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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