Backyard Project: DIY Pumpkin Bird Feeder

Create a bird feeder from your pumpkin in this easy DIY backyard project - the birds will love it and you'll get some extra use out of your pumpkin too!

DIY Pumpkin Bird Feeder 4
Abert’s Towhee enjoying sunflower seeds from a pumpkin bird feeder

Halloween has arrived and pumpkins can be seen everywhere – some carved into ghoulish faces or others left uncarved where their bright colors add great fall color.

Halloween PumpkinsNoelle Johnson

But, what do you do with your pumpkin when Halloween is over?  Do you throw them in the compost pile or trash bin?