52 DIY Winter Bird Feeder Ideas - Page 2 of 2 - Backyard Boss
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52 DIY Winter Bird Feeder Ideas

Table of Contents

Wood Slice Bird Feeder

Bird in Seed Feeder
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If you are planning on cutting down a tree, or have recently cut one down, and are looking for an opportunity to repurpose the wood, this feeder may be exactly what you’re looking for! All you need is a wider slice of wood with the bark still intact. Hollow out the top half of the wood slice, leaving a wooden base and a small wooden wall around the exterior. The wooden sides should be thick enough to offer support to the bark without being too thick, taking away from the space in the middle of the feeder. Take a drill and make four holes in the sides of the walls, evenly spaced around the feeder. For each hole, take a piece of twine tying a secure knot and feed it through the hole so that the knot sits inside the feeder. Add a drop of hot glue on the knots for additional security. Bring the 4 lengths of twine together and tie them far enough up the twine to allow space for your birds to access the feeder. You’re now ready to fill the tray-style feeder and hang it up.

Disposable Cup Bird Feeder

Disposable Cup
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A cute opportunity to teach your children how to repurpose items that are otherwise seen as trash, these bird feeders are made from three lengths of string, a wooden dowel, and a plastic disposable cup. If you have recently enjoyed a fast-food meal, you can also repurpose your fast-food cups with this process! Cut your cup down approximately halfway. Otherwise, the cup is too deep, holding seed too far into the cup for your birds to access it. Pierce a hole approximately centered in the side of your cup and a second hole directly across the cup from it before feeding your wooden dowel through to create two perches. Make 3 evenly spaced holes near the top of the cup, feeding your string through each hole and tying it off securely. Bring the three together with an overhand knot far enough up that the birds can still access the feeder. Fill the cup with birdseed and find the perfect place outdoors where your children can watch their hard work being enjoyed by the neighborhood birds.

Egg Carton Bird Feeder

Egg Carton
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Don’t have disposable cups sitting around? Another great choice for teaching this lesson to children is a standard egg carton. Cut the top off the egg carton, keeping the half with the individual cups to hold the eggs. Depending on the size of your carton, you can cut it down to include approximately 6 egg cups. This would mean cutting a standard carton made to hold a dozen eggs in half. Make a hole in each of the 4 corners and tie a piece of string together, bringing the remaining length of string up and tying it in a knot, allowing you to hang your feeder from trees in your yard or even an outdoor planter hook. To fill your feeder, simply add birdseed or fruit pieces to each of the egg cups.

Crafty Soda Bottle Bird Feeder

Soda Bottle Bird Feeder
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When your kids are done decorating this feeder, you’ll never know that it was once a standard 2L soda bottle! Rinse out your empty soda bottle and allow it to fully dry. Remove the label from the bottle and cut a hole large enough for your local birds to access the inside. Beneath this access point, cut a small hole large enough to hold a stick or wooden dowel, creating a perch. Secure your perch with a hot glue gun on either side of the hole. You’re now ready to decorate the feeder as you see fit. Paint the bottle fun colors, add sticks or signs, whatever sparks your creativity! The point at this stage is to have fun, just be sure to avoid placing anything that will prevent the birds from standing on the perch or getting into the feeder. When you are done decorating, and any paint/glue has had an opportunity to dry, fill your feeder with birdseed and tie a string around the neck of the bottle to hang it outside.

Repurposed Take-Out Container Bird Feeder

Take Out Container
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Have you recently enjoyed takeout from your favorite restaurant? If so, you may have a small collection of those well-known plastic takeout containers with a black bottom and clear lid. Before you throw them out, here’s an easy way to repurpose them. Take the bottom of the container and cut a hole in each of the 4 corners. Feed a piece of string down through one hole and up through one beside it allowing the string to run along the underside of the lip of the container. Do the same for the two remaining holes with the second piece of string. Bring all 4 lengths of string together and tie them with an overhand knot. You now have a simple bird feeder! Just fill the container with birdseed and hang it from a tree outdoors with the string.

