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Feed the Birds from Recycled Containers

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Ruth, a.k.a. Elayne Kongaika, was raised in the orchard town of Orem, Utah. She married a Polynesian and has had amazing travel experiences.

Make with a juicy juice plastic bottle with dowel

Make with a juicy juice plastic bottle with dowel

A quart-sized plastic drink container and two wooden spoons for perches

A quart-sized plastic drink container and two wooden spoons for perches


I just love when birds some to visit my little back yard. They take my mind off the housework for a second and bring me a sense of wonder and a moment of amusement.

I found that I can make a bird feeder quite easily with a few things that are hanging around the house. I usually have a few plastic bottles ready to take to the recycling bin. By preparing a bird feeder, I can get the birds to come and stay for a while by giving them a little more incentive.

If you loves birds as I do, you could also make a bird feeder as a family project or do it yourself. If you are looking for something to keep your children busy this summer, you could suggest they make a simple birdhouse out of a used juice bottle. You could use the small bottles or even the one-quart bottles.

First of all, wash them well with a little soap and water. Draw where you want the opening to be on the side where the birds can enter to get the seed. You can start the hole by using a sharp knife (help younger children with this) and then insert scissors into the hole to finish cutting out the circle.

If you decide to decorate the bird feeder, make sure to use acrylic paints or magic markers which are non-toxic.

Mostly what you need is something to hang the bird feeder with, which could include a small rope, string or wire. You need a place to hold the bird seed, little holes that will allow any water to drain out in case it rains, a place for the birds to perch (which could be the branch where you hang it), like a dowel or rod you add.

Here are some other suggestions for different bird feeders which are easy to make.

Milk carton bird feeder: Use a two-quart milk box and cut the hole big enough for the bird to perch on the side. Or you can stick a chopstick through the side for the bird to perch on.

Pinecone bird feeder: Spread lard or peanut butter around a pinecone with a spoon - try to get it into the little spaces. Then sprinkle birdseed on the sticky pinecone. You can hang two together over a branch or just hang a single one.

Pie tin: You can use a small pie tin like those used for meat pies and make a mixture of lard or peanut butter and bird seed. Spread it in the bottom and hang with wire or string.

Peanut butter jar: Cut out a hole in side and also add a dowel by pushing through about an inch from the bottom of the jar. Attach it with waterproof glue or hot glue gun.

Bagel feeder: Coat a bagel with peanut butter and then roll it in cornmeal or mixed birdseed and hang it on a tree branch.

Cherrios bird feeder: String cherrios or other cereals that have a hole. You could also coat the cereal with peanut butter. Then hang them on your bushes.

These simple bird feeders can bring you and your children many interesting opportunities to watch the birds and observe their habits.

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All wild birds really need to be attracted to a backyard are food, water, shelter or a nesting site. If you offer several different foods, you will attract a greater variety of birds.

Birds love: seeds, nectar, fruits, insects, scraps, and nuts. It is advised that you also add water to your back yard either in a bird bath, pond, waterfall or stream. Make sure to change the water often so you do not harm the birds. Be sure to check the food you set out to make sure it does not rot or spoil. If it is, replace it. You don't want to spread diseases to the birds.

We had a big bush at our last home that attracted birds. One day we found a little nest that they had crafted with pieces of this and that.

Types of seed that birds eat. Birds have different tastes and a certain seed will attract a particular variety of birds. Here are the most commonly used birdseed. Cracked corn, hulled sunflower seeds, Red Milo, millet, safflower seeds, and black oil sunflower seeds.

There are also different grades of birdseed, usually commercial birdseed mix and premium songbird birdseed mix. You might want to try the different types in a variety of feeders to see how many different kinds of birds you can attract. You can also put left over rice in your bird feeder. If it begins to spoil, then replace it.

Store the birdseed in a cool, dry area in airtight containers.

Don't worry that the birds will starve if you forget to refill your feeder. Wild birds are perfectly capable of finding other sources of food.


Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on January 09, 2011:

Glad you like it Esmeowl12. I appreciate your comments.

Cindy A Johnson from Sevierville, TN on January 09, 2011:

I like the peanut butter jar idea. Thanks.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on November 10, 2010:

I am glad you enjoyed it discount bird feeders. Enjoy!

discount bird feeders on November 10, 2010:

great article thanks, I love making homemade feeders with my kids they really enjoy it.

peacegirl101 on September 19, 2010:

I love birds and love to watch them. Sounds like a good idea to make bird feeders! Plus it cost no money! :) I'll try making one of those next spring..... Thanks for the suggestions! :)



Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on September 19, 2010:

I know how you feel kgnature - so many ideas we get are similar. Sure you got some more ideas or a different take on the same subject.

kgnature from North Carolina on September 18, 2010:

You beat me to it! I've been dragging my feet about making feeders and taking pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on July 23, 2010:

Great addition ayyarhia.swager. I appreciate that.

ayyarhia.swager on July 23, 2010:

take old bottle and the cower you have to turn it and stick it on bottle then take a rubber band and stick on one sid of the cower. draw a a bird without a beak.take an old matchbox and cut in the shape of the beak and steak it and your bird is done.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 22, 2010:

Glad you like them Deborah. They are fun and easy to do with children so you should really enjoy making some bird feeders.

