You can enjoy nature's bounty of birds right in your own backyard simply by building a bird feeder. Birds do not need elaborate feeders; they make do in the wild without any feeders at all. Constructing a bird feeder utilises old scraps of wood you have and teaches your children about birds, their feeding habits and basic construction techniques. If you feed the birds regularly, and clean the feeder, you will enjoy a plethora of species.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 5/16-inch drill bit
- 1 wooden piece, 12 ½ inches long, 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick (A)
- 2 wooden pieces, 8 ¼ x 12 x 1 (B-1 and B-2)
- 2 wooden piece, 8 x 12 x 1 (C-1 and C-2)
- 1 1/4-inch plywood, 9 x 14 (D)
- Wood glue
- 3 1-inch wood screws
- 4 1 ½-inch brads
- 2 small clamps
- 2 ½-inch screw eyes
- 4 5/16-inch dowels, 12 ½ inches long
- 1 3-inch PVC pipe, 11 inches long, cut to 140 degrees
- 3 feet of 3/8-inch rope
Pre-drill the holes for the dowels on the B pieces. Make four holes at two-inch intervals on each of the two B pieces.
Locate the centre of piece D (top). Place piece A on the underside in the centre and secure with wood glue and three wood screws, evenly spaced.
Glue one B (base) piece to the centre of one C (side) piece, with the B piece horizontal and the C piece vertical. Reinforce with brads. Repeat with the other B and C pieces. Clamp to secure joints.
Attach the tops of the C pieces to the sides of piece D (roof) and secure with glue and brads. Allow drying overnight.
Secure the screw eyes into the C pieces so they screw into piece A.
Cut the dowels so they will fit into the holes and secure them with wood glue.
Place the PVC pipe between the two middle dowels as a trough for birdseed.
Attach rope to the screw eyes to hang the feeder in the desired location.
Fill trough with feed. Monitor the inside of the bird feeder for cleanliness and rinse as necessary with water.
Tips and warnings
- Construct bird feeders out of scrap wood lying around the house. Cut to fit the above dimensions. Paint or varnish your finished bird feeder with the product of your choice for a more eye-pleasing structure.
- Household predators, such as cats, threaten birds who feed or nest in bird feeders, so place feeders out of their reach. If you notice sick birds at your feeder, discontinue feeding and clean with a solution that is nine parts water, one part bleach.
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