Materials to Use in Building Bird Feeders

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Materials to Use in Building Bird Feeders
A wood hopper feeder keeps a reservoir of seed handy. (bird feeder image by Miroslav Beneda from Fotolia.com)

Bird feeders are hung from house structures or mounted on posts, and they feed the birds in your yard. Bird feeders feed the local and migratory birds when food is scarce and they also bring more birds to your yard. While it is possible to purchase bird feeders, it is also possible to make your own. Consider the materials that you need to make a simple bird feeder for your own yard.

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Wood

Several different types of bird feeder may be made out of wood. For example, use a sheet of plywood that is lined with a shallow border to make a tray feeder, where the seed is spread on a thin layer on the tray and the birds perch on the tray. Alternately, use wood to make a hopper feeder, where clear plastic sheeting holds a reserve of seed that the birds access through a gap in the bottom.

Mesh

Sew a fine mesh fabric, available at any fabric store, into a tube and sew one end closed. Fill the mesh tube with thistle seed. This creates a finch sock, also known as a thistle sock, designed to hold the very small seeds of thistle, also called niger. Only birds that are able to fit their beaks through the mesh can get at the seed. This keeps larger birds away from the feeder and allows the smaller birds to acquire food as well. This type of feeder is especially attracts small birds like finches.

Suet

Suet feeders are lumps of birdseed held together with raw beef or mutton fat. To make a suet feeder, melt raw suet in a skillet and allow it to cool slightly before mixing it with sunflower seeds, millet, chopped dried fruit and crumbled crackers. Then pour the mixture into a mould or shape it into a block or a sphere. After the suet has set, push a length of wire through it, shaping the loose end into a hook by which you can hang the feeder.

Pine Cones

Use pine cones to make bird feeders. Collect pine cones and tie a length of yarn around the top seeds, allowing you to hang the pine cone when you are done. Coat the pine cone with peanut butter and roll it in birdseed, covering the pine cone completely. Then hang the pine cone outdoors and watch the birds come to pluck the seeds out of the pine cone. This is an enjoyable project to do with children.

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