Make a Holiday Bird Feeder Wreath & Stop Window Collisions

My Holiday Bird Feeder Wreath is made with real holly from my shrubs.
My Holiday Bird Feeder Wreath is made with real holly from my shrubs. | Source

Did You Know?

According to www.allaboutbirds.org, a staggering one billion birds die each year from window collisions in metropolitan, urban and rural areas.

Two good alternative window collision solutions can be found at these websites: http://www.collidescape.org/

http://www.birdscreen.com/

No More Bird Window Collisions

Out of nowhere there’s a loud ‘THUD’! It’s a sudden sound that sends an electric jolt up my spine. Quickly I head out the door to see what just hit my window. A chickadee lies motionless on the ground, and my heart sinks. I have to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Many years ago, my husband and I decided to build a passive solar house to greatly reduce energy costs. That meant large glass windows to gather the most sunshine during the spring and fall days. For the summer and winter, I made special insulated window quilts to keep heat out, or in.

Sadly, birds do not actually ‘see’ glass. To them, the reflection of the glass represents the surroundings as real. They have no way to know that a transparent surface is not like the air they fly through every day.

So I devised a solution that keeps birds from crashing into windows: Large, decorative or holiday-themed wreaths that sport their own hanging bird feeders. The size helps cover a substantial area of glass without compromising your view. And the bird feeder serves to slow down your feathered friends as they discover what’s for dinner!

Items you will need for making your holiday bird feeder wreath.
Items you will need for making your holiday bird feeder wreath. | Source

Another Wreath Project You May Enjoy

How to Make a Hummingbird Feeder Wreath

Includes instructions on how to install the planter/wreath hanger, as well as how to make a hanging loop from wire.

How to Make My Bird Feeder Wreath, Step by Step

What You Will Need:


  • Scroll-type or other planter hanger installed on or above your outside window frame.
  • Large grapevine or other wreath form—at least 24” across
  • A thickness of newspaper to cushion and protect your work surface
  • Wire cutters if working with silk flowers
  • Gloves
  • ‘S’ hook or flexible wire for making a hanging loop
  • Seasonal floral stems, or real holly or other evergreen branches
  • Seed ball, metal mesh, approx. 6” diameter, or other small bird feeder that can be hung inside the wreath


Hint: Make sure your plant/wreath hanger is long enough to accommodate the thickness of your wreath plus the hanging bird feeder, so that birds have room to easily access the feeder.

If using an 'S' hook, place it so that it won't slide around on your wreath.
If using an 'S' hook, place it so that it won't slide around on your wreath. | Source
Use wire cutters to remove flower and /or foliage stems from artificial 'bush' or 'garland'.
Use wire cutters to remove flower and /or foliage stems from artificial 'bush' or 'garland'. | Source
Push holly or other stems into grapevine wreath, and keep adding more until you are happy with the arrangement.
Push holly or other stems into grapevine wreath, and keep adding more until you are happy with the arrangement. | Source
Chickadee enjoying the treats it found in the hanging metal mesh bird seed feeder ball.  This particular feeder works well as part of my decorative holiday wreath.
Chickadee enjoying the treats it found in the hanging metal mesh bird seed feeder ball. This particular feeder works well as part of my decorative holiday wreath. | Source

