower seeds, mixed seed, dried fruit, thistle, or chopped peanuts – or any of these mixed with lard to form cakes.
- Citrus peel halves hung from branches or set along a wall
- Coat pine cones with peanut butter (roll them in seed or any of the above bird foods)
- Paper cups nailed to trees. Don’t use styrofoam as the birds will peck it and not digest it well causing harm.
- Plastic water bottles cut into cups and wired to tree branches
- Empty yogurt, cream cheese, etc. containers
There are a number of bird feeders you can make with your kids, and not only will they enjoy the activity itself, but they will also love observing all the birds that will show up in your yard.
That’s it for now. Until next time Divas, wear your heels well and Be Blessed!
P.S. Have you ever made a homemade feeder? If so, please share in the comments section below. I’d love to hear all about it!
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