My DIY Bird Feeder is Drawing a Crowd!

This Northern Cardinal family has made my DIY bird feeder their regular choice for daily meals!

Jill Staake

It’s always satisfying when a backyard project turns out the way you hope it will. Such has been the case with my mini-colander DIY bird feeder, which I posted here on the blog a few weeks ago. Within an hour or so of hanging it, I noticed birds were stopping by for a sunflower snack. Since then, it has seen visitors all day long, every day, and has even withstood one of the strongest thunderstorms we’ve had in Tampa in quite some time (it included 8 inches of rain in about 45 minutes!). But my favorite thing about this DIY bird feeder has to be the Northern Cardinal family that’s been stopping by regularly to enjoy their family meals.

DIY Bird Feeder Cardinal famliy

Jill Staake Adult female cardinal perches on feeder while juvenile male (L) and two juvenile females wait nearby.

This kind of feeder is great for birds like Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis). These birds are unlikely to visit cling-style bird feeders meant for smaller birds like finches and chickadees. They like to be able to perch and select their seeds. (Other birds that prefer open feeders like this include doves, juncos, and towhees.) Like many seed-eaters, the adult cardinals in this family are teaching their young ones where to find seeds – and even feeding the seeds right to them!

DIY Bird Feder Cardinal Family

Cardinals fledge (leave the nest) in just 7 – 13 days after hatching, and since they raise up to 4 broods each season, there’s a good chance the male of this pair is already off scouting a new nest site (cardinals rarely reuse old nests) to start the next batch. Once the eggs are laid, the female will incubate them while the male finishes raising this brood of youngsters. Talk about busy parents!

Do Northern Cardinals nest in your yard? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below. And if you want to give this DIY bird feeder a try, find the instructions here.

  1. louis says

    i am retired-enjoy watching birds-hope everyone does-never dreamed this could work plus i had the idea that it was safer to let them forage i`ll give it a try

  2. Diane Santi says

    I had Cardinals and Blue Jays in my trees last Fall. I just finally got my feeder hung from my house with food meant for them and now they are no where to be seen. How can I get them back to my yard? They left during the winter.

  3. Connie McCullough says

    You must not be overwhelmed with a squirrel population! They would dump apt he colander over in minutes. Squirrels even cling to my squirrel proof feeders, chasing the birds away! Sadly, I have given up on feeders!

  4. KAT says

    This would never work at my house unless I wanted to feed the squirrels…they would have this empty within hours! You are lucky you don’t have them there!!!

  5. Kathy S. says

    I’m in Tampa, as well! Love the idea of using a mini-colander. I’d love to take a peek at your butterfly area @ MOSI sometime! Please email me if possible. Kathy

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