It seems every February I get the ‘feels’ for the poor birds. Last year I showed you how to make a super-simple bird house to help keep our feathered friends warm, this year I’m adding to my garden with this easy ($4) DIY bird feeder. Some people would argue against bird-feeders, calling them little more than automatic cat feeders (like the ones you find on Tuxedo-cat.co.uk), but there aren’t any cats in my neighbourhood so here we go, one bird feeder coming up!
DIY Bird Feeder
- 1 x 6 cedar board at 6′ long
- wood glue
- 1 1/4″ wood screws
- mitre saw
- rope for hanging
- bird seed
- optional: all-weather caulking
A six-foot 1×6 cedar board will run you about $4 – depending on where you live – and the rest of the supplies you can ‘make do’ with whatever you have lying around the house – maybe nails instead of screws, or chain instead of rope?
The only thing you can’t leave out is the bird seed or the project will be for naught. Of course, there are a lot of different types of bird feeders for you to choose from and you can base your DIY bird feeder on the best squirrel proof bird feeder you come across during your research for your own project.
There are very few cuts for this easy DIY bird feeder;
- 2 pieces of 1×6 cut to 12″ long
- 2 pieces of 1×6 cut to 9″ long
- 1 piece of 1×6 cut to 10″ long and
- 2 pieces of 1×6 cut to 10″ long (and then cut in half length-wise to 2 1/8″ x 10″)
Find the centre point of your 9″ boards and cut a 45 degree angle from that point outwards to either side of the board’s long side to create your peak.
Drill a hole in both boards, centred and near the top, just slightly larger than the thickness of your rope.
Using wood glue and 1 1/4″ wood screws attach these two side pieces to the base of your DIY bird feeder.
Using wood glue and wood screws line up your first roof board with the peak of your DIY bird feeder and screw into place. There will be a slight overhang on either side of your bird feeder as well as a long overhang over the lip to protect from the elements.
This part is optional, but I decided to run a bead of all-weather caulking along the inside of the roof line to help keep some of the water out of the feeder. You don’t have to do this, the roof overlap should keep the bird seed pretty protected, but it’s a ‘nice to have’ if you have caulking around the house.
Line up the second roof board so that it overlaps both the peak and the first roof board. Glue and screw into place.
Before filling your DIY bird feeder, you’ll want to drill a couple of small holes in the base of it. This will help any water that does manage to find its way in, also find its way out again. Don’t make the holes too big though, you don’t want your bird seed pouring out either.
Insert your rope from the outside into the inside of your bird feeder and tie a knot. Repeat on the other side.
Sand it smooth if you like, but no other finish necessary; cedar will age beautifully and is meant for the outdoor elements.
Fill with a premium bird seed (the dollar store stuff doesn’t attract birds and will only grow weeds in your lawn, trust me) and hang.
The lip on this DIY bird feeder may seem high, and feel free to lower it if you like, but my reasoning was that I know some squirrel is going to try to sneak in and I didn’t want its weight tipping all the food out of the feeder. By having a taller lip, the bird seed is more protected from the weather and from spilling.
It’s not fool-proof, but it should help.
Our winter buffet (aka cat television) is open for business!
This took about 20 minutes to build and could easily be a family project if you cut the wood for the kids first.
A DIY bird feeder: a simple way to add colour and life to your winter garden.
Have a great one!