Texas Living

7 DIY Bird Feeders to Brighten Up Your Yard

By Jillian Kring 8.27.20

Since Texas is on the Central Flyway, we can expect to see many species of birds flying over on their great migration south for winter. If you and your family are aspiring birdwatchers, or just want to offer some avian hospitality, making a DIY bird feeder for passers-through is a great weekend project. Here are some creative, easy designs.

1. Tube Bird Feeder

How to make it: Tube bird feeders are long, cylindrical objects with feeding holes that deliver large birdseed that can’t be stolen by little paws! Try this squirrel-resistant DIY tube feeder.

What food to use: One of the most popular types of large birdseed is black oil sunflower seed.

Birds you may see: Black oil sunflower seed will attract gray catbirds, bushtits, tufted titmice, golden-fronted woodpeckers, and Northern mockingbirds.

Hopper DIY bird feeders

2. Hopper Bird Feeder

How to make it: Hopper bird feeders are enclosed containers that hold large birdseed. It’s the most popular type of DIY bird feeder since it can accommodate a wide variety of seed. Add sparks of color to your garden with this hopper feeder made from recycled bottles.

What food to use: Safflower seed will attract lots of birds to your hopper feeder.

Birds you may see: Safflower seed will attract Carolina chickadees, blue jays, downy woodpeckers, indigo buntings, and rose-breasted grosbeaks.

Platform DIY bird feeders

3. Platform Bird Feeder

How to make it: Platform bird feeders have flat, open platforms where you can spread seed. This DIY platform feeder will have your feathered friends feeling extra comfortable in the attached birdhouses! Instead of the bright spring colors used in the tutorial, try earthy fall tones to blend with the changing scenery.

What food to use: Large food such as cracked corn is an excellent option for this type of bird feeder.

Birds you may see: Cracked corn will attract white-winged doves, red-winged blackbirds, Western scrub-jays, yellow-headed blackbirds, and wild turkeys.

Thistle DIY bird feeders

4. Thistle Bird Feeder

How to make it: Thistle bird feeders are tube-shaped with small perches and feeding posts along the side. This modern DIY thistle feeder recycles tennis ball tubes and uses acrylic paint to create a fun colorblock design that even the birds will appreciate.

What food to use: Nyjer seed is always used in thistle feeders.

Birds you may see: This will attract mourning doves, purple finches, American goldfinches, dark-eyed juncos, and scaled quail.

Hummingbird DIY bird feeders

5. Hummingbird Feeder

How to make it: Unlike the other bird feeders here, hummingbird feeders hold nectar, which is the preferred snack of our very tiny feathered friends. Texas hummingbirds may be seen year-round but will frequent your feeder in greater numbers during certain months. This DIY hummingbird feeder is by far the smallest and most adorable on the list.

What food to use: This hummingbird nectar recipe is a simple water-and-sugar mix.

Birds you may see: You are most likely to attract calliope, rufous, broad-tailed, black-chinned, and ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Cookie Cutter DIY bird feeders

6. Cookie-Cutter Bird Feeder

How to make it: This kid-friendly cookie-cutter bird feeder will keep your household busy for an afternoon! When you’re finished with your molds, spend some time outdoors to find ideal spots to hang your feeders. These feeders also double as natural decor for your outdoor space.

What food to use: Use white proso millet seed and gelatin to make the mold.

Birds you may see: This seed will attract house finches, Northern cardinals, house sparrows, yellow-throated warblers, and scarlet tanagers.

Easiest DIY bird feeders

7. Easiest Bird Feeder

How to make it: Even if you aren’t the DIY type, you can still welcome birds to your backyard! This easy bird feeder is functional and whimsical, and all you have to do is hang it. Birds will be crowding around this miniature tire swing for a quick snack (and play time) before you know it!

What food to use: Hulled sunflower seeds are the best seed for this DIY bird feeder.

Birds you may see: This seed will attract Carolina wrens, black-headed grosbeaks, white-throated sparrows, red-bellied woodpeckers, and pine siskins.

Additional Bird Essentials

Hydration station: Your avian guests are bound to get thirsty with all the delicious treats you are providing them. This cute DIY bird bath will keep them well hydrated.

Resting place: Birds instinctively flock to locations that have nesting potential and natural flora. This beautiful DIY teapot birdhouse and this living roof birdhouse will provide simple and comfy accommodations.

Adding these fun touches to your outdoor space will have every bird in Texas flocking to your backyard.

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