Ketchup Bottle Bird Feeder

Ketchup plastic bottle
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A more unique way of repurposing this winter, all you need for this bird feeder is an empty plastic ketchup bottle, a small plastic plant drip tray, and a length of string or twine. Using a sharp craft knife, carefully cut a triangular shape out of the ketchup bottle so that the base of the triangle rests on the edge of the lid. This should be large enough to allow birdseed through but not too large. Repeat this three more times to make 4 evenly spaced holes around the bottle. Cut a hole in the center of the drip tray large enough to accommodate the mouth of the ketchup bottle so that you can slide it onto the bottle and put the lid back on, securing the drip tray in the middle.

Drill two small holes in the bottom of the bottle and feed a piece of string through each side so that it rests across the base of the bottle. Allow the length of string to hang down through the bottle and come out the opening when you remove the lid of the bottle. Tie the two hanging pieces in a secure knot. Pull the string back up from the bottom of the bottle so that the knot holes it in place creating a hanging loop. Fill your ketchup bottle with your choice of birdseed before sliding the drip tray onto the bottle and securing the lid back in place. Carefully turn your bottle with its new tray over allowing the seed to fall out of the holes Your feeder is now ready to hang.

Recycled K-Cup Bird Feeder

K-Cup
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K-cup pods are a major source of waste in our modern society, the result of an increasing number of people adding Keurig coffee machines to their daily routine. If you’re looking for a way to recycle your k-cups rather than toss them in the garbage, this bird feeder is a great solution. For each feeder, you will need 3 empty k-cups, twine, and popsicle or craft sticks. To begin, carefully clean out the k-cups removing any garbage from the foil-style lid. Using a pen, make the hole in the bottom of each of the empty pods a little larger.

Measure 1 inch from the end of each popsicle stick and make a mark. This will be important when you are assembling your feeder. Cut your twine into three pieces, each measuring approximately 2 feet. One at a time, center a piece of twine on the popsicle sticks at the 1-inch mark that you made and double knot it to hold it in place. Repeat this for the next 2 popsicle sticks. Using a hot glue gun, overlap the short end of each popsicle stick, evenly spacing them and gluing them together to create a secure base with the sticks extending out as perches. Cut a 4th piece of twine approximately 2 feet, 8 inches long, and tie them carefully around the center of the popsicle sticks a few times reinforcing the connection.

One at a time, feed the twine from the 1-inch mark of each popsicle stick up through the hole in the bottom of a k-cup, keeping the hole as close to the center as possible and hot gluing them onto the stick. The 4th piece of twine will extend up through the middle between the three k-cups. Tie all your strings together and cut the remaining ends even with one another. This will be what you will use to hang your feeder. Finally, fill your k-cups with birdseed.

Kid-Friendly Solo Cup Bird Feeder

plastic cup
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Creating bird feeders with the help of a toddler may not always be easy, but it’s sure to be a fun experience! This simple feeder is easy for even the littlest hands. All you need for this is a plastic solo cup, a piece of twine, peanut butter, and a shallow plate or bowl of birdseed. Take your twine and fold it in half creating a loop for hanging. Tie a secure overhand knot to close the loop. Make a small hole in the top of your cup and feed the loop of twine through leaving the knot inside to hold everything in place. Spread peanut butter all over the outside of the cup. Your toddler can then roll the cup in the birdseed or even take handfuls, dumping them onto the peanut butter or patting them in place. When you and your toddler are happy with the amount of birdseed stuck on your feeder, hang it outside for the birds to enjoy.

Recycled Pot Lid Bird Feeder

colorful pot lids
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Over the years, you have likely seen many of the different options listed in this guide either by trying them out yourself or simply due to their popularity. However, this one is a little different! A fun, vintage bird feeder that will stand out while requiring nothing more than a couple of pot lids, a threaded rod, a coupling nut, and an eye bolt with matching hex nuts. They don’t even need to match to make this project happen.

