But - this class was all about creating bird-feeders and I came up with a few originals and I experimented with several I found on the Internet. As far as I know this DIY is an original, but I've came to the conclusion that there really isn't a novel idea anymore. Even if you think that you thought of something first - you probably didn't... Really the best thistle feeder is a purchased tube feeder that is specifically designed to hold this small seed and prevent waste. When I tried to come up with a DIY way to offer thistle, a sock feeder seemed like the logical option. The examples that I found didn't seem that durable and were rather unattractive, such as a DIY thistle sock made out of recycled or repurposed pantyhose... Another tutorial used the mesh lining out of old running shorts. Neither of these examples sounded as if they would hold up very long or actually work. I decided to construct my own version of a thistle sock using burlap because - it's cheap, the weave is small enough that the seed won't fall out and it's more attractive than watching the birds eat from an old pantyhose :) I'm not sure how long this sock will last... So far it's been re-filled three times and hasn't shown any signs of damage. And - at less than 50 cents a feeder, I think it's a pretty cheap way to offer thistle to my backyard birds - if only the thistle or Nyjer seed wasn't so expensive!
1/4 yard burlap (about $1.00 and will make 3 socks)
sewing machine, scissors, pins...
An easy trick to cut a straight line in burlap is to pull a string out. - This makes a line to follow when cutting...
Turn the sock right side out.
Add thistle to the sock (a funnel works well), pull the jute tight and tie. Make the jute strands into a slip knot to hang.
Watch the action!
|Pine Siskins and American Goldfinches|
|Male Red-bellied Woodpecker|
Not at all interested in thistle... Just a resting spot!