Thursday, December 20, 2012

DIY Winter Wreath Bird-Feeder

I'm preparing a class for the Master Gardener chapter that I'm a member of on making bird-feeders utilizing natural sources, recycled materials and re-purposed items. Of course the best bird-feeder is what nature provides: nuts, seeds and fruit from native trees, shrubs and wildflowers (and native insects)... Here's my hand-out for my "bird" talk I give:  Creating a Bird Garden

A couple of Tufted Titmice ♥
But - this class is all about creating bird-feeders and I've been trying a few DIY feeders I've found over the Internet. This feeder I especially like because it's cheap ($3.50) and it provides a variety of food sources: birdseed, suet and natural seeds/berries. Here's the link to the original: Winter Wreath Bird Feeder

Supplies:

  • Grapevine wreath - $2.50 (Wal-Mart)
  • Splatter guard - $1.00 (Dollar Store)
  • Jute (minimal cost)
  • Suet (minimal cost - made my own)
  • Cuttings from trees and shrubs; pine-cone (free)







How-to:

Cut three pieces of jute about 50" in length. Divide the splatter guard into thirds. Make three small holes through the screen and connect the splatter guard to the wreath with the jute (the screen will hold birdseed in the finished feeder). I did end up spray painting the edge of the splatter guard brown because the shiny silver was annoyingly obvious. 


Bring the three strings up and tie into a loop. Braid the remaining string and tie another loop (which will hold the pine-cone).






Tuck cuttings from native trees and shrubs into the wreath. I used American hollywinterberrychokecherry, and red cedar. The cuttings can change with the season: native grasses, seed-heads from wildflowers, sunflowers, etc...

Hang a suet coated pine-cone in the center of the feeder - hang the feeder - watch the action!

Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse - Male Downy Woodpecker



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