Now that you and your child have become curious about birds and attracting them to your yard, you will probably want to add a few feeders of your own. Our latest Connections Box, For The Birds, gives you a chance to make a couple of different types of feeders, but there are many other types of feeders that you can easily make at home without spending much money at all!
Paper Tube Feeder- Many types of birds love peanuts and using peanut butter is a great way to make a simple feeder.
You will need: a paper tube (from a roll of paper towels or toilet paper), hole punch, peanut butter, birdseed, 12" of yarn or string.
Punch a hole in each end of the tube. Tie the yard/string to each end of the tube. Spread peanut butter all over the tube, then roll the tube in birdseed. (The bird seed will stick to the peanut butter.) This is messy, but oh so fun! Hang the feeder from a branch or bush and watch the birds come.
Pine Cone Feeder - Just like the Paper Tube Feeder above, only use a pine cone instead of a paper tube.
Tie the yarn/string to the top of the cone, then spread the peanut butter and roll in birdseed.
Plastic Cup Jelly Feeder - Some birds, like Orioles and Hummingbirds, really enjoy sweet treats like a jelly feeder.
For this feeder, you will need: plastic cup (like a red solo cup), scissors, hole punch, (3) 12" lengths of yarn/string, a few tablespoons of jelly (use a dark jelly such as grape jelly). Cut the cup so that it is only about 2-3" tall. Punch 3 holes evenly spaced around the top of the cup. Tie one piece of yarn/string through each hole. Pull all of the strings up and tie together at their ends.
Spoon a few tablespoons of jelly into the cup and hand it in a spot where you can watch the birds enjoy their treat.
**Because ants are also attracted to sweet treats, I deter them by placing a small bit of petroleum jelly at the top of the string so that the ants can't crawl past it, but it won't get in the way of the birds. I do this with all of my hummingbird feeders as well.
Egg Carton Feeder - What could be easier than using an old egg carton to fashion a bird feeder? In fact, you can make 2 feeders from one egg carton!
You will need: egg carton, scissors, (2) 12" lengths of yarn/string, bird seed. Cut the top off of an egg carton. (If it is a large egg carton, you may want to cut it in half, as well so that there are only 6 sections in each half.)
Poke a small hole in each corner of the carton. Take one of the yarn pieces and tie it through one of the holes, then stretch it across the egg carton and tie it in the opposite hole. Repeat with the other piece of yarn. Fill the sections with birdseed and hang in a tree or bush.
Water Bottle Feeder - Using just an empty water bottle, you can make a more traditional bird feeder, but adults will need to help with the cutting.
You will need: empty water bottle, xacto knife or box-cutter,stick (6-8" long), 12" length of string, bead, birdseed. Adult: Cut a small "x" on one side of the bottle near the bottom. Cut out a triangle shape just above the "x". Repeat on the opposite side of the bottle.
Cut a small hole in the center ot the lid (I used a hot shish-k-bob stick and it went right in.) Child: Push the stick through the x on one side of the bottle, straight through to the other side of the bottle, so that there is a perch on each side of the bottle. Tie a loop in one end of the string. Poke the other end of the string in the hole of the lid and tie a bead to the underside to keep it from pulling out of the hole. (If you don't have a bead, you can tie a large knot or glue in place.)
Fill the bottle with birdseed, up to the triangular holes. Hang for a tree or bush.