Make a backyard bird feeder

Friday, April 4, 2008 | 4:00 p.m. CDT; updated 9:22 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Spring is here, and if you can’t wait to have birds singing around your house, you can start attracting them by making your own bird feeder.

Pine cone bird feeder

This is the easiest method and good to teach to children. It won’t last long, but it won’t take long to make another one either.

You will need:

• A large pine cone

• About 2 feet of wire

• Peanut butter

• Cornmeal

How to make it:

• Run the wire through the top of the pine cone and secure it well.

• Mix the peanut butter and cornmeal in a way that makes it sticky enough to stay on the pine cone. You can add birdseed if you wish. (Honey will work as well as peanut butter, but it is gooey and harder to use.)

• Press the mixture into the pine cone, filling the spaces well.

• Tie the cone to a tree branch (about 1 foot from the trunk) and wait for the birds to arrive.

Jug of milk bird feeder

Simple to make and more lasting.

You will need:

• A 1-gallon plastic milk jug

• Scissors

• Stick or dowel

• About 2 feet of wire

• Birdseed

How to make it:

• Wash the milk jug well. With the scissors, cut a window into the side (about 3 to 4 inches in diameter).

• Poke small holes in the bottom so rainwater will drain.

• Punch a smaller hole (it can be done with a nail) below the larger hole, and insert the stick or dowel into it. The dowel will serve as a perch for the birds.

• Poke two holes in the neck of the jug and run the wire through them.

• Fill the jug with birdseed and use the wire to hang the feeder wherever you want to put it.

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