Carefully remove the lid from the pot lid that you would like to have at the bottom (this should be the smaller of the two if they are different sizes). Feed the threaded rod through the hole in the center and screw the original pot lid knob back in place to hold it in place securely. Taking one of your hex nuts, screw it all the way onto the threaded rod from the top and tighten it against the pot lid. Add a second hex nut to the rod, but only put it on a couple of inches from the top. This is where the second pot lid will sit. Remove the hardware from the second pot and slide it on, adding the coupling but on top. You want to feed the rod halfway into the coupling nut. At this point, if needed, move the hex nut further up the threaded rod to hold this pot lid securely against the coupling nut. Add the eye bolt by screwing it into the top of the coupling nut. If you want to ensure that your bird feeder is truly secure, go back through and add a drop of super glue or a strong adhesive to each connection point.

Hanging your new bird feeder is easy. You can thread some wire or twine through the eye bolt or add something secure like a carabiner. Your feeder can easily be hung from a tree branch or shepherd’s hook in your yard. To fill the feeder, simply pour birdseed into the bottom pot lid.

Boho Macrame Bird Feeder

Macrame Ropes
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For those that love a more Boho aesthetic, this simple macrame bird feeder is a great solution. This is a very minimalist design that doesn’t require a lot of work, but the end result is beautiful hanging on your front porch or in a tree in your front yard. You will need a terra cotta plant saucer, cotton twine, a wooden dowel, and wooden beads. Using a hot glue gun, carefully glue the wooden dowel across the bottom of the plant saucer, extending on each side to offer a perch for your visiting birds.

Cut 12 strings of twine, each approximately 26 inches in length. Holding all 12 pieces together, tie a knot approximately 3-inches from the end, leaving a decorative tail. Feed one of your wooden beads onto all 12 strings, allowing it to sit on the knot. Fan your strings out and, in a macrame style, knot your strings together in pairs of 2, with the knot sitting 2-inches away from the initial big knot and bead. Fan your strings back out again, separating the pairs. Focusing just on the inside strings, leaving the outside strings untouched, create new pairs by tying a knot 3.5-inches down the twine from the last set of knots. Bring the two outside strings together as a pair and knot them at the same point as the other pairs, creating a circle of knots around the central bead.

Bring all 12 of your strings together, adding 2-3 wooden beads by feeding them onto all 12 strings just as you did the first bead. Tie a knot near the top of your strings, leaving a small tail above. Trim the ends to make them even, if necessary. Opening the macrame style base you created, place your plant saucer, with the dowel purchase, in the base of it so that the first bead sits in the center at the middle of the saucer. Fill your plant saucer with birdseed and hang your new feeder.

Muffin Tin Bird Feeder

Muffin Tin
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To create this bird feeder, you will need a muffin tin, a metal pot lid that is larger than the tin, five lengths of utility chain, and 8 split key rings. Carefully drill a hole in each of the 4 corners of your muffin tin, as well as evenly spaced around your metal pot lid (or on the corners, if using a rectangular lid), and feed a split key ring into each of these 8 holes. Taking 4 of your lengths of utility chain, connect each corner of the muffin tin to the corresponding corner of the lid so that you can hold the lid up and the muffin tin will hang balanced beneath it. Finally, use the 5th length of chain to hang your lid from a branch or shepherd’s hook. Add birdseed, suet, or fruit to each of the muffin cups in your tin for the birds to enjoy.

Hanging Fruit Wreath Bird Feeder

Hanging Fruit Wreath Bird Feeder
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A festive way to hang your dried fruit for your birds to enjoy, repurpose a grapevine wreath this season to create a decorative bird feeder. You will need your grapevine wreath, any decorations you want to add to the wreath itself (such as evergreen boughs or silk flowers), and a selection of fruit slices. Laying your wreath flat on the ground, tie a piece of twine around the wreath at 4 evenly spaced points. Bring these 4 lengths of twine together and tie them in a knot approximately 6 inches above the wreath. This will be your hanging point. One at a time, pierce a hole through the fruit slice and feed a piece of twine through, tying it. Hang the fruit beneath the wreath, tying the other end of the twine onto the vines. You may want to do this with the wreath hanging to help you better balance the feeder. Some examples of fruit that you can use include apples, apricots, nectarines, plums, oranges, or cherries (hung from the stem).

