Introduction: Fly-Through Bird Feeder

About: I enjoy tinkering in my barn with leather work, jewelry, wood, and metal.

This simple bird feeder can be make in less than 2 hours. The fly-through hole adds an additional viewing port for bird watchers. This bird feeder is made from a single piece of cedar fence planking. With a few simple tools you can make a restaurant for your feathered friends. You can source the basic materials for under $5. Cedar is a good choice for this application as it deters insects and stands up well to the elements. I chose to use brass screws more for aesthetics. I decided to leave the wood unfinished to allow it to weather naturally. I you want to paint or seal it, remember to only do so to the exterior and check to make sure the paint or sealant isn't harmful to birds.


Cedar fence plank - 5 1/2" X 6' (I bought mine for ~$3 at the local hardware store.)

1/4" rope approx 6' long

1" screws (16) - I used brass for mine

Step 1: Tools

Miter Saw

Table Saw

Drill press (you could use a hand drill)


Hand drill

2 1/2" hole saw

1/8" drill bit - used for making pilot holes

3/8" drill bit

Corner clamps - (optional, but helpful)

Tape Measure


Step 2: Cutting

There are a total of 7 pieces involve in making this bird feeder.

1) Base - 5 1/4" by 5 1/2"

2) 2 - side walls -9" by 5 1/2" - use the top of the board that is angled as this will be cut to a 45

3) 1 side rails piece -5 1/4" by 5/ 1/2" - This is a single piece that will be ripped on a table saw to 1 1/2" width.

4) 1 roof piece - 7 1/2" by 5 1/2"

5) 1 roof piece - 6 1/2" by 5 1/2" one is 1" shorter to make an even finished product.

Step 3: Side Walls

Once the side walls are cut, the 45 for the roof pitch needs to be cut. Mark the center line of the board (2 3/4" on these). This is the center point for the two 45 degree cuts. Cut both side pieces.

Step 4: Side Rails

The side rail need to be cut down to 1 1/2". Three pieces can be made from a single board, but you will only need 2. Make sure to cut with the grain.

Step 5: Drilling

The side walls need holes drilled for the fly through and the rope. The rope hole is 1" down from the peak on the center line. While the fly through is 2 1/4"" up from the bottom on the center line. Clamp the piece to the drill press to keep it from moving while drilling.

Step 6: Assembly

I bought these clamps awhile ago and have found that for any assembly of a 90 degree corner they work great. The 2 side are clamped to the out side of the base pieces edges. Use the 1/8" drill bit to create pilot holes for the screws as to not split the wood. 2 screws on each side.

Step 7: Side Rails

The side rails should fit nicely in between the walls. Slide them into place drill a single pilot hole on each side and screw them together.

Step 8: Roof Assembly

Taking the narrower of the two roof pieces make if flush it to the edge of the roof peak. There needs to be 1/2" over hang on both edges. Drill pilot holes, these need to be centered within the side walls. The opposite roof piece is secured with the top edge flush to the peak. Now both roof halves should be equal.

Step 9: Adding the Rope

Secure the rope by threading it through the hole from the outside. A simple knot on the inside will hold it in place. Do the same to the opposite side, and you are ready to hang from a suitable tree branch and fill with seed.

Step 10: Finishing Touches

I left the wood unfinished, but feel free to add external embellishments. Just remember to leave the inside unfinished for the safety of your feathered friends.

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