There are different types of bird feeders: with silo, thatched roof, clapboard, on a wooden stand or for hanging. Here we would like to present you with construction instructions for a cheap and simple variant of how you can build the bird feeder, modify and expand it as you wish.
Table of Contents
Who is this guide for?
Building a bird feeder yourself is a fun activity for grandfathers and an interesting experience for grandchildren. This bird feeder can be built in under an hour. The children can also lend a hand themselves – when grinding and screwing in the screws (with the Phillips head or under supervision with the cordless screwdriver). It is not a kit, but requires some skill. On the other hand, the construction plan is so simple that the children should not lose interest, because the progress of the construction can be observed well.
However, the bird feeder is also suitable for all other do-it-yourselfers and bird lovers – thanks to the low material and tool requirements. If you have the wood cut to size in a specialist shop and can do without the convenience of pre-drilled holes, all you need is a pencil, sandpaper, screws, angle brackets and a Phillips head.
What materials do you need?
Only a few screws and a wooden board made of oak are required for this basic variant. The wooden panel with the dimensions approx. 120cm x 40cm and 14mm thickness can be purchased in any well-stocked hardware store. Depending on how well you use the board, a wooden board with an edge length of 100 cm x 40 cm is sufficient. We use oak because it is inexpensive, easy to work with and durable. Anyone who does not want oak wood to turn gray can paint it with deep primer and clear lacquer. In addition, about 20 screws with a length of 40mm are required.
The costs are very manageable. Do-it-yourselfers will certainly have the wood and few screws on hand. Individual boards can also be used instead of a wooden panel. However, they should have a width of 40 cm.
- Costs for a wooden panel (larch) 120x40cm: approx. 3-7 euros
- Costs for screws, 3mm, 20-25 pieces: approx. 2-3 euros in a small pack (25 pieces)
- optional: triangular, 2 euros per running meter
- optional: clear coat, 7 euros
What tools do you need?
The list of materials is quickly compiled:
- Hand saw
- Angle with ruler (or additional folding rule)
- Drill with 3mm drill bit
- Phillips or cordless screwdriver
parts and dimensions
Before the practical building instructions begin in ten simple steps, the individual components of the bird feeder should be listed with their dimensions:
- 1 x base plate: 300x300mm
- 1 x Roof – Plate 1: 284x400mm
- 1 x roof – plate 2: 270x400mm
- 2 x side panel: 300x74mm (inside: 74mm; outside: 60mm height)
- 2 x protective strips: 20-40x270mm (protection against the lining falling out)
Build a bird feeder yourself – step by step
Divide the wooden board sensibly and draw the individual components. Begin with the two side walls and use the remains of the panel for the roof and floor as well as the protective strips. Of course, you can still use the remains of the plate – more on that at the end of the assembly instructions.
2. Cut off side walls
Start by cutting the side walls. These are also the most demanding because here you have to pay attention to the first angle. In order for the sloping roof to fit snugly at the end, the side walls must be at a 45° angle.
The side walls are 300mm long. The inside will be 74mm high and the outside 60mm high. You still have the whole record in front of you. This has the advantage that you have more stability when cutting. With a correct cut of 45° you can therefore make both walls at the same time.
- To do this, create the angle with 45°
- Mark the cutting line with a pencil
- Cut along the line with the handsaw
To check: if the outside is about 60mm high due to the cut, you did it right.
If you want to avoid the somewhat demanding 45° cut, you can also use a triangular timber. Attach this to the side walls. The height of the side walls then depends on the dimensions of the triangular timber.
3. Cut roofs and floors and protective strips
Now cut the other parts of the bird feeder. When cutting, proceed slowly to avoid possible chipping.
Cut the front and rear walls, or rather – protection against the bird seed falling out – lengthways out of the wooden board. This makes the work a bit more difficult, but proves to be useful.
4. Sand edges
Now take the sandpaper (sandpaper) and remove any chips so that the surfaces are smooth but by no means rounded. The surfaces should lie well on top of each other.
Rounded surfaces only make sense for the upper and outer sides. However, rounding can also be done later.
5. Drill holes
Now take the drill and use a 3mm drill bit. By pre-drilling the holes, you need less force driving the screws, avoid splitting the wood, and the screws sit straight in the wood. Drill the board all the way through!
You have to drill the following holes:
Important: So that the screws on the bird feeder later sit in the middle, they must be set approx. 7mm away from the edge. If your slab is 20mm or 18mm thick, you must leave space for half the slab thickness respectively. To the other edges approx. leave a distance of 3 cm.
6. Insert screws
Screw the screws into the wider of the roof panels (this one protrudes). The screws may protrude by two to three mm. This finally makes it possible to fix the wooden panel to the slightly shorter roof panel. Then tighten the middle screw to be able to readjust. Then the outer screws.
Measure the angle. Does this not show 45°? Then loosen the screws again and readjust.
7. Pre-drill the base plate
Next, drill the holes in the base plate. Also note the 7mm and 3cm rules mentioned above.
8. Screw on side panels
Now write the side panels to the bottom panel. Make sure the bevel is facing outwards.
9. Attach protective strips
Before you join the roof and floor, attach the protective strips that will later prevent food from falling out of the house. You can also pre-drill holes here.
You can of course vary here, for example the protective strips:
- move something inside
- reduce and set in the middle
- leave out completely (not recommended)
- use a stronger branch instead of the slats (looks more natural)
10. Assemble bird feeder
Now connect the roof to the side walls. Before you finally screw in the screws, measure the resulting angle. The resulting angle in these building instructions is 90°.
Of course, you can also adjust the angles to your liking and create a very pointed roof. However, this also changes all other dimensions!
Ready! You have already built a bird feeder yourself. The bird feeder is suitable for setting up on the balcony or by the window. Do you want to hang up the bird feeder? No problem – simply attach an additional screw or hook to both gable ends. A thin rope, done.
variants and refinements
There are no limits to the ideas of refinement. It is advisable to paint the bird feeder. Deep ground is suitable for this. This is applied once or twice – until the wood is saturated. Of course, a glaze or paint can also be applied. The costs for deep primer with clear coat amount to about 7 euros.
The roof can be upgraded in various ways. Some ideas:
- Attach birch branches or sticks of blue spruce
- Indicate a thatched roof with reeds – plan for an overhang
- Attach small shingles – very complex, but unique
Facilitate access for birds
In order for birds such as tits, nuthatches, finches or blackbirds to get into the bird feeder, it is also advisable to build a landing stage. If you hang up the bird feeder, you can create a 10-15cm wide web from the remains of the wood. You simply attach it to the underside of the house with two screws.
Cats are not welcome!
To ensure that your feeding house is also safe from cats and martens, it is advisable to attach a tree protection collar to trees and wooden stands. Always set up the bird feeder in such a way that the animals have a clear view of the surroundings and can quickly get to safety in an emergency.
In order to build a bird feeder yourself, no specialist knowledge is required. If you have the components cut to size free of charge in a specialist shop according to the plan, you can save time and start assembling almost immediately. After less than an hour of construction, you are in possession of an inexpensive, stable and quickly erected bird feeder, which you can then paint and design as you wish.