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4 Easy Ways to Feed the Birds in Winter

Updated on April 16, 2018
Titia profile image

Titia has a broad interest in photography, poetry, family, art, dogs, cats, insects, wildlife, history, war, camping, writing, environment.

Feeding Birds in Winter
Feeding Birds in Winter | Source

DIY Log Bird Feeder and Ready Made Birdfeeders

There are lots of bird feeders you can buy, but making your own is a lot more fun.

Making your own bird feeder is not difficult at all. Feeding the Birds in Winter is not only a good thing for the birds, but it gives the critter friendly garden owners a great opportunity to watch all the different local birds in their garden and city folks can watch the birds on their balcony or window ledges. Of course birds can survive in winter, they've done that for ages, but isn't if fun to make it a bit easier for them to find good quality food? There are lots of bird feeders you can buy, but it's also a lot of fun to make your own bird feeders.

  1. The woodblock feeder
  2. Peanuts in a net
  3. Bird feeder platform
  4. Natural resources

1. The Woodblock Feeder

The Wood Log Bird Feeder Is Easy to Make
The Wood Log Bird Feeder Is Easy to Make | Source

A Cheap Way to Feed the Tits and Robins

Our neighbors gave us our first wood log bird feeder last year and it's such a success that I'm planning to make a lot of them for this winter. They are so much fun, so easy to make and the birds just love them.

To make this wood log bird feeder you need the following:

1. a log with a diameter of at least 4" (10cm) and about 12" (30cm) long (you can make it as long as you want to)

2. an electric drill with a tool to make round holes

3. some kind of not too easily breakable rope

Below I show you how to make this lovely, natural bird feeder

Step 1: Drill a Hole at the Top of the Wood Log

Drill a hole through and through just below the top of the log and put the rope through the hole. The length of the rope depends on where you will hang this log in your garden.

Drilling a hole in the wood log
Drilling a hole in the wood log | Source

Step 2: Drill Bigger Holes Across the Wood Log

Then you make bigger holes in the log on different places all over the log. They are about 1" (2,5cm) in diameter and depth. In my log there are 4 holes. Leave enough space between the holes, so the holes won't connect to each other inside.

Drilling bigger holes in the wood log
Drilling bigger holes in the wood log | Source

Step 3: Mix Bird Seeds with Fat

Melt one or two packages of fat shortening. Put the mixed bird seeds in a bowl and mix it with the fat shortening. Stir it well and let it sit for a while until the shortening has cooled off and has formed a firm mass.

I use the left over fat shortening from my New Year's Rosette Cookie.

Mixing the bird feed with fat
Mixing the bird feed with fat | Source

Step 4: Fill the Drilled Holes in the Wood Log

Filling the holes is a messy job. I always use those disposable latex gloves, because that way you won't get all the grease in your sink drain pipe when washing your hands.

With a spoon or fork I scrape the filling loose in the bowl and then I take a bit in my hand and press it into the holes. I use both my thumbs to press it in firmly. When all holes are filled, the wood log bird feeder you can hang it outside in a bush or tree.

Filling the holes in the bird feeder
Filling the holes in the bird feeder | Source
Hanging the wood log bird feeder in a bush or tree
Hanging the wood log bird feeder in a bush or tree | Source

Searching for Fallen Seeds

Searching for fallen seeds
Searching for fallen seeds | Source

Another Way to Make a Bird Feeder

2. Peanuts in a net

Easy to Make or You Can Buy Ready Made

Hanging peanuts in a net is not only for finches and tits, but as you can see also the spotted woodpecker loves them. The photo below was taken through our front window. We have trained pear trees in front of the house and I just love hanging all kinds of bird food in them.

Sometimes I buy those netted peanuts, but most of the time I make them myself. Whenever I buy something in a net, like onions or oranges, I save the net for wintertime and then I fill it with peanuts and hang them in the trees.

