Do it yourself: Easy homemade bird feeders

Follow these easy instructions for making homemade birdfeeders. Included are directions for a decorative three-tiered feeder and a simple platform design.

If you like feeding backyard birds you’ll love this easy-to-make three-tiered birdfeeder. Its unique style and practical design will help make your yard a favorite haven for wild birds.

To make a simple three-tiered feeder you will need 5 inch, 8 inch, and 10 inch round baking pans, a 36-inch decorative wooden spindle, an electric drill and bits, a 2-inch wooden ball, a decorative wooden ornament and finial, outdoor acrylic spray paint, acrylic enamel craft paint, clear acrylic sealer, a small paintbrush, an eye screw, 4 double-end dowel screws, an “S” hook, a chain, a small piece of wire, a saw, and pliers.

Cut the wooden spindle so you have a section that is 8 inches in length and another that is 12 inches in length. Drill a tiny hole in the center of both ends of each spindle, in both ends of the finial, in opposite ends of the wooden ornament, and in the center of each pan. Also, drill a couple of drainage holes in the bottom of each pan.

Do it yourself: Easy homemade bird feeders

Paint each piece with outdoor acrylic spray paint of your choice. Allow the pieces to dry, and finish them by painting on designs or graphics of your choice. When they have dried, give all the painted parts a coat or two of clear acrylic sealer.

Start assembling the birdfeeder by attaching an eye screw to the top of the finial and to the top of the wooden ornament. Place the finial over the hole of the smallest pan. With the pan in the middle, attach the shortest spindle to the finial. Attach a double-end dowel screw to the end of the short spindle. Place the 8-inch pan on the short spindle, and attach the longer spindle with the pan in between. Attach another double-end dowel screw to the end of the long spindle. Attach the wooden ball by screwing it on with the largest pan in between. Attach another double-end dowel screw to the other end of the wooden ball. Attach the wooden ornament to the eye screw using a small piece of wire. Lastly, attach an “S” hook to the eye screw on top of the finial, and hang the feeder on a chain.

Place the feeder in an area where you’ll be able to observe the activity. Fill each tier with a different type of feed. It’s fun to see what kinds of birds are attracted to specific types of food.

A simple platform-style birdfeeder can be made using scraps of wood left over from other projects. To make this basic birdfeeder you will need a 12 inch by 12 inch piece of ½ inch thick wood, 4 wood strips that are 4 inches by 12 inches, an electric drill and bits, small finishing nails, eight 1 inch wood screws, and wood glue.

Begin by drilling one small pilot hole at the bottom end of 2 strips of wood. On the other 2 strips, drill a pilot hole at the top of each end. Apply wood glue to two opposite sides of the platform. Using a screwdriver or electric drill, attach the sides to the platform using wood screws. Spread wood glue on the edges of the last two wood strips, and screw them to the ends of the first two sides. Drill 4 small pilot holes across the bottom of the sides. Reinforce each side with small finishing nails. Allow the glue to dry, and protect the platform feeder by giving it a coat of exterior wood sealer.

Mount the feeder on a 4-inch by 4-inch wooden post. If squirrels or other fur-bearing creatures are a problem in your area, mount the feeder using a metal pole and mounting hardware. Place it at least 10 feet away from trees or structures. Also make a baffle by drilling a hole in a large pie pan. Attach the baffle to the pole about a foot below the feeder. Grease the pole with a little petroleum jelly, and squirrels and other creatures should no longer be a problem.

Fill the feeder with a mixture of seed, and feathered guests will soon arrive. Don’t be surprised if it takes a few days before birds dine at your new feeders. They are often timid around new feeders, and will observe it them for a while before stopping for a meal.

Keep your feeders free of harmful mold and bacteria by cleaning them at least once a month. Salmonella and other germs can grow in feeders containing wet and moldy seeds and droppings.

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