Saturday, April 9, 2011

Homemade Hummingbird Feeder

It's a little early for hummingbirds to start showing up in our neck of the woods, but we thought it might not be a bad idea to be ready with a feeder, for their arrival.

Commercially made hummingbird feeders aren't overly expensive, so I imagine we'll pick one up, once we get a chance, but in the meantime, we have a homemade model standing by.

It was easy enough to make. We followed direction from this YouTube video (click the link to go to the video), that called for an empty soda bottle, an empty plastic tub, with a snap on lid, and scissors, nails, hole punches, and such for making holes in the lids. We also added a plastic tie wrap, and twine for hanging.

First, we traced the bottle cap on our plastic tub lid...


...and cut out a hole...


...big enough to slip over the neck of the bottle.


We used the hole punch to add four, small feeding holes to the lid.


And, we punched a hole in the bottle cap, with a hammer, and nail (over a cutting board).


Finally, we secured the tie clip, near the bottom of the pop bottle (we used a Coke Zero bottle, that had a good shape for hooking the tie clip around), and tied our twine to it.


Then, all that was left was to fill the bottle with a solution of 4 parts water (boiled and cooled), to one part sugar, and place on our tub lid...


...screw on the pop bottle cap...


...snap on the tub...


...and flip the whole thing over, ready to hang...


...and we are good to go, in case an early bird arrives, before we make it to the store for a more official (and Man of the House accepted) feeder.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

24 comments:

learning ALL the time!!/Susan said...

It's funny that this very afternoon I saw some hummingbird feeders while we were out shopping, and I thought to myself that we could probably make one :)
Your post is so timely for us!
We won't see any hummingbirds for at least another few weeks here, though...maybe even longer.

Candace @NaturallyEducational said...

I used to have hummingbirds in Texas. I thought about putting a feeder out in our yard here in NY (in the summer) but I'm concerned the sugar water would attract wasps. We went to a hummingbird sanctuary nearby and there were a lot of wasps around the feeders. Any thoughts / tips?

Phyllis said...

I knew you would have to make one!! Great project!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Candace - The Stokes Hummingbird Book suggests putting vaseline around the feeder holes, so wasps can't get a good footing, and won't be able to get to the water - I don't know if it will work, but we will probably try it :)

Joyful Learner said...

A neighbor friend gave us a hummingbird feeder but I think we'll try your version too! It looks like a lot of fun to make.

Sherry said...

I love this! And thanks for the vaseline tip. :)

Christy said...

Even if you buy an official feeder, it's always so much fun to make your own! Yours looks great!

Raising a Happy Child said...

I think the feeder looks pretty neat! Did you make a special syrup for them or just sugared water?

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Natalie - 4 parts water - boiled and cooled - to 1 part sugar. Some people say red food coloring is safe, and will catch the birds' eye, but some say it's not good for them - so we left it out.

Debbie said...

I love your homemade Hummingbird feeder. I have been trying to figure out if we have enough around here to hang a feeder. I did see one last summer and one earlier this month, but that has been it. I don't really see any neighbors around with feeders. I know they have a lot of hummingbirds North of us. I just haven't seen many here at all.

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow said...

Building the feeder got your kids involved - something a store bought one couldn't do :) The excitement on their face when they see the first hummingbird will be priceless!

I'd love for you to come over and play with us today at It's Playtime and link up this post!

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow

jack said...

Hi, the comment about not having enough birds. suggest you put one out. word will spread. we now have humming birds by the dozen, bananaquits, finches have started to use it. Even small tree lizards come in for the condensation running down the sides of the bottle. hours of entertainment.

Anonymous said...

I am definitely going to try to make a version of this with my boys. Thanks for the detailed steps!!

thebirdingbunch.com said...

We had success with our hummingbird feeder for the first time this spring, but wondered if there wasn't a way to make one (or more) with what we might have around the home. That's how I found your site. Your directions were easy to understand and didn't have any of the hard to find doo dads of other homemade feeders.
Thank you and God bless.

thebirdingbunch.com said...

I just wanted to let you know we have success with the new homemade feeder. We used a red Sharpie to color the base of the container completely red and rather than trying to use any string, my husband thought of duct tape.
Here's a couple pictures.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-4l2_DhaJqro/T7vIs27yQ-I/AAAAAAAACm4/LcxuvLehB1g/s533/reuse.jpg
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-icyXgmKc8Sw/T7vIxlM4AxI/AAAAAAAACm4/LU2T4GAXWEA/s600/success.jpg

We learned quickly no hummingbird feeder can go up without an ant trap or moat. We put it up last night and it was taken over by the time we got up. Hummingbirds will tolerate most bugs except ants. We prefer moats because it uses water rather than pesticides.

Anonymous said...

Last year my store bought feeder was enough, but this year they multiplied. I couldn't keep up with refilling their nectur when I would leave town for a couple of days. This homemade feeder was easy and fun, it was just what I needed. Instead of hanging it, I put it on a pedestal, with a bowl of water under it as a moat.

Anonymous said...

We just made 2 of these this morning but the nectar came out the holes in the red lid. I wonder what we did wrong and if there's a solution to our problem. They turned out really nice. I added red flowers to the bottle.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Anonymous - So it filled the tub and overflowed out the top of the lid?

Anonymous said...

If you make the whole in the cap too large it will do this. Try another cap, and make the hole smaller. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the DIY treat...see my Pinterest board Wild Life to see what I caught on camera! I think your kids wil love it!
http://pinterest.com/pin/540502392749847566/

Sharon

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Sharon - Great shot!

Anonymous said...

We have three store-bought feeders, but at the end of the season they were swamped with birds, so I came online to see if I could make a fourth one here at home. Your website popped up and it happened I had all the ingredients on hand, so I made one in about 10 minutes, hung it out, and within a few minutes the hummers were eating from it. Your directions are better than those on the YouTube video. Thanks a bunch!!

Lynn Reedy said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have several store bought feeders some are pricey. Our little hummers arrived a few days ago and we hung out 3 of the store bought feeders came back in the house and each feeder the hummingbird went to the stopper fell out and the feed went all over the porch. Like we don't battle ants enough. This will be grea for the little one to help Mae also and maybe even a little decorating. Thanks again for sharing !!

Mandi Milone said...

I just made one and it spilled out through the holes on the lid.. big big mess :( I will try it again with a smaller hole in the cap. please note this for others.