June 08, 2020

DIY Bird Feeder Drop In


By Amanda Sabo

Hello Friends!

Welcome back for this week’s virtual drop in: DIY bird feeders. Last year I purchased a new house, and the previous homeowner was big on birds. His yard was full of the little guys and had plenty of bird feeders for them. Now they’re back wondering what happened to all of their delicious treats. I am also a big fan of birds. I grew up with a parakeet flying around the house. Now I enjoy watching Cardinals and other birds hop around the backyard. For that reason, I wanted to do something special for my feathered friends while using materials I already had at home.

When it comes to bird feeders, there are a couple of things you want to keep in mind. Time of year is important. Since it’s mid-Spring, most little birdies don’t need our help. They’re busy eating bugs and nesting. Young birds should be learning how to find naturally occurring foods rather than eating out of bird feeders. Goldfinches, on the other hand, nest later than other birds and don’t eat bugs, so catering to them is a great idea right now! Sunflower seeds are a preferred snack for Goldfinches.

materials for DIY bird feederMaterials

  • Plastic bottle
  • Two sticks, dowel rods, pencils, or wooden spoons
  • String
  • Birdseed
  • Sharp pair of scissors
  • Pushpin


To make my DIY bird feeder, I followed the below video tutorial by Eco Sapien. You can follow along with them or use our step-by-step instructions.

Before we get started, ensure your plastic bottle has been washed and dried. Then use your pushpin to make a hole on one side of the bottle near the bottom.

Use your scissors to widen the hole by inserting the sharp, closed end of the scissors into the hole created by the pushpin and twisting back and forth.

Repeat steps one and two on the opposite side of the bottle and insert the dowel rod through both holes. This will be where the bird stands to eat the seed.

Next, add two more holes for a second dowel rod. These holes will be made an inch or two higher than the first set and be placed 90 degrees from the first set. If you look at the bottom of the bottle after placing your second dowel rod, you’ll see a cross shape.

Use the pushpin and scissors to make three holes in the bottom of the bird feeder so that any water or moisture has a way to escape.

About four centimeters above each perch, use the pushpin to make another hole and use your scissors to widen it. Using your sharp scissors, you will cut the hole big enough so that birds can access the seeds. If you’re using large seeds like sunflower seeds, you may want a slightly bigger hole. Smaller seeds will call for a smaller hole. Do this for each perch.

At the neck of the bottle, make two more holes using your pushpin and widen with scissors. Thread your string through. This will be how you tie your DIY bird feeder to a tree.

DIY bird feederFinally, add your seed, replace the lid, and hang in a tree! Or dress it up a bit with natural decorations from your yard.

Now that your DIY bird feeder is ready, maybe you want to learn more about the birds you see in your backyard. The Indiana Audubon Society has a page dedicated to backyard birds of Indiana.