I recently conducted 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
But - this class is all about creating bird-feeders and I've been trying a few DIY feeders I've found on the Internet. Here's the link of the inspiration for this fun feeder: Michelob Bird feeder
The hardest part of this DIY feeder was learning how to drill a hole in a glass bottle...
Here's the steps in a nutshell:
- Start with a diamond drill bit. We purchased one that's a little less than a 1/2 inch diameter. It works well for small seeds such as sunflower chips or safflower, but it's a little too small for sunflower seeds.
- The drill needs to stay lubricated with water so either have the bottle somehow submerged in water or have someone spray water at the bit during the drilling.
- Start drilling at a 45° angle (have the drill on and go toward the glass--don't put the drill bit on the glass and then start the drill).
- Slowly move the bit to a 90° angle. Avoid applying pressure (you're grinding or chipping away at the glass, not drilling).
- Continue to spray water on the bit and stop a few times and clean the area off and apply more water.
- It's a slow process... When you're close to the end, slow the speed of the drill down and mentally remember to go up with the drill and not push the drill through the bottle. ( I did that a few times and the bottle shatters). ~ Remember to wear protective eye glasses...
|American Goldfinch ~ Cardinal waiting his turn...|
Once the holes are drilled (one on each side), use epoxy to attach a plate or saucer to the bottom. To hang the bottle I wrapped a piece of 8 gauge copper wire around the top. A couple of the bottles had hinged stopper lids which made it even easier to add a wire to hang.
The blue bottle with the hinged top I found at the recycle center is Redstone Meadery Juniper Honey Wine. The clear bottle is a Lemonade bottle and The Winking Owl wine bottle was also from the recycle center - but I could have purchased it for less than $3.00 a bottle!
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