Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DIY Fruit and Hummingbird Feeders

Earlier this year I conducted 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

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Butterfly Bush

I love watching the hummingbirds eat from their favorite flowers around my property: Trumpet Vine, Cardinal Flower, Columbine...  But to get the up-close views of a hummer, nothing beats a strategically placed feeder. - And this one costs only about $5.00! :)


  • Copper wire - 6 or 8 gauge. Available at Home Depot for less than a $1.00 per foot. 8 gauge is easier to bend, but I prefer the look of 6 gauge. - About 2 feet.
  • Glass bottle. A wine bottle is too large - it won't hold the seal of the feeder adapter. Opt for a smaller glass water or beer bottle.
  • Bling or emlishments. Something red will attract and entice the hummers. Small gauge wire -available at craft stores to attach the pendent, decoration, etc...
  • Hummingbird feeder tubes. You can occasionally find these at pet stores or I sell them in my Etsy shop 2 for $4.00. Here's the link: Rebecca's Bird Gardens (Etsy Shop)  
  • Wire cutters, needle-nosed pliers.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
How to:

Using the pliers (and a towel placed around the end of the wire to keep from scratching the copper), clamp the wire and bend a loop on one end. This gives you something to hold onto...  Start at the neck of the bottle and twist the wire around the bottle. Add another loop in the wire at the top of the bottle for hanging.

Add the embellishment and fill the bottle with a hummingbird nectar solution (1 part sugar dissolved in 4 parts water) - then add the feeder tube. Be sure to fill the bottle to the top with the solution - this creates a tight seal...

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

DIY Fruit Feeders

  • Spiral Fruit Feeder:  Copper Wire: 8 gauge wrapped around a rolling pin to create a "fruit cage" to hold oranges, apples, etc...
  • S Hook Fruit Feeder: Small stick with a hole drilled in the center. Wrap 8 gauge copper wire through the drilled hole creating an "S" shape for hanging.
  • Sheppard's Hook Fruit Feeder: Small stick with a hole drilled in the center. Push the drilled portion of the stick through the hook then simply add assorted fruit...

Immature Male Summer Tanager
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  1. Once again, these are incredibly awesome. Wishing I had your talents!!

  2. Truly interesting post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  3. Wow, the bottle hummer feeder is beautiful. And I love the copper wire to hold the fruit. All great ideas. Thanks for sharing, Rebecca! have a happy day!

  4. These are wonderful... I love them.... Thank you for linking into Nature Notes... Michelle

  5. If spending $15 gets you hummers, its money very well spent!

    Nice post.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  6. More great ideas for attracting birds! Thank you!

  7. I love this as I can repurpose so much...and I have just the spot. I moved a hummer feeder right off the patio and it is heaven to see them and photograph them up close.

  8. Wonderful photos! And thanks for sharing how to create these beautiful bird feeders!

  9. Oh, they're absolutely beautiful, Rebecca! Thanks for the detailed instructions, too. Do you have any trouble with yellow-jackets with that type of drip feeder. I switched mine out because the hummers and yellow-jackets were fighting over the nectar--not a pretty scene. Now I have a feeder with bee guards and the yellow-jackets are finding other nectar sources so the hummers can feed in peace. But I guess you can buy bee guards for drip feeders, too. Lovely, lovely feeders!

  10. The fruit feeders are genius! So pretty too! I would love to link to your directions if you didn't mind.

  11. Wonderful, practical, tips on building feeders for hummingbirds; I am going to try this out this weekend. I try to supplement what the hummingbirds can still get from the garden with the feeders sometime in October or November.

  12. love these going to try to make some. I have some green ginger ale bottles that will be perfect

  13. Just love these feeders! I wondered if you could give info on the embellishments used. I can see some packaging on the heart, but I can't tell what it says. BTW, I'm from the Spfld area as well!! Thanks!! Julie

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