The Spotted Woodpecker Eating Peanuts
The Spotted Woodpecker Eating Peanuts | Source

3. Bird Feeder Platforms

Easy to Make and so Much Fun to Watch

If you have a garden, you can use a bird feeder table. You can either buy one or make one yourself.

I like to make bird feeders myself from things that would have normally ended up in a dumpster. Recycling you can call it. I had an old broken French garden table and somewhere on a flee market I found two basins from some old kitchen sink I think.

Together they make a perfect Bird Feeder, because that sink thing has a hole in the middle so when it's raining the water can drip down to the ground.

In Summer I put the stop in the hole and use it as a water basin where the birds can splatter around.

My own easy bird feeder platform
My own easy bird feeder platform | Source
Easy Bird Feeder Platform
Easy Bird Feeder Platform | Source
Bird feeder platform in Winter
Bird feeder platform in Winter | Source
Bird feeder platform in Winter
Bird feeder platform in Winter | Source

If There Are Squirels in Your Garden You'll Need a Squirel Proof Bird Feeder

Squirels and also racoons are smart, so if you have them in your garden you certainly need a squirel-racoon wrap around stopper. Squirels are known to be able to climb poles, so this wrap around stopper might do the trick to keep those little rascals from stealing the bird feed.

Wrap around squirel-racoon stopper
Wrap around squirel-racoon stopper | Source

4. the Natural Bird Feeder

Blackbirds Love to Eat the Fruits Right of the Tree

One of the loveliest trees in my garden is the "Malus Red Sentinal" or also called the Crabapple Tree. It's a tree that gives you pleasure two times a year, once in Spring, when they blossom with their beautiful big white blossoms and once in Winter when they show off their red fruits, which the Blackbirds love to forage on.

So, if you have a garden and if you have the space, plant a Crabapple Tree, they come with red and yellow fruits.

Below you'll see some photos I took of a Blackbird eating these fruits. Unfortunately I had to take them through the window and we have still 'old' glass which isn't very clear.

Crabapple Tree fruits - Malus Red Sentenial
Crabapple Tree fruits - Malus Red Sentenial | Source
Blackbird Eating the Fruits of the Crapapple - They Drop Them from the Tree and Eat Them on the Ground
Blackbird Eating the Fruits of the Crapapple - They Drop Them from the Tree and Eat Them on the Ground | Source

© 2012 Titia Geertman

Let me know if you're feeding the birds too

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    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      5 months ago

      Hello Titia. Useful article for those who are animal lovers and love bird watching. The ideas are good, like the wrap around stopper and oh the magic of DIY. :) Thanks for sharing!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      3 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      I love to watch birds from our feeders! And the squirrels too - they really show off their acrobatic skills on those "squirrel proof" feeders!

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 

      5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      We have recently hung several feeders, and love to watch the birds while having our morning coffee. I love it when the colorful birds like gold finches and cardinals show up.

    • geosum profile image

      geosum 

      5 years ago

      Would like to. Can't where I live now. Great lens.

    • VineetBhandari profile image

      VineetBhandari 

      5 years ago

      i love to feed birds early morning

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 

      5 years ago

      That's a good looking log bird feeder. Thanks for the instructions.

    • profile image

      Spikey64 

      5 years ago

      I have some hanging bird feeders set up in the top corner of my yard and I get some great photo's of birds feeding.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      i like to feed birds.great article

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I lived out in the woods for a number of years and used to feed the wild birds on a regular basis. I had a double layer bird feeder so the squirrels and birds could each have their own section. (The squirrels planted most of their seeds though so I wound up with a wonderful sunflower crop). Loved it.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      Wonderful lense.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Great lens thanks for this.

    • profile image

      SquidooColouringPages 

      6 years ago

      Nicely done

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      6 years ago

      very cool pics, article and video, Blessed!!!

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 

      6 years ago

      The kids and I like to feed birds but we end up feeding squirrels as well. I guess I should invest in some squirrel proof bird feeders.

