Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A homemade birdfeeder

This birdfeeder was inspired by the wonderful book Rhythms of Family by Amanda Blake Soule, aka soulemama. We took a solid straight looking log, and my handy husband drilled holes about 2/3 of the way through, using a 2in drillbit. He also added a few dowels where there weren't any natural landing spots for the bird, and a hook at the top.
The filling part is messy but fun for kids to do. We used a mixture of melted suet or tallow, softened peanut butter, and bulk purchased mixed birdseed. Start with what looks like the amount of seed you need and add the fats slowly. Test for stickiness, the suet is liquidy at first but once outside, hardens nicely and the birds love it. I ran out of peanut butter for the refills, and that worked just fine, too. If you end up making more than you need, it stored fine in a lidded jar in the fridge for a few weeks. 

For filling the birdfeeder, you want the filling hand warm (microwave if needed) and then you just get down and dirty and smush it into the predrilled holes. We ended up making two feeders, and hung one under our front porch and one right outside the dining room window. I was worried that they were too close to the house for the birds' comfort but I was wrong! These feeders were enormously popular. Here are some visitors we saw.

The Big Fat Robin

My favorite bird, the tufted titmouse.

 I just love this picture. Wasn't even intentional, and I considered cropping it but then I decided I liked the big blue.

 This red breasted nuthatch was the most acrobatic of the bunch. We loved the antics!
 And sorry for the blurry picture, this was a difficult customer to catch. Looks like a downy woodpecker to me, yes? The right one has the red spot, the left one might be a female.
The birdfeeder held up beautifully throughout the season and is now packed away for the summer. The kids can't wait to refill it come the first snow. But for that, we can wait.

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
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  1. What a great idea! I haven' t look at her book in a while - I'll have get it out and have another look. Great project!

    Thanks for linking up to The Creative HomeAcre Blog Hop. We hope to see you again this Sunday!