Friday, 18 January 2013

sNo fun for birds...a timely DIY bird feeder

The youngest two were standing by the door in full snow kit by 7 this morning. Just shows what's possible when they're keen! And they were so excited; jiggling up and down with anticipation, thinking snow balls, sledging and NO school.
I was thinking snowed in, husband away...and no school. What an old misery.
But I had a plan for my three almost eager little helpers - once they'd had their fill of snow.


I've been meaning to make bird feeders for ages. We used to have a bird table, but it slowly rotted away, and we haven't replaced it because of the cat. There are other ways: higher, hopefully safer ways, and feeders seem to be a better option with a cat prowling about. Nothing's going to be perfect, still it's got to be worth the risk in this kind of weather.

All you'll need is an empty plastic bottle, some string, a few sticks, scissors (I found small, sharp nail scissors were best) and bird food.


Make two small holes opposite each other near the bottom of the bottle, and push a stick through to make a perch. Repeat this, so the second stick goes in slightly above the first.


Next cut a small hole (no more than 3/4cm wide - too big and the seeds will fall out) about 4cm above each perch. I found the best way to do this is to pierce the bottle with the scissors, and then twist a stick around in the hole, until it's the right size.


Poke a hole either side of the bottleneck, and thread some string through (a longish darning needle helped with this bit) and tie the ends together.


Take the cap off and use a funnel to fill the bottle.


I did a little googling to find out where cat owners put their bird feeders. Top tips seem to be washing lines, weak branches and generally making the area under or around them less cat conducive with the odd prickly plant.  So we put one on a line between the apple trees, and the other on a high, spindly branch above a holly bush.


The birds were a little tentative to begin with....


...but it wasn't long before we had our first taker!


18 comments:

  1. what a great idea - bet the birds love it. We were out bright and early in the snow too today!

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    1. In the end my lot weren't outside that long - I think the snow lost a little of its magic when they got wet and cold!

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  2. Brilliant! Can't forget the birds in that kind of weather! My children are very jealous of the no school thing, not much chance of that happening here! :D

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    1. We're a bit useless here in the UK when it snows aren't we! So much disruption, even when we know it's coming.
      Our house isn't that far from the main road, but the lane's steep and doesn't get cleared. Safer to stay put!

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  3. A great idea as it keeps the food out of the snow too and gives somewhere to perch on while eating :)

    Found via Country Kids x

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    1. Thank you! We've had quite a few visitors today :)

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  4. an't quite work out if your daughter is laughing or crying on the sledge photo at the top!the snow is amazing but soon is not as fun when you get cold and wet, I love your bird feeders tho and the photos you got of the birds are lovely

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    1. Thanks Sarah :) I took the sledging pic early on when she was still smiling...and before she got snow in her boots!

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  5. How funny that we should both be thinking of the birds. I love your bottle feeder too and the little Robin who clearly appreciates what you have left out. A little snow envy too as our sledge is still hung up in the shed in waiting! Thank you for joining in with Country Kids.

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    1. Hadn't realised the snow hasn't reached you - sorry there's been no sledging, but a little envious of snow/slush free roads!
      The homemade seed cakes are a great idea - we're going to give them a go next :)

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  6. We don't have any trees in our garden but I'm sure we could find somewhere to hang a great little home-made bird feeder. I love your wooden sledge too (Popping over from Country Kids)

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    1. The sledge is lovely isn't it - it was a present from their nanny and this was its first outing!

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  7. Your poor little robin looks eager to try out your bird feeder. We will have to try this as it is the RSPB Garden BirdWatch this weekend and it will be a good way to encourage birds into the garden. Just popping over from the Country Kids linky x

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    1. It's been up for a few days now, and there are definitely more birds visiting which is great x

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  8. Did you place that robin there? He looks well pleased with his feeder find. And your children look like they're loving the sledge. Popping over from Country Kids.

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