How to Make a Seasonal Bird Feeder Wreath, Step by Step

  1. Lay thickness of newspapers on a flat work surface. (Hint: If you can do this outside, you will have a lot less cleanup to do!)
  2. Test fit your wreath to see which way you want it to hang. Sometimes wreaths can be a little out of round or less full in one spot or another. Fitting prior to working with it will prevent the ‘I wishes’ : ‘I wish I had put the hanger in another spot’, or ‘I wish the fullest part of the wreath had been on the bottom’, etc.
  3. Attach your ‘S’ hook through the desired spot on your wreath. If you are using grapevine, make sure the hook is placed so that it will not slide around.
    1. If you are using wire to make your own hanging loop, measure approximately 8 inches of wire and snip with wire cutters. Feed wire through the top of your wreath and twist the ends together to secure the loop. Hide the twisted ends inside the wreath, if desired.
  4. If you purchased floral stems in a ‘bush’ or garland, use your wire cutters to detach each stem from the bush as illustrated. Garlands of holly and pine cones or poinsettias can be cut apart for use in this type of wreath. Be sure to leave a long enough length to weave securely into the wreath form.
  5. I have holly bushes growing in my yard, so that is what I used. If you have evergreen shrubs that you wish to incorporate into your wreath, cut the stems to lengths of 8” to 12” for a more natural look and ease of positioning into your form.
  6. Envision a triangle overlaid on top of your wreath. Start adding your stems at one of the 3 points of that virtual triangle. Then go to the next point and then the third. Fill in between those areas with more stems. You can make your wreath as full or as sparse as you want—you are the designer and you cannot mess it up!
  7. When you are happy with the look of your creation, hang your bird feeder from the top inside of the wreath. Or, if you have installed a double hanging plant holder over your window, use the outermost holder.

Want to Make Your Own Grapevine Wreath?

If you have access to wild grape vines and you enjoy easy do-it-yourself projects, here from http://www.frugallysustainable.com is a short video that shows how to make your own grapevine wreath. Remember that your wreath needs to be large enough to accommodate a small bird feeder, with room for your birds to dine.

How to Make Your Own Grapevine Wreath

Other Feeders That Would Work Well With This Wreath

  • Cedar log suet/peanut butter feeder
  • Hanging suet cage feeder
  • Hanging bird seed bell
  • Peanut butter/birdseed covered pine cones
  • Homemade popcorn ball

Recipe for old-fashioned molasses popcorn balls like my Mom used to make can be found at food.com

Hint: Add a hanging loop of thin jute twine as you form the popcorn balls, and before they harden.

Place Wreath Where You Can Refill Easily

It is important to note that you will be refilling your bird feeder on a regular basis. So make sure your wreath can be easily accessed to replenish seeds or any other nutritious foods you are offering to your birds.

My Wreaths Have Done the Trick!

After hanging my wreaths, it took my birds about a day to find them. Since then, they have been regular visitors. And the most important part:

NO BIRDS HAVE FLOWN INTO MY WINDOWS SINCE I HUNG UP MY BIRD FEEDER WREATHS!

The hanging feeder will swing as birds land on and fly off from it.  That's another reason to make sure the plant/wreath hanger is a good distance from your window.
The hanging feeder will swing as birds land on and fly off from it. That's another reason to make sure the plant/wreath hanger is a good distance from your window. | Source

Do You Like Do-It-Yourself Projects That Benefit Your Birds?

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This type of wreath can be adapted for any season or holiday. Use your imagination, and have fun!

Chickadees are very curious, and will be the first ones to explore new things in their environment.
Chickadees are very curious, and will be the first ones to explore new things in their environment. | Source
Connie Smith a/k/a/ Grandma Pearl
Connie Smith a/k/a/ Grandma Pearl

'You can create yard and garden habitats that Help Birds Survive and Thrive'

Read more by visiting grandmapearl.hubpages.com; and

Join me at GrandmaPearlsBackporch to discover more about wildlife in general, and birds in particular.

More by this Author


Do You Decorate Outside With Your Birds In Mind? 18 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

What a totally clever and useful idea, Connie! Well done my friend. Bev and I will definitely be doing this in the weeks to come. Thank you for continuing to be an advocate for our feathered friends. Our chickens thank you. :)

bill


purl3agony profile image

purl3agony 3 years ago from USA

We've had a number of window collisions lately and it breaks my heart every time :( I like your wreath idea and those small round feeders are really cute. I can see using them in a number of yard decorating projects! Great idea! Thanks!!


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State Author

Thanks billy! I'm very pleased you and Bev will be implementing this idea in the future. It is something that has made a great deal of difference in stopping window collisions around here. Tell your chickens I said 'hi'; and thank you for continuing to be involved in important 'green' and organic solutions, my friend ;) Pearl


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State Author

purl3agony, I'm so glad you stopped by; and that you enjoyed my window collision solution. Those round mesh feeders come in green and black, and I think maybe blue, as well as red. I have also used the little seed bells around the holidays. They go over well with the birds, too.

