by Jennifer Tuohy
Here in the South, Spring is almost here, and it’s time to put the bird feeders out. However, when I pulled my trusty finch feeder from its winter storage I discovered that someone had stored a large bag of dog food on top of it and it was cracked beyond repair. Disaster.
However, instead of heading to the store, I went straight to the recycling bin. In it, I found a rare item in our home: a two-liter soda bottle. After some investigation I discovered it had found its way there after someone had indulged in a Sunday-night pizza-delivery escapade while mom was out of town. But on the upside, what’s not great for my family’s teeth turns out to be perfect for feeding the birds.
Turning a soda bottle into a bird feeder is so easy that I recommend you do it for every soda bottle that finds its way into your home. Then, give them out as gifts: party favors for an outdoor bash, unique Easter basket additions, or, with a little bit of grandchild-created decoration on the wooden spoons, a lovely grandparent gift.
To make a soda bottle bird feeder you’ll need a clean plastic bottle, wooden sticks to use as perches (I recycled some old wooden spoons—but dowels from the hardware store will work too), an X-Acto knife and some sturdy, weatherproof wire or twine. A marker, a quarter and a funnel will also come in handy, but are not essential.
Your first step is to mark your feeding holes on the bottle by drawing a circle around a quarter. Put a matching circle directly opposite. Two pairs of holes—one set low down on the bottle and the other set higher up—should be enough.
Now, using your X-Acto knife or sharp scissors, carefully cut around the circle, creating a hole for the bird to get to the seed.
An inch or so below each hole, cut an “X”. This will be where you push your wooden spoon through to create a perch for the birds to sit on while eating.
Push your wooden spoons into one “X” mark, through the bottle and out the opposite “X” mark. Now your perches are in places.
Make a set of small holes in the neck of the bottle, just big enough to push your wire through. Secure a loop in the wire so you can securely hang the bird feeder somewhere in your garden.
Now it’s time to fill her up. Either tape the holes with masking tape or find a couple pairs of willing hands to cover them up while you use a funnel to pour the bird seed into the bottle.
Put the cap back on your soda bottle, find the perfect spot in your backyard to hang it up, far enough away from the patio not to scare the birds, but close enough so while you’re sitting outside and relaxing you can enjoy the sight of nature at work.
Any plastic bottle will work for a bird feeder—water bottles, milk jugs, orange juice containers. As long as you can cut holes in it and put a lid on it, you can turn it into a bird feeder!
Jennifer Tuohy writes about upcycling, and the great outdoors (close to home), for The Home Depot. Jennifer’s upcycled bird feeder is guaranteed to provide you with endless hours of pleasure right from the comfort of your outdoor patio chair. For Home Depot’s outdoor patio furniture, you can go online to the company’s website.