Build a Lego Bird Feeder

Pile of Lego Blocks
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A great way to involve your older children this winter, why not build your own DIY bird feeder using Lego building blocks? This is a great way to challenge your future engineers, encouraging them to figure out how to create a central space to hold the seed, ports to allow the seed to come out where the birds can access it, and a tray or perch for the birds to rest upon. Don’t forget to include a lid on your Lego bird feeder to keep the seed as dry as possible. While these can be hung, another great option is to mount your feeder on top of a wooden stake so that it’s at a level where your child can easily fill the feeder each time that it runs low.

Coffee Can Bird Feeder

Coffee cans
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Do you purchase your coffee in a standard plastic coffee can, like the kind that is often associated with Folgers? If so, you can easily repurpose your empty coffee canisters by making a new feeder for your feathered friends. Cut 2 or 3 large holes in the sides of your canister, evenly spaced. Many of these canisters have clear panels or sections on the side with the design of the can that can be cut away, leaving a support space in between. Using a hot glue gun, secure the lid to your coffee can so that it won’t come loose. Make a few small holes in the lid for drainage purposes. In the bottom of your can, pierce a single hole and feed through a loop of twine, securing the knot inside with hot glue to make sure that it doesn’t pull the rest of the way through. Add your birdseed of choice, or a mixture of different seeds, inside on the lid, hanging your feeder from the twine loop at the bottom of the coffee can.

Tomato Cage Tray Feeder

Colorful tomato cage
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When planning a DIY bird feeder, there’s a good chance that a tomato cage never crossed your mind. However, this simple gardening tool can provide the structure necessary to make a beautiful minimalist bird feeder or birdbath. All you need for this project is an 18” tomato cage and a 20” terra cotta saucer/planter tray. Stake your tomato cage into the ground in your desired location, ensuring that it is secure and not going to be easily knocked over. Place your saucer on top and your bird feeder/birdbath is finished. All you have to do is add your choice of birdseed or water. If you are looking to add a special extra element to your garden, string fairy lights around the tomato cage for a nighttime glow.

Repurpose a Candle Holder as a Bird Feeder

Candle Holder bird feeder
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If you have an old wall-mounted votive holder sitting around at home that no longer matches your interior décor, here’s a great way to give it new life. After carefully cleaning out the glass votive holders, removing all wax and grime from use over the years (or simply sitting around for too long), hang your candle holder outdoors on an exterior wall or along a fence. Fill each of the votive holders with birdseed and watch your feathered friends as they enjoy their new decorative feeder. It’s a great way both to provide for your neighborhood birds as well as add to your backyard aesthetic. If you don’t have a candle holder at home but love the idea of this bird feeder, check your local thrift shops to pick one up second-hand.

Mason Jar Lid Bird Feeder

mason jar lid closeup
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This simple Mason Jar Lid Bird Feeder uses the recipe shared above for birdseed ornaments. However, it uses the outer ring from a mason jar lid to provide some additional strength and stability while your local birds enjoy their tasty treat. To make your own, take your mason jars and remove the center from each lid. You will only be using the outer metal ring. Take a piece of twine and loop it through the ring, tying a knot to hold it in place. You want to have enough of a tail from your knot that you can use the extra twine to tie your bird feeder on a tree or other hanging location. Place your mason jar lid rings on a piece of wax paper. Taking your birdseed mixture from the birdseed ornaments, pack as much of the birdseed into your feeders as possible before allowing it to set. You can speed up the setting process by placing your feeders in the fridge. When they are ready, simply use the twine to hang them from branches in your yard.