Deborah Demander from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on May 22, 2010:

These are great ideas. Can't wait to try them with the kids.


Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 12, 2010:

Glad you liked it Cathi. Hope you are able to feed the birds and enjoy them.

Cathi Sutton on May 12, 2010:

Great Hub, and great recycling ideas! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 11, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by to see my bird feeder hub D.A.L. Glad you liked it. I appreciate your comments.

Dave from Lancashire north west England on May 11, 2010:

Dave from Lancashire north west England on May 11, 2010:

Ruth, thank you for producing this informative and practicable hub. Common sense and nature coming together.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 05, 2010:

That's great reddog1027. I love doing things with my grandchildren also and thought it might motivate someone else. I'm so happy to read your comments about my bird feeder ideas. Aloha!

reddog1027 from Atlanta, GA on May 05, 2010:

What great ideas. They are all projects that I can work on with my grandson. I love to feed the birds and store bought ones are sooo expensive. I will certainly be using the ideas in this hub many times.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 05, 2010:

How fun for you Butterfly Lady for sharing with me about your cat and the birds that visit. I'd love to see your bird feeders too. Happy bird watching!

Butterfly Lady from Broken Arrow, OK on May 05, 2010:

Good hub. I, too like birds. There are many ways to feed these beautiful creatures. I love sitting out on the porch and watching them with my cat. She is very respectful and seems to know they are welcomed here just as she is. Our birdfeeders are also made fom home items and put where they can reach without being desturbed.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 05, 2010:

That's great tonymac04. I'm sure you have lots of fun watching your birds as they visit both bird feeders. Thanks for your comments.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on May 05, 2010:

Wonderful ideas! I have two bird feeders in my garden, one bought and one made from a two-litre Coke bottle!

Love and peace


Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 05, 2010:

Happy bird watching habee! Thanks for stopping by.

Holle Abee from Georgia on May 05, 2010:

Too cool! I've done the pinecone thing, but not the others!

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 03, 2010:

That is great new loriamoore. I plan to do the same.

loriamoore on May 03, 2010:

How very creative! We love hanging out bird feeders and have to replace a couple every year -- we'll make our own this time.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 03, 2010:

@rprcarz50 From one fellow to another fellow bird watcher - glad you enjoyed the bird feeder ideas. Hope you get more birds to your yard.

@LianaK - wow, glad I was able to inspire you.

@entertainmentplus - Much mahalos (thank you in Hawaiian). I appreciate that and you are welcome.

@Frieda Babbley - I enjoyed the video too - so practical right?

Frieda Babbley from Saint Louis, MO on May 03, 2010:

How fun. I love the video too. Wonderful hub.

entertianmentplus from United States on May 03, 2010:

Great ideas.very well done-Thanks

LianaK on May 03, 2010:

Those are great!! Will have to start working on this right away :). Thank you for the suggestions

rprcarz50 on May 03, 2010:


Very neat ideas you have put up in this Hub. I'm also a bird watcher. They give me relaxtion as well.

Great work!


As Always

Also a2z50

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 02, 2010:

Unless the roosters can fly up to the bird feeders, I suppose it will be just song birds. Aloha isi.

isi on May 02, 2010:

What a wonderful way to recycle. It is grate for the earth as well as for the birds. I will soon hear more birds in my backyard as a result of this effort. Hopefully not more roosters but song birds. Cheers

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 02, 2010:

@suziecat7 - yes, we don't have squirrels here in Hawaii, but we have mongoose but they can't climb like squirrels.

@BJBenson - You are welcome. Glad you like these bird feeder ideas. Thanks for stopping by.

BJBenson from USA on May 02, 2010:

I love all these great Ideas thank you so much for them.

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on May 02, 2010:

Love this - I have to be careful though - other critters get interested.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on May 02, 2010:

@jayjay40 - your avatar shows that you would especially like birds in the garden. Be nice to the little birdies okay.

@msorensson - glad you enjoyed the bird feeder ideas from recycled containers

@Hello, hello - You are welcome. I really liked the idea myself and hope to see more birds in my yard very soon.

@Kay Creates - Yes, there are even more ways that I am sure you could think of to make a bird feeder. Your name says it all.

Kay Creates from Ohio on May 02, 2010:

You've found some clever ways to recycle and feed the birds at the same time.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on May 02, 2010:

Thank you for sharing all these wonderful ideas.

msorensson on May 02, 2010:

What a fantastic idea! Thanks!!

jayjay40 from Bristol England on May 02, 2010:

Great hub, love the ideas of recycling and birds in the garden

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