Rustic Garden Bird Feeder

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Introduction: Rustic Garden Bird Feeder

Here is a great way to attract a variety of birds to your garden! This rustic garden bird feeder will be visited by both tree clinging and perching birds. The combination of suet and seeds makes this feeder quite versatile.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Materials

  • A 12" to 18" long log with a diameter of about 3" to 4".
  • Four, 7" long sticks with a 3/4" diameter.
  • One, 8" long stick with a 1/2" diameter.
  • Two, 3 3/4" long sticks with a 1/2".
  • A 9" x 9" piece of aluminum window screen.
  • Eleven 1 1/4" screws or nails (I mostly used screws).
  • Eight 1/2" brad nails.
  • Eye hook. (I used a 1 3/8" long eye hook).
  • Some sort of durable cord to hang the feeder.
  • Wild birdseed and suet (step 5 shows instructions for homemade suet).

Tools

  • Saw.
  • Snips for cutting screen.
  • Screw gun, and/or hammer.
  • Drill.
  • 1/8" drill bit (for pilot holes).
  • 7/8" drill bit.
  • Pen or pencil.
  • Ruler.

Step 2: Making the Tray

Drill a pilot hole through each of the 7" sticks (3/8" away from one end). On the other end drill a pilot hole into the center of the cut end. Now lay the four sticks in a square and screw them together.

Fold over a 1/4" on each edge of the screen square to make it less sharp. Then use the brad nails to attach the screen to the stick frame. (Tip: once the nails are mostly hammered in, you can bend over the heads to secure the screen more firmly and not let the heads slip through).

Next, drill pilot holes and nail (or screw) the 8" stick across the square frame on the side with the screen. Then nail (or screw) the two 3 3/4" sticks to the opposite sides from the 8" stick, forming a cross. This will form the bottom of the feeder.

Step 3: Drilling the Holes for the Suet

Using the 7/8" drill bit, drill about 6 holes randomly spaced around the log. The holes should be a little less than an inch deep.

Step 4: Assembling the Feeder

Once the holes are drilled in the log and the tray for the bottom is assembled, you can attach the tray to the log. Drill pilot holes in the sticks that cross at the middle of the tray. Then screw the tray to the bottom of the log with the screen in between the crossed stick and the log. On the top of the log screw in the eye hook. The feeder is now ready to be hung!

Step 5: Homemade Suet

You can buy suet to put in the holes, or you can easily make your own.

Here is the recipe that I used:

  • 1/2 cup shortening (I used margarine).
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter.
  • 1 heaping cup wild birdseed.
  • 1/3 cup quick oats.
  • 8 tsp. cornmeal.

Blend the shortening and the peanut butter in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix together. You should end up with a stiff chunky mash.

Note: Suet can spoil and go ransid in warm weather (above 50ºF). To keep the birds safe, hang the feeder in a shaded area and only put out as much suet as the birds can eat in a day or two.

Step 6: Watch for Birds!

Fill the holes with suet, and fill the tray with wild birdseed. Within a few minutes of hanging up my feeder, a pair of black-capped chickadees flew down and started eating! The next day I saw nuthatches, black-capped chickadees, tufted titmice, cowbirds, and a downy woodpecker. I hope you enjoy your feeder as much as I've enjoyed mine!

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    16 Comments

    0
    Chrisball777
    Chrisball777

    1 year ago on Step 6

    New homeowner so this is in my plans. Question, if the mixture goes bad in 2 days how are you cleaning out the holes? Do you make new batch each time or can it be refrigerated. Feeder looks amazing!!

    0
    Garbanzo21
    Garbanzo21

    Reply 1 year ago

    The suet can definitely be refrigerated. So far the birds have eaten all the suet within two days, so I have not had to clean it out, but you could easily scrape it out with a stick or some other tool. Good luck with your new home!

    0
    spark master
    spark master

    Reply 1 year ago

    Most wild animals will not care, but as a winter feeder this is fine. The harder the fat at room temp, the better. If you make roast pork that make a lot of fat, or have a lot of bacon fat, use that as well. A huge squirrel cap above the feeder will deter cute rats (squirrels). So will an air rifle, but your local ordinance may have issues and you could have legal issues..

    Another thing that will deter most squirrels is put the hottest pepper oil and powdered peppers in the fat mixture. We had premixed seed with pepper powder added to it. It generally took 3 exposures before the squirrels got the idea.

    BIRDS DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE HEAT.

    Not sure try some holes wit and some wit out, (kinda provolone of cheeze whizz on you Philly Cheeze Steak)!

    Great simple project no CNC or 3D printers needed. Plus those birds will also eat LOTSA bugs in the yard. Small birds just LOVE TICKS, they are so juicy, or so I was told.

    In the winter I think I will make one and just do the lard and pepper. I have 2 feeders so this can wait for me.

    So go out and feed the boids.

    0
    Mindyourstep
    Mindyourstep

    1 year ago

    I made this with young step son. It was a very good learning experience for him in the workshop and a wonderful addition to our garden. Thank you

    0
    DullKole
    DullKole

    1 year ago

    Very nice! Will absolutely make one of these soon (If I can get my lazy butt to the workshop, haha).

    0
    tanvirnabi
    tanvirnabi

    1 year ago

    How lovely it is to see bird house ! It is perfect to make a bird house in the garden to look the whole area more natural. I love it. Making bird house in the garden is my next planning. Your tips and technique would be a great help for me to make one. Thanks.

    0
    snowf7
    snowf7

    1 year ago

    What a great way to use windfall trees. I have seen bird houses made from branches in a log cabin style. These would look great together. Now I know what I can do with my extra bits of branches.

    0
    Garbanzo21
    Garbanzo21

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes, something good can come out of a windstorm!

    0
    Macaroni00
    Macaroni00

    1 year ago

    Wow. Really great job. It is incredible that all those birds showed up already. Looks beautiful and a wonderful addition to the garden.

    0
    Garbanzo21
    Garbanzo21

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks! You should try making one ;)

    0
    Macaroni00
    Macaroni00

    Reply 1 year ago

    Maybe I will. How long before the birds came to it?

    0
    Macaroni00
    Macaroni00

    Reply 1 year ago

    My mistake... you told us how long....can't believe they came so quickly. And so many varieties. I love the pictures of them on the feeder.

    0
    ClayBall
    ClayBall

    1 year ago

    Great Idea
    I have several kinds of bird feeders. I think I will add this one. I have over 20 different kinds of birds during the summer. Some stay all year

    0
    Garbanzo21
    Garbanzo21

    Reply 1 year ago

    Nice!

    0
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    1 year ago

    They really look like they love it. Great job :D

    0
    Garbanzo21
    Garbanzo21

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks! I can't believe how many different birds have come to it!