Do it yourself: Bird feeders!

RSPB Scotland’s Allie McGregor shares 3 approaches to a DIY bird feeder.

Do it yourself: Bird feeders!

So you’re stuck at home, and you fancy getting your hands dirty, maybe trying some fun new DIY. You also want to get to know the local bird life better (because everyone does, right? That’s not just me...). I have the perfect project for you; A DIY bird feeder made out of bits and pieces you might already have around the house.

Here are 3 different ways you can make a bird feeder at home...

bird at bottle feeder

With an apple Apple

Some of us might have got a little overzealous with the fruit shopping, and can’t actually consume quite that many apples between our essential shops. Luckily, the extra apples will now come in handy for our brand new bird feeder!

What you will need is an apple, a corer, sunflower seeds, some thin sticks and string.

apple with seeds and sticks in it
My 'in progress' apple feeders

Remove the core of the apple, stick the sunflower seeds in on the top, and push the sticks through the bottom of the apple to make perches for hungry birds. Tie your string to one of the sticks and thread it through the middle so you can hang your feeder!

Recycle a plastic bottle 

This is a super fun way to recycle a plastic bottle, especially if your recycling isn’t being regularly collected at the moment. Be extra careful with this one - it took me a few goes to get cutting the holes just right!

For this feeder you will need an empty plastic bottle, some scissors (like I said, be careful!), string, a pencil and bird seed. If you don’t have birdseed pre-prepared you can find what sorts of seeds and nuts are safe here.

bird seed and bottle
Pouring bird seed into my bottle feeder.

Make sure to make a couple of small pin-size holes in the base of the bottle so any water can drain out. Next, make a couple of holes either side of the bottle that you can fit your pencil through. Cut a small flap above each of these holes so the birds can get to the seeds.Then, most importantly, fill your bottle up with birdseed! (For me this is the moment I realised I might want to use a smaller bottle if I wanted any bird seed left!).

Hang the bottle by tying some string around the top - don’t forget to put the lid back on!

Upcycle your toilet paper roll 

A very on-trend approach for our times - why not bring some new life to your loo roll!

For this one you need a cardboard roll - it can also come from something like a paper towel roll or cling film - a couple of sticks or skewers, some suet, birdseed and string.

seeds and loo roll

Making a mess.

Make four holes around the base of the tube which line up with each other to put your sticks through. Line up two small holes on the other end for your string. Lather up the roll in suet with a knife (be careful!) or a spatula - lard also works.

Then you can roll the tube in birdseed so it’s all covered up, put your sticks through and your string on the other end, and go hang it up!

I hope you have a lot of fun giving these a go, and make less of a mess than I did! I would love to hear what birds visit your feeders in the comments.