Simple Chicken Wire Bird Feeder

Chicken Wire Rolls
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Have you recently done some work with chicken wire in your yard? If so, you likely have a few smaller pieces still hanging around. This industrial-looking bird feeder is surprisingly simple, all you need is a small rectangular piece of chicken wire, a piece of lighter-gauge wire, and a length of utility chain. Starting at one corner of your chicken wire, start to roll the wire to create a conical shape.  Using your wire, carefully weave it through the cone that you have created, securing it in shape. Take a set of wire clippers and cut back the edges to ensure that they are smooth with no exposed sharp points that could hurt visiting birds. Attach your utility chain on either side of the opening at the top of your cone. This will create a loop that can be used for hanging your feeder. Fill the cone with birdseed and it’s ready to enjoy!

Make a Bird Feeder out of PVC Piping and Plastic Plates

Birds feeder made of plastic pipes
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Thrifting lovers, this bird feeder is the perfect excuse to get out and do some shopping! To make this feeder, you will need a wide piece of PVC piping, two older or thrifted plastic dinner plates, A large eye bolt with a long threaded end, and a matching nut. To begin, cut your PVC piping to size. You want it to be close to the size of the threaded rod, leaving approximately 1-2 inches for assembly. On one end of the pipe, cut 3-4 evenly spaced triangular notches, large enough to allow your birdseed of choice to pass through easily. Carefully drill a hole in the middle of each of your plates, large enough for the eye bolt rod.

To assemble your bird feeder, start with the larger plate, feeding the eye bolt through from the bottom of the plate to the top. Slide your PVC pipe on next, starting on the end with no notches. At this stage, you want to fill your PVC pipe with birdseed, allowing the pipe to sit firmly in the center of the plate to keep the seed from coming out. Slide your smaller plate on next, but this time feed the eye bolt through from the top of the plate to the bottom, then add the nut on the bottom, screwing it tight enough to hold the two places securely against the PVC pipe. When you turn it back over so that the eye portion of the eyebolt is on top, some of the birdseed will come out of the ports that you cut in the pipe, resting on the plate. Hang your feeder by stringing a piece of twine through the eye.

Flowerpot Bird Feeder

Flowerpot
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Terra cotta flower pots are surprisingly versatile objects to keep around your house, capable of being used for everything from building a container garden to assembling a DIY emergency space heater. One great use for these pots is to create a terra cotta bird feeder. You will need a flowerpot, a planter tray the same width as the top of your pot, a second larger planter tray, and a length of thick twine or rope. Using a drill, carefully drill holes around the base of your flowerpot large enough for your birdseed of choice to easily fall through. Drill a hole in the center of each of your two planter trays. Take your piece of twine or rope, fold it in half and tie a secure knot at the end. Feed it up through the bottom of the larger planter tray, through the bottom drainage hole of your pot, into the pot, and up through the large opening at the top, then through the smaller planter tray, but this time inverted so that it will sit upside down on top of the pot. To fill your bird feeder, simply slide the smaller planter tray up off the pot and fill the pot with birdseed.

Plastic Bowl Bird Feeder and Birdbath

Empty plastic bowl
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This simple DIY bird feeder will provide your backyard birds with both a supply of birdseed and fresh water, attracting an even greater number of birds to visit. You will need three clear plastic bowls, four long lengths of yarn or twine, and 6 plastic drinking straws. Cut or drill 4 evenly spaced holes in the lip of each of the four bowls. Take 2 of your drinking straws and cut them directly in half, setting them to the side. Tie a secure knot at the end of each of your 4 pieces of yarn or twine. Thread the yarn up through the lip of a plastic bowl, so that it’s upright, through a full-size straw, through the lip of the second bowl (also upright), through one of the half-straws you cut, then through the third bowl, but this time so that the bowl is inverted. Repeat this process 3 more times with the remaining lengths of yarn or twine.

