It’s easy to keep birds coming into your yard year after year by making your own homemade bird food to leave around.
I have a few recipes for you below to try, but don’t forget that different species of birds have differing feeding habits and preferences.
If you cater your bird food to these preferences, you’ll be able to attract all the species that you want to your gardens and bird feeders.
Homemade Bird Feeder Suet Cakes
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
- 1/2 cup Chopped nuts
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 pound suet
- In a small saucepan, cover the oats with water and cook until the oats soften.
- Crumble up some pieces of stale bread and add oatmeal, raisins seeds and nuts. Then mix these ingredients together.
- In a saucepan, melt the suet so it’s soft enough to work with. Then pour the suet into the dry mixture and blend together well.
- Leave the mixture to cool for a while until the suet is cool enough to handle.
- Then form the bird food into balls.
- Tie string around each ball and hang them from trees or place in bird feeders to attract the birds.
When making this bird food, it’s fine to change or amend the types of fruit and berries you add to the mixture.
The best way to attract birds into your yard is to use fruits and berries and see what different species are attracted to the various fruits you leave out for them.
Many smaller birds, such as wrens, sparrows, cardinals, chickadees, bluebirds and thrushes love stale bread or stale cake crumbled up and mixed with peanut butter.
Homemade Bird Food Blocks
- Peanut butter
- When making bird food blocks, the quantities of ingredients you use aren’t important. Just be sure you use enough lard to bind the ingredients together so they’ll form a block.
- Chop up the apple into small pieces and crumble some stale bread or stale cake.
- Place the ingredients into a mixing bowl and add raisins.
- Melt the lard so it’s soft enough to pour into the mixture.
- Scoop around 1 tablespoon of peanut butter into the mixture and stir well to mix the ingredients thoroughly. They should form a dough that can be molded.
- Line a small plastic container with grease-proof paper and press the bird food mixture into the base.
- Leave in the fridge overnight to set.
- When the bird food has set so it’s hardened, remove it from the container and poke a hole through the center.
- Tie some string through the hole and leave enough at one end to hang your bird food mold to a tree outside.
Birds will love this!
Homemade Hummingbird Nectar
There’s nothing nicer that watching the hummingbirds hover around your flowers and shrubs.
Here’s a recipe sure to attract them into your garden. You don’t need to add coloring or honey to the mixture, as honey will end up attracting more ants than hummingbirds.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- Bring the water to the boil in a small saucepan.
- When it’s boiling rapidly, add the sugar and stir well until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from the heat and leave aside to cool completely.
- Then add the mixture to your hummingbird feeders.
- Store any unused portions in a sealed container in the fridge.
How About Making Homemade Bird Feeders
Engaging the entire family in constructing and designing new homemade bird feeders is a great way to bring everyone together. It’s also an ideal addition to any landscape.
They can be as small or large as you please, and the kids can even help to paint and decorate them to feel a part of the entire process.
First, you must decide where the new bird feeders will be placed. Do you have an ideal tree you can attach them to, or will they need to be stand-alone?
Also, ensure you know what type of birds will frequent your area or how to construct a feeder that will attract the bird you want to be in your yard.
For a quick and easy solution have a look at this kids homemade bird feeder by Chris from Hampshire.
Making A Homemade Bird Feeder
By Chris (Hants)
We always see birds out of our window on the tree in the garden and I wanted to feed them. The only bit that concerned us was spending a fortune on a store bought bird feeder, so we had the idea to make our own.
Our son Christopher had great fun making this neat little homemade bird feeder. It can be made from an empty juice or milk carton so it’s a good way to recycle them!
This really is an interesting project! and the feeder has started to attract a few wild birds into our yard. Chris is so proud of his creation and it’s lovely to see.
What You Need
- A milk or juice carton
- Paint and a paint brush
- String or garden wire
- Cut out most of the sides of the carton remembering to leave plenty of space at the bottom for the bird food.
- Time to paint your feeder, I would advise that the feeder is painted in a more natural colour than the one Chris made, I explained to him that it should blend in easily with its surroundings so it won’t frighten off the birds, but apparently the blue is the sky and the green are leaves 😉
- Once the paint has dried, use a pen to poke a hole through the fold at the top of the carton and then thread a piece of string or garden wire through it.
- Fill the bottom of the homemade bird feeder with seed or some homemade bird food, then let your child hang it outside and wait for the birds to come and feed.
Make A Bird Feeder From A Sheet Of Plastic and Styrofoam Cup
By Jane from NY
If you decide to make a homemade birdhouse/feeder combination, you’ll need access to a hammer and other tools.
However, a little plastic and an old metal hanger will be enough to make a simple feeder without any hardware!
- Your bird feeders will start with a clear sheet of plastic easily found at any craft supply store. Simply roll the plastic to form a tube, and staple or glue the edges together.
- The bottom of the feeder is easily made by cutting a plastic or Styrofoam cup to be glued on the bottom. Let this dry overnight to ensure the best adherence to the bottom of your feeder.
- Next, find a hole puncher that is handheld (not the kind that sits flat to punch three holes in a sheet of paper). Punch holes at various spots on the tube, and remember to punch a second hole about one inch below each one; the top hole will be the feeder hole, and the bottom one will serve as a perch.
- Now you can insert plastic tubes in the bottom holes; make sure they touch the opposite side of the feeder tube, and extend at least a few inches from the outside to provide plenty of room for visitors to stand and eat.
- Fill the tube with homemade bird food.
- Finally, use a metal hanger or other piece of metal to hang it from a tree branch. And place it near your favorite window so that everyone can see the birds when they come to visit.
We hope you enjoy these homemade bird food recipes and we’d love to hear what types of birds you attracted with this.