Simplest Bird Feeder




Introduction: Simplest Bird Feeder

About: Teaching student, biking enthusiast and I love to reuse things, much to my wife's chagrin at times...

This project takes about 30 minutes, only uses common household waste, and requires only basic skills. At the end, you will have a bird feeder and become a friend to the birds in your neighborhood.

Step 1: Bill of Materials

You will need the following materials:
2 liter soda bottle (other sizes work well also, but 2L is a good volume to hold seed)
1 gallon or 1/2 gallon plastic milk jug
~9 feet of hanging material (I used a bike tube because it was handy, string, wire or others will work)

You will need the following tools, or suitable replacements:
Scissors (should be heavy duty enough to cut plastic bottles)
Awl (or other hole-punching tool)

Step 2: Preparing Bottles

Soda Bottle:
Cut the bottom two inches of the soda bottle off, then cut four slits around the rim of the top piece so that the bottom can be placed back on, over the top (see assembly pictures). Then cut four small holes/slots in the top of the bottle for the seed to come out.

Milk Jug:
Cut the top of the jug off at the shoulders (where the sides start to slope up to the spout), leaving slightly more of the handle for something to hold on to. Next, poke three holes around the new jug piece, evenly spaced, not too close to the edge. Make sure your holes are going to be small enough to hold the hanging pieces from slipping through.

Bike Tube:
If you are using a bike tube, cut out a length about 3 feet long, then cut it open so you have a long rectangle of rubber. Now cut three strips down the entire length, about 1/4 inch wide. You will use these to hang the feeder.

Step 3: Assembly of Feeder

Attach the bottom of the soda bottle back on to the top (this will be the lid that you open to add bird seed). Don't put the two soda bottle pieces together too tightly, just enough so that a bird, squirrel, or strong wind won't easily open it.

Now poke the rubber strips through the holes in the milk jug and tie a fat knot on the other side (when using rubber, almost any knot should be fat enough, just make sure it will hold). Slide the milk jug piece over the cap of the bottle (the bottle and jug I used fit perfectly, but if yours is a little bit loose, you might need to fill the space with something to keep the seed from falling out).

In order to keep the feeder from flopping over, you will need to tighten the strips on it by tying a small ring of rubber around the three lines to cleave them together. To fill/refill the feeder, this ring will simply slide up and allow you to open it.

Step 4: Install Feeder!

Fill the soda bottle with bird food (available at many supermarkets for not too much $), find a hook, ledge, or tree branch and hang the feeder upon it. Preferably, this hanging spot will be in a visible spot (out a window), and easily accessible to birds and you (for refilling purposes) but not squirrels (they will eat from it no matter what...). Then wait for birds to come! Nice job on a project well done.

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    I have a spool of speaker wire which I am going to use instead of the bike tube which I don't have. I'll use bamboo skewers (for the grill) to put in the sides as perches, since the birds that have been coming to my window (I have parrots and I can only assume that is why they are doing so) are very small and the skewers will be perfect sizes for them to sit on. I do have all these ingredients and I can hang this right outside 2 windows in my sewing room. Thank you for this great simple feeder, I can't go out and get supplies due to disability and lack of funds so this will work great for me. I love birds and will use my leftover bird food from my parrots (checked with a vet to be sure it was okay) supplemented with wild bird food to feed them.


    11 years ago on Step 3

    Would this work? at end of assembly, how about sliding a washer (1/2" inner dia) down your 3 rubber strips to sinch them together. Then just slide the washer up to free the bottle for refilling? Love your Instructable -- good one!

    Capt. Fat
    Capt. Fat

    11 years ago on Introduction

    would this be good for sparrows and robins? My father want's a bird feeder for outside the house for small birds in a Newfoundland climate.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, but at this point I can safely say it needs further refinement, at least for southern California birds. I never saw one on it, presumably because there is not a good enough roosting spot.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Cool. We just made a load of these with our Cub pack, except the other way up (the extra piece was a lid), and with skewers through the side to act as perches. What have you had on your feeder since you made it?


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Well, this is actually an experimental build, as this is the prototype. I just had the idea and saw it come together suddenly in the kitchen. I put it up yesterday as it was getting dark and today it rained, so no visitors to report yet, but I will try to update as the feeder's success is proved or disproved. Perches are something that I might need to add, if the milk jug lip is not sufficient for perching...