It's always nice to see you, my friend ;) Pearl


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

This is such a beautiful and well-done hub that will benefit both us and our feathered friends. Is it really that time of year already? Beautiful images and helpful instructions. You're a bird's best friend.


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State Author

FlourishAnyway, your supportive comments are so very much appreciated! I think that all wild birds deserve as many advocates as they can get. I'm pleased to know there are so many out there, including you, my friend!

I have often asked myself, why is it that from Christmas to springtime the hours, days and months seem to stand still? And then, from spring to Christmas, Father Time has accelerated to light speed! It seems I am never quite prepared for the holidays--I'm guessing the same is true for a lot of people.

So glad you stopped by ;) Pearl


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

This is such a good idea pearl! you certainly come up with ideas that I would never even have thought of! now I really want one! lol! great info, and beautiful photos, nell


OldRoses profile image

OldRoses 3 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

This is a great idea! I love feeding the birds in my yard but dread that familiar thump on my windows. Thank you for saving lives.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida

Your wreaths are beautiful, Pearl! I don't have a problem with birds flying into my windows due to the structure of the house. I'll bet your birds just love going to Grandma Pearl's house! You take such loving care of them. You're awesome.


bac2basics profile image

bac2basics 3 years ago from Spain

Hi Connie. I really loved this hub, not only do the wreaths look lovely but they serve a terrific purpose too. I´m going to give them a go as I live in a wine growing region and have a vine myself. I wonder if you can do the same thing with green Ivy stems as mine are ready for cutting back ? I´m also going to pass this on to my sister because she has stickers of birds of prey on her big windows to stop the birds flying into them but I´m sure would love this idea for a change. She feeds the birds all the time in her garden and hates it when they fly into the windows.


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State Author

Thanks Nell! Do you think you might hang one on your balcony? Just a thought! Thanks as always for your great comments and support-- you're the best ;) Pearl


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State Author

OldRoses, thank you so much for your kind words. I have been very pleased that no more birds ever hit my windows. It's just such a relief not hearing that dreaded 'thump', as you say. I'm so glad you stopped by! Have a wonderful day ;) Pearl


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State Author

bravewarrior, oh thank you for your sweet comments. I was watching all the birds that were flying back and forth to the various feeders today. I'm thinking we are due for a storm because they were all so busy, and chattering the whole time. It pleases me to know they are well fed and seem to be very happy in and around my yard and gardens. I'm always glad to see you my wonderful friend ;) Pearl


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State Author

Hi bac2basics, I'm always pleased when you stop by for a visit! If your ivy is evergreen, it should work just fine. Otherwise, it might look a little wilted after a time with no water. Ivy would certainly make a lovely wreath, and natural is always the best choice. Although, I'm sure the birds would be just as happy with any materials that could stand the weather.

It makes me very happy that you will be passing this idea on to your sister. I hope she enjoys making this wreath as well. I'm sure it will make a difference in her bird population. Enjoy your day, my friend ;) Pearl


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Not only is this attractive, but it is useful in so many ways. This would be a perfect gift for a shut in, along with a long-time refilling plan. Great work, Connie.


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State Author

Excellent idea Deb! Good thinking. I've had a lot of fun watching my birds come right up to the window to use these feeders. They swing around a bit when they land and take off, so I get to see interesting acrobatic bird angles! Even the big hairy woodpeckers drop by for a snack!

Thanks for stopping by, it's always fun to see you my friend ;) Pearl


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA

This is an excellent project since it stops the birds from hitting the window and get fed at the same time! Win / win! Plus, it is beautiful and you get to watch the birds feed.


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State Author

Millionaire Tips, you have no idea how I have enjoyed watching my birds up close! Right now with this cold snap, they are using the feeders much more than they normally do. Watching my birds is better than tv! And as you say, no more window strikes, which is awesome ;) Pearl

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    Connie Smith (grandmapearl)239 Followers
    60 Articles

    At a very young age Connie learned from her Grandma Pearl to observe and love backyard birds. She stills feeds and studies them everyday.



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