Sunday, February 17, 2013

DIY Chick-Feeder / Bird-Feeders

I'm preparing a class for the Master Gardener chapter that I'm a member of on making bird-feeders utilizing natural sources, recycled materials and re-purposed items. Of course the best bird-feeder is what nature provides: nuts, seeds and fruit from native trees, shrubs and wildflowers (and native insects)... Here's my hand-out for my "bird" talk I give:  Creating a Bird Garden

But - this class is all about creating bird-feeders and I've been trying a few DIY feeders I've found over the Internet. These DIY chick-feeder inspired bird-feeders are all over the web, especially Pinterest and Etsy...  And if you happen to have a flock of backyard chickens that have outgrown these feeders, they're a great way to re-purpose. If you don't have a spare chick-feeder laying around (or never had a reason to purchase one), they are only about 2-3 dollars at a farm supply store.

I came up with three different ways to transform this domestic bird-feeder into a wild bird-feeder...

The first involves drilling a holes in a mason jar and glass plate. Click on this link for the steps in learning this skill: DIY Wine Bottle Bird-Feeders. Once the holes are drilled: add an eye bolt, a couple of rubber washers and nuts. The hardest part of this feeder was figuring out how to tighten the nuts (your hand won't fit inside the jar). My husband then brought me a basin wrench to accomplish this task, but it was still a little difficult to get the nuts tightened securely.

American Goldfinches
In my second feeder example, I wrapped 8-gauge copper wire (Home Depot: 66 cents/foot) around the jar and created a hanger.

Carolina Chickadee ~ Tufted Titmouse
For my final feeder (which is the easiest), I purchased a lid from a thrift store and epoxied it to the jar. I added a couple of zip ties to the lid handle to keep it from sliding on the sheppard's hook.

American Goldfinch ~ Tufted Titmouse

These bird-feeders are cute, but they really don't hold a large quantity of birdseed - but the birds and (my backyard flock) seem to approve!

I'd Rather B Birdn'
Wild Bird Wednesday
Nature Notes


  1. Those are all so adorable! Your birdies are lucky :)

  2. Wonderful & creative ideas ! I already have everything you showed. Now to put them together, fill with seed, and hang in a tree.

  3. A lovely post with great photos. Nice to see this!

  4. I am going to try the pot lid technique very soon and the copper wire one is very doable as well. Thanks for the inspiration!
    My fowl already share their treats with the Vermont wildlife here. Drop by for the latest fowl news:

  5. Great photos of the birds and very interesting ideas for bird feeders.

  6. Great ideas. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  7. Oh wow, these are really cool feeders. Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  8. That doesn't seem too hard. Great idea. Love your photos, too.

  9. What a good idea - I think you have more seed feeding birds around than I do - but this is an idea I may have to try!

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  10. You come up with, and share some fantastic ideas!! I'm lovin' your birding, and your blog!!

  11. The proof is in the - birdseed! Nice ideas and they obviously work. Thank you!

  12. Wow..I love much prettier than what I have ..I love the chicken feeder and the chickens. Wonderful post for Nature Notes...and thank you for the birthday wishes... Michelle

  13. Why didn't I think of these? Very smart!!!

  14. I really love the Mason jar turned bird feeder! Would you consider linking it up with me? I have an exclusive Mason jar only linky called the Pantry and a Wednesday link up for anything. Hope to see you there! Following you on GFC now :)

  15. I love all the mason jar bird feeder ideas! Thanks for sharing them.



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