    • NatureLuver profile image

      NatureLuver 

      6 years ago

      Enjoyed the lens. We too feed birds.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I love seeing wildlife and great articles about people helping birds ... *blessed!*

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing.

    • peachplanet profile image

      peachplanet 

      6 years ago

      I'm getting my drill out :)

    • Titia profile imageAUTHOR

      Titia Geertman 

      6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      @miaponzo: I googled and there are lots of birds in the Kuwait desert, but I don't think they need feeding LOL

      Ostriches . Grebes . Shearwaters and Petrels . Tropicbirds . Pelicans . Cormorants . Bitterns, Herons and Egrets . Storks . Ibises and Spoonbills . Flamingos . Ducks, Geese and Swans . Osprey . Hawks, Kites and Eagles . Caracaras and Falcons . Pheasants and Partridges . Cranes . Rails, Crakes, Gallinules, and Coots . Bustards . Crab Plover . Oystercatchers . Avocets and Stilts . Thick-knees . Pratincoles and Coursers . Plovers and Lapwings . Sandpipers and allies . Skuas and Jaegers . Gulls . Terns . Sandgrouse . Pigeons and Doves . Parrots, Macaws and allies . Cuckoos and Anis . Barn owls . Typical owls . Nightjars . Swifts . Kingfishers . Bee-eaters . Typical Rollers . Hoopoes . Woodpeckers and allies .

    • profile image

      miaponzo 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for all those bird feeding ideas.. I live in the Kuwait desert... I'm not sure what kind of birds to feed here! :) Blessed!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 

      6 years ago

      Love your lens! Great ideas - thanks!

    • profile image

      greenlungsofpoland 

      6 years ago

      A wonderful lens i used to love watching the woodpeckers fly in for peanuts at my little welsh cottage sadly the woodpeckers are scarce in Poland we are more likely to see a red squirrel or deer than many of the birds i use to enjoy feeding.. nice pictures

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 

      6 years ago

      Your collection of bird feeders is beautiful!! :)

    • profile image

      nursecraft 

      6 years ago

      I love this lens-original ways to feed the birds! I like the fly-in feeder! Nice lens!

    • noel rocs profile image

      noel rocs 

      6 years ago

      This is a super awesome lens! I love it!! I love birds and I've been feeding them for the last 5 years (at my house), but last year I took in 6 foster kitties and now I'm scared to feed the birds :( I feel bad because there are birdies everywhere--sitting on top of my empty feeds. Think I should come up with a better way to do this so that I can have cats & birds, but no problems :) To Home Depot! Great lens.

    • FalconFan LM profile image

      FalconFan LM 

      6 years ago

      Love this lens! We're always looking for new ways to bring more birds around :) Thank you!

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 

      6 years ago

      All excellent bird feeding ideas! We also hang fatballs and put up a window feeder so that my toddler could see the birds up close :) It is so important to feed the birds in winter. At the moment here in England we've got blackbirds, robins, blue tits and sparrows all gearing up for the approach of spring (and yes, squirrels too!). Love the bear video. No bears here!

    • Titia profile imageAUTHOR

      Titia Geertman 

      6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      @LynetteBell: Ruud Kleinpaste is right when you feed ducks on land, it's better to feed them in the water, than the bread will get wet anyway. Thanks for the good advice.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 

      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      There are a couple of neighbors here who have created a bird feeder using a plastic soda bottle. They just cut a hole in the side and hang it from the tree.

      We have a lot of ducks in the reserve across the road and loads of people take stale bread to feed them. I heard Ruud Kleinpaste (expert in insects and animals in NZ) say you should wet the bread before feeding the birds because the bread will swell in their stomachs.

      Friends of ours attach an apple to a little stand for the birds that visit their garden.

    • profile image

      poutine 

      6 years ago

      We don't have too many birds showing up here in the winter,They come back at Springtime.

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