* 4 Methods to Attract Winter Birds
DIY Log Bird Feeder and Ready Made Birdfeeders
You can either make your own bird feeder or you can buy one.
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 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. I'll show you 5 ways to feed the birds and several ways of how you can make your own feeders which hardly cost any money and I'm sure the birds will love you. I will also give some tips on what food is good for birds and what food is not good for birds.
1. The woodblock feeder
The Wood Log Bird Feeder Is Easy to Make
The Cheapest Way to Feed All the Tits and Even 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 All the Way Through at the Top of the Wood Log
Just below the top of the log you drill a small hole through and through, where you can put the rope through. The length of the rope depends on where you hang this log in your garden.
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.
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 fat shortening from my New Year's Rosette Cookie baking.
Step 4: Fill the Drilled Holes in the Wood Log
Filling the Holes Is a Messy Job
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 is ready to hang it outside in a bush or tree.
Step 5: Hang It in the Tree - the Birds Will Love You Forever
How to Make a Bird Feeder
Searching for Fallen Seeds
2. Peanuts in a net
The Spotted Woodpecker Eating Peanuts
Easy to Make or You Can Buy Ready Made
Hanging peanuts in a net is not only for finches, but as you can see also the spotted woodpecker loves them.
This photo 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.
A True Bird Feeding Story
Barn Owl in Winter
The Owl in the Old Barn
Once upon a time we were house hunting and stumbled upon this beautiful old farm with a big barn, all in not such a good shape and the barn was missing some boards in the back. It was winter and the land was covered in snow. Suddenly we saw this beautiful Barn Owl sitting in a big gap in the back of this barn and as we still were kind of city folks at that time we felt sorry for the bird in this harsh winter. We decided to feed it and ever so often we drove over and put some chunks of raw meat in this gap and each time it was gone. So we felt a bit like owl rescuers and kept it going for several weeks, until.....one day I decided to stay a bit longer, hiding in my van...only to see a big cat climbing up and enjoying a delicious free dinner. I bet he wondered where this top notch catering came from.
We still continued to bring food, but gradually decreased our visits and in spring we stopped. We never bought the farm, it was too expensive for us at that time.
3. Bird Feeder Platforms
Easy Bird Feeder Platform
My Own Bird Feeder Platform
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.
Birds at My Bird Feeder Platform in Winter and in SummerClick thumbnail to view full-size
360° Fly-In Is a Panoramic Bird Feeder for the Avifauna Enthusiast
Sometimes You Need a Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
Mayard Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
When You Do Want to Feed the Birds, but Not the Squirrels
In the Netherlands we don't have that many squirrels close to the homes like I saw in the USA, unless maybe when you live in or near the few woods we have. Squirrels are known to be very clever as it comes to stealing food from the birds, so they thought up Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders.
They're available in all different shapes and sizes. So if you want the birds to get the food and not the squirrels, maybe a squirrel proof bird feeder is the solution.
4. the Natural Bird Feeder: a Tree or Bush with Edible Fruits in Winter
Crabapple Tree Fruits - Malus Red Sentenial
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.
Blackbird Eating the Fruits of the Crapapple - They Drop Them from the Tree and Eat Them on the Ground
How to Select a Crabapple
© 2012 Titia Geertman