Take all four pieces of twine and hold them up above your assembled feeder, tying them in an overhead knot for hanging. You will now have an inverted bowl acting as a roof or cover, with 2 upright bowls hanging underneath separated by lengths of straw. Hang your feeder from a strong tree branch. Fill the middle bowl with your birdseed of choice and the bottom bowl with water. Your local birds will love having the option to visit both a bird feeder and birdbath with a single trip!

Easy Decorative Plate Bird Feeder

Decorative plates
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This simple bird feeder may look pretty, but it’s surprisingly simple to make! All you need is a decorative plate or bowl and three lengths of wire. When choosing a plate or bowl, you ideally want to find something that is brightly colored or that includes a lace or lattice-style border. The center of your plate will be covered by birdseed when the feeder is full, so this outer edge will be the only part that can be seen. If the border of your plate already has holes in it, you can skip this step. If not, carefully drill or cut three evenly spaced holes in the edge. One at a time, feed your wire through the holes in the plate, wrapping the wire back around itself to secure it in place. Bring the three wires together at the top, connecting them to create a hanging point. You can now hang your feeder outdoors and fill it with your birdseed of choice. For an extra fun decorative touch, consider adding hanging charms made with small beads and a thinner gauge of wire around the plate underneath the border or adding beads to the hanging wires.

Fishbowl and Embroidery Hoop Bird Feeder

Empty fishbowl
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Made using nothing but a wooden embroidery hoop, a piece of twine, and a round glass fishbowl, this bird feeder is one that is sure to attract compliments from your friends and family. Choose an embroidery hoop that is just barely smaller than the center width of the fishbowl. Remove the screw from the top of the embroidery hoop. Secure it around the fishbowl using a strong adhesive but be careful to do so in a way that you can’t see the adhesive being used. At the top, string your twine through the two sides of the top tightening mechanism of the embroidery hoop in place of the screw that was once there. Tie off your twine in a loop which will be used to hang your bird feeder. Fill the fishbowl with birdseed and place it outside. The clear sides of the feeder will make it fun to watch as the wild birds in your area visit.

Peanut Butter Jar Bird Feeder

Peanut butter jar on wooden table
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Many of the bird feeder options on this list involved the use of peanut butter, but what about when your jar runs empty? Before you throw away that peanut butter jar, here’s a way that you can recycle it for another bird feeder. Cut a hole in two opposite sides of your jar, roughly in the center of the jar vertically and large enough to allow the birds access to the birdseed within. Slightly below these two holes, cut a smaller hole just large enough to feed a wooden dowel through. This will create a perch on each side. Drill a hole in the lid of your peanut butter jar and feed a loop of twine through, securing the knot inside the lid with a bead of hot glue to ensure that it doesn’t pull free. You can now add birdseed to your new feeder and hang it outdoors.

Teapot Bird Feeder

Red Teapot
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Do you have a decorative teapot sitting at home in your cupboard that isn’t getting the use that it deserves? If so, why not transform your unused teapot into an adorable bird feeder for your backyard? To do this, you will need the teapot with its matching lid, a length of thick string or wire, a large metal washer, and a strong adhesive or super glue. Carefully drill a hole in the side of your teapot as well as through the center of your teapot lid. Secure your string or wire to the metal washer, wrapping it around it a few times and adding beads of your glue or adhesive. This should sit in the center of your string or wire, with two large tails. Feed the tails up through the teapot from the inside, then up through the hole in your teapot lid. This can be used to hang your new bird feeder. If desired, you can add some additional security by gluing the lid to the side of the pot. Add birdseed inside the teapot and watch for your visitors to arrive.

Attract the Neighborhood Birds and Enjoy Birdwatching with Your Own Creative DIY Bird Feeder

DIY Bird Feeder
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Do your part to support your neighborhood birds throughout the cold temperatures this winter by providing them with a reliable source of food and energy. Whatever your style and backyard aesthetic, there is sure to be an option on this list that you can easily assemble without breaking the budget. We are confident that we included DIY winter bird feeder ideas for everyone! All you need is a little time and dedication to make your vision a reality. Just make sure to stock up on bird feed before all of your visitors empty their new feeder with their frequent stops.

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