Make a Holiday Bird Feeder Wreath & Stop Window Collisions
Did You Know?
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!
Another Wreath Project You May Enjoy
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
- ‘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.
How to Make a Seasonal Bird Feeder Wreath, Step by Step
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
Do You Like Do-It-Yourself Projects That Benefit Your Birds?
This type of wreath can be adapted for any season or holiday. Use your imagination, and have fun!