Cheap Bird Feeders

We love to feed the birds that flock to our gardens as well as those that decide to live there.  To make their habitat even more friendly and attractive, we can place bird friendly items at various locations around our yard or garden.  Some of these items can be quite expensive and yet they’re needed. 

If spending a lot of money for bird feeders and other bird items is a major concern for you, then creating home made products is an option that you should consider.  Let's look at several things, from around the home, that you can use to create cheap bird feeders.


  • Here's something that you might not have ever thought of:
    How about an old onion bag that can be used to hold suet cakes or balls. Suet can be made from any meat fat.  Large quantities of fat can be obtained from your butcher or store's meat department. 

    Melt the fat by boiling it and combine it with fruits, peanuts, peanut butter, grains or seeds to make a high energy meal.  Place this cake into the onion bag and hang it outside where birds like Woodpeckers, Bluebirds and Nuthatches will enjoy it.
  • Create a pine cone bird feeder.
    Tie a strong piece of string or twine around one end of a pine cone.  Roll the pine cone in peanut butter, coating it as thick as possible.   Then cover the entire peanut butter cone with bird seeds of your choice.  Use the twine or string to hang it up near a tree.
  • Another cheap bird feeder can be made from an empty, plastic 2 liter drink bottle. Wash the bottle out thoroughly with warm water.  Avoid using detergents or chemicals.  When the bottle dries completely, place the cap back on the bottle.

    On opposite sides of the bottle, cut 2 square openings, about 2" square, several inches above the bottom.  To create perches for the birds use a piece of stout wire, like coat-hanger wire.  Cut a straight piece of wire about 4 inches longer than the diameter of the bottle.  With the sharp end of a nail, punch a small hole below each square opening.  Then slide the wire through one hole on one side and push it out the hole on the opposite side.  This will be the perch for the birds while they feed through the square openings.

    Then fill the bottom of the bottle with seed or food through the holes in the sides. Tie a heavy string or twine around the neck of the bottle, below the ridge at the top and this will be how you can hang it up.
  • How about creating a bird Shish Kabob.  This kind of specialty food does not have to be restricted to only humans.  You can give birds a fruit and vegetable “Shish Kabob” too.  Pick some fruits, bread pieces and vegetables that you can pierce with stout wire.  Push these foods together on the wire and then bend a hook on one end for hanging and bend the wire on the other end so the items won't slide off.  And presto, a tasty, yet cheap, fancy bird feeder treat

More, easy to make, yet cheap bird feeders are trays that you fill with bird seeds. You can put these up on tree stumps or knee high tables to make platform feeders.  Keep in mind that feeders that are low to the ground can attract cats who would rather make a meal out of the birds, rather than the seed.

Here are some other ideas on foods that birds will like:

  • Unsalted peanuts
  • Fresh coconuts
  • Fats like suet, drippings, meat fat and bacon rind
  • Cheese
  • Stale cakes
  • Biscuits and bread products
  • Fruits, as well as dried fruits
  • Apples
  • Sunflower seeds
  • You can also check out some of the wild bird seed food.

Whatever you decide to make your cheap bird feeders from, be careful not to leave any sharp edges.  The birds can be hurt from these edges, just like us humans.

Be creative, really anything that can hold bird seed and suet cakes will work as cheap bird feeders that you can make yourself and keep in your garden.  Just because we are talking about bird feeders, you don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the birds in your area.



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