Thursday, July 28, 2011

Homemade Hummingbird Feeder

I dropped the ball yesterday and forgot to post, so you guys get a bonus post today in addition to Natalie's cute newspaper paper dolls.
I remember as kid being fascinated by hummingbirds. They were so rare to see, so small and beautiful, and moved so fast it was as if they didn't have wings. A few of my neighbors have hummingbird feeders, so they show up in our neighborhood now and then, but I want them in my yard. Maybe my kids will end up thinking they are amazing like I did.
There are a lot of ways you can make your own hummingbird feeder. Some involve old sour cream containers and others can just use an old water bottle. When I first thought of doing this I thought I had seen a version out there using a plastic bottle and some kind of cotton. I never found it, but I found this one from The Outdoor Parent. We skipped the paint (maybe a mistake?) and just used some red foam (and sequins again because my kids love them).
Even if you skip our version for one of the others, you'll still get to use some of your otherwise useless garbage.
Normally I make my baby food, but I purposely went out and bought some just so we have the jars to use. After washing it, I let my boys try to hammer the holes in the top. One did fine my himself and I helped the other out. On he Outdoor parent he suggests that the rough edges on the flip side of the lid be pounded flat, so I did that.
Nest up the boys decorated the bottle. Totally unnecessary, but fun for the kids. Make sure to not cover the holes. I would actually suggest that before you decorate (if you choose to), paint the lid red. From what I have read that attracts the hummingbirds to the feeder more.
My kids wanted their red on the sides of the bottle and requested that I cut out hearts and then they glued them on.
We used a rubber band to hold the foam on until it dried. At this point you are just about ready to hang them up outside (or add one more helpful item to the jar that I wrote about below).
To prepare the "nectar," mix 4 parts water (hot enough to dissolves sugar) with 1 part water. Once it has cooled you can fill the jar up. Make sure you change the water every 4 days or so.
Tie a string around the neck of the jar and hang up near a tree or under the house eaves. There are some tips below that suggest putting it near flowers to attract the birds more quickly. It's making me wish I'd tried harder to plant a nice garden this year.
Here is the potentially helpful addition I added. I'm pretty sure in our bottles' first 4-ish days out that neither of them had any bird friends visit. Upon doing some more reading I decided it just needed more red, so I traced the lid on the red foam and cut out flower shape outside of that and used my tracing as a guide to cut out the inner circle, making it a little bit smaller than the lid so it can be slipped over it and stay snug without using glue. I'm hoping this will help get some fast wings in out yard soon. I'll let you know if we get any and if you make this and attached hummingbirds to your yard, please let us know! :)

More hummingbird tips from

 Activities for Summer #57

1 comment:

kals said...

i made this with amazon jar, I guess their snoot is long enough to get the water