Home birdwatchers often install commercial hummingbird feeders to attract colourful and tiny hummingbirds to their yards. You can make a homemade version of a hummingbird feeder for the same purpose. These feeders dispense liquid nectar rather than seeds or suet, common with other bird feeders. This homemade version uses a 1- or 2-litre soft drink bottle as the container to hold the nectar.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 2-litre bottle
- Power drill and bits
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) plastic measuring container
- Glue gun with glue sticks
- Light wire for hanger
- Red plastic flowers
Cut a hole in the bottle cap. Drill the hole with an 18mm (3/4-inch) drill bit, or drill numerous smaller holes around the perimeter of the planned hole and cut the spaces between the holes with utility knife.
Glue the bottle cap to a 60 ml (1/4-cup) plastic container. Use a hot glue gun to build up four glue blocks that connect the outer sides of the bottle cap to the inner sides of the plastic container. Make sure there are gaps between the glue blocks to provide access to the nectar that will accumulate in the bottom of the container.
Use hot glue to attach the hanger to the bottom of the bottle. Bend light wire to form the hanger, and glue the ends to each side of the bottle. Make sure the hot glue does not cause a hole in the bottle plastic.
Add red plastic flowers to the container. Remove any centres in the flowers to create an opening in the middle of the plastic petals. Use the hot glue gun to attach the flowers to the container-and-cap assembly so the bottoms of the flowers extend below the bottom of the bottle cap in the assembly.
Fill the soft drink bottle with hummingbird nectar. Attach the bottle-cap assembly and turn the bottle upside down. If there are no air leaks, the container at the bottom will fill but not overflow. The hummingbirds will access the nectar by inserting their beaks through the centres of the red flowers.
Tips and warnings
- A 2-litre soft drink bottle will make a rather heavy hummingbird feeder when full. A 1-litre bottle will require more frequent filling but is easier to handle and will put less stress on the tree branch the feeder hangs on. Replace the nectar at least every week to prevent spoilage.
- Painting the bottle is optional. Add decorative flowers to the bottle to make the feeder more visually pleasing.
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