This easy homemade bird feeder uses just four items to create an instantly usable bird feeder that many birds and other wildlife love. If you have small children at home, this is also a great winter-day craft, something to do when you have a few minutes and a few stale bagels around.
What? Bagels never get stale in your home? Ha, they don’t get stale here either – we’re too busy eating them! But you can find stale bagels on the “thrift” (i.e., stale products) shelf at the grocery store or Wal-Mart. You may also want to ask at the local bakery or bagel store if they have any stale bagels they’re throwing out. Just be sure to tell them it’s for an arts and crafts project and not for dinner and they’ll probably give them to you, or give them to you at a discount!
Feeding Backyard Birds
You can feed wild birds at any time during the year. It’s a myth that feeding birds during the spring and summer months will make them dependent on a feeder for food. Wild birds have evolved for many thousands of years with a strong survival sense, and they’ll seek seeds elsewhere if your feeder is empty.
In the meantime, however, a full feeder attracts beautiful, colorful wild birds to the garden. I love watching birds from my kitchen window. The backyard bird feeder is positioned so that from my seat at the kitchen table, I can watch the birds fly from the peach tree in the yard to the feeder hanging from the fence around the vegetable garden. During the summer months, hummingbirds frequently visit the gladiolus flowers growing against my house under the kitchen windows, and other birds like to use the backyard fountain near my patio for a little bird bath. There’s always something to see from the kitchen table!
When you make this bird feeder with your children, not only will they complete an enjoyable craft project, but you may also encourage in them an appreciation for wildlife and nature. Once they hang up their own bird feeder – one they made all by themselves – they’ll be excited to see which wildlife visits it!
Make Your Own Bird Feeder: Easy Homemade Bird Feeder
To make this homemade bird feeder, you will need just four items:
- A stale bagel, cut in half so that it is flat on both sides.
- About 1 cup of wild bird seed
- 2 tablespoons of smooth or chunky peanut butter
- String or ribbon
You’ll also need newspapers to protect your table and a plate and knife. Parents should cut the bagel in half and determine what kids can use to spread peanut butter – a spoon or a butter knife works fine.
Spread the newspapers over your work surface. Place the bird seed on the plate and set aside. Take the string, ribbon or yarn, and cut a piece about 1 foot in length. Run the end of the string through the hole in the middle of the bagel and tie it around the bagel. Next, spread the flat surface of the bagel with peanut butter. Then smoosh the peanut butter side into the bird seed, making sure to coat it as evenly as possible. With a parent’s help, use the string or yarn to hang the bagel seed feeder up in a tree in your yard. Instant bird feeder!
Don’t be surprised if squirrels find your bird feeder, too. They may enjoy a taste of stale bagel. Birds will peck off the seed and perhaps the peanut butter, then work their way down to the bagel itself.
This and other information to help you enjoy backyard bird feeding is included in my ebook, and paper back book, Attract Birds to Your Garden. The ebook is just 99 cents and available to download in your choice of formats from Smashwords or Amazon. Paperback is available from Amazon. Enjoy!
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Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.