Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Homemade Birdfeeder

I love this feeder. This bird feeder was a gift this Christmas from my mom. She got it at a local (to her) craft fair.

Apparently the woman who made it was just trying to find something to do with the metal bottlecaps she had from juice (or tea) bottles. She cut the triangle from a piece of scrap wood, nailed the caps to it and added a few dowels for perches. A quick paint job, a piece of string, and voila! I love it when people use scraps and create something totally useful!

I put this out for the first time this morning. I haven't had anything to put on the caps for food, but yesterday I purchased some peanut butter spread:

Normally I don't promote these things because they are pretty expensive. One could easily make up a batch for a fraction of the cost (it's just rendered beef suet, peanut butter, and I think cornmeal), but I was feeling lazy and just bought the tub. It's pretty soft (like peanut butter - imagine that) and spreads easily.

None of the birds flocked to it this morning before I left for work. I'll check it out when I get home tonight (it'll still be light!) and see if anyone was brave enough to approach this new and strange thing hanging in the tree.


  1. I love the feeder and like you like to re-purpose things. Let us know how it works. I am about to run out of suet and bird seed. What is a good alternative? I have crunchy peanut butter will that do?

    By now you should have some more snow. We ran out of places to put it down here in WV so decided to blow it up your way. Enjoy.

  2. Twenty-four hours later, not a single bird had tried it. That could partially be because it wasn't on a particularly stable twig of the tree and when I got home last night I found it bowed way down. I moved it to a thicker branch - maybe that will help.

    The birds seem to like anything peanutty, so crunchy would be find. Mix with cornmeal (makes it less sticky for the birds) and some bacon drippings or melted suet, or lard, and stick it outside.

    It's only just started to snow here in hte last five minutes or so. We aren't expecting much - maybe an inch or so. It makes shovelling easier (no kidding, eh?), but without a decent snowpack up here, we can look forward to another year of drought. It may have seemed to folks that it rained all last summer, but while many days were damp, it didn't add up to much accumulation-wise.

  3. Thanks I will give it a try.

    I just noticed that Mourning Doves eat sunflower seed whole and don't crack them open like Cardinals. No wonder their bellies are so big.

  4. Julie Zickefoose has an official recipe here for suet dough, but like you Ellen, I just mix bacon drippings, cornmeal (or polenta), and peanut butter-- they like it better than the store mix! Usually I throw in sunflower seeds (whole) and some chicken scratch (cracked corn, millet, milo, etc), and then the challenge is to keep the starlings and magpies off it long enough for the woodpeckers and flickers to get some.

    I like this idea of buttering it on bark; have thought of that to give the latter a chance, but haven't tried it much. Maybe if I put it on the undersides of branches, the jays wouldn't bother it so much.

  5. Total non sequitur to the post, but I just discovered that they do still do ice harvesting at BLNC...