The other day I came across a video on the internet of a hummingbird feeding bar.
I immediately thought that was a clever idea.
Upon searching for hummingbird bar, I came across these nifty ones from Perky-Pet: http://www.birdfeeders.com/perky-pet-hummerbar-hum...
Their feeders cost $19.99 and $29.99.
Cool looking, but too expensive. I decided to make my own and I am very happy with the results.
This Instructables explains how I made my 2 x 24" feeding bars (but you may choose to make 1 x 48" bar instead) for ONLY $12.60.
Step 1: Materials Needed and Cost
- 4 ft. Fluorescent Tube Protector ($3.47)
- Epoxy putty ($5.77)
- 4 x 15/16" (#212) Screw Eyes ($1.18 for 8)
- Red Nail Polish ($1.00)
- 2 x Small S hooks ($1.18)
- String (free)
- Cork (free)
Total Cost: $12.60
- Rotary tool with cut-off wheel or Hack Saw
- Wide boxing tape or Saran Wrap
- Hole Saw
- Old soldering iron (optional)
- Sharpie pen
Step 2: Seal the Ends
The tube protector comes with black stoppers on each end.
Tape the holes of those stoppers from the outside, then epoxy the inside. Let it set then wash the inside really well a couple of times.
NOTE: Since each tube protector comes with 2 stoppers, you will not be able to use the 2 x 24" tubes simultaneously unless you procure 2 extra stoppers. I am alternating my tubes.
Step 3: Marking the Hole Spots
This is the most intricate part of the whole project.
Fill the tube with water almost to the top. Cap it and lay it flat on a level surface. Leave enough air inside for the buble to spread all the way across the tube. The water level will be used to determine where the flower holes will be drilled.
Stabilize the tube so it won't roll. Looking from the side, the water level should be 4/5 of the way up the tube. The 2 flower rows should be about 1" apart (measured on top following the contour of the tube). Adjust the volume of water inside if needed.
Find the top center of the tube (the equal distance between the ends of the tube and the rows of flowers) and mark an X with a Sharpie pen. That spot will be where you fill the tube.
Mark the mid point of the water line on both rows of flowers with dots. Starting on the water line dots you just created, measure every 1.5 inches on each direction on both sides.
Once both rows are dotted, roll the tube to align the top center X to the water line. Measure 1" from each end of the tube and mark that spot on the water line. Those marks will be where you hang your feeder from.
Step 4: Make Feeding Holes
Now that you have a tube with 2 rows of leveled dots about 1.5" apart and X markings on the top center and ends of the tube, it is time to start creating the holes.
I created my feeding holes using an old soldering iron (easier) but you can achieve the same result using a drill. The holes should be around size 3/32. Make holes on each dot you created. For 24" tubes, that will be 24 feeding holes.
NOTE: Skip the center dots and end dots of both rows.
Step 5: Make Filling Hole
Using a hole saw roughly the same diameter as the cork, make a hole where the top center X is. The cork should fit snug but does not need to seal. The only purpose of the cork is to keep animals out of your sugar water.
Step 6: Make Hanging Holes
Using a small drill bit, make pilot holes where the top end marks are. Screw in a screw eye on each side. Make sure each side goes in roughly the same depth into the tube.
Using the epoxy putty, cover the point of the screw inside the tube. That will make it safer for cleaning and prevent the screw to rust.
Step 7: Paint the Flowers On
Paint each feeding hole with a red flower using the nail polish.
The easiest way I found to do this is to make an asterisk using the hole as the center.
You may need to do 2 or 3 coats of nail polish until the color is a vibrant red.
NOTE: There are other ways of doing this... red stickers, red wire connectors, etc. The key here is durability, easiness to clean, and the color RED!
Step 8: Hang and Fill
Next step is to hang your feeder. It needs to be as level as possible. Use the level to accomplish that.
I hung mine with screw eyes attached to the ceiling. The screws are about 26 inches apart. That helps to stabilize the back and forth movement of the bar in case of strong winds.
I used fishing line to dangle the bar to about 6.5 feet high. S hooks make it easier to hang and remove the feeder for cleaning (every 3 days or so around here... it varies with the ambient temperature. Warmer climates require more frequent cleaning). Use a bottle brush to clean the inside of the feeder.
Once your feeding bar is hung, add your HOMEMADE "nectar" through the filling hole. A funnel makes that task easier. Cork the filling hole.
NECTAR RECIPE: 1 part white granulated cane sugar dissolved in 4 parts of drinking water. Mix the 2 ingredients then heat it up to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and let it cool completely before adding to the feeder.
IMPORTANT: Do not use the ready to use red nectar sold in stores. Do not add food coloring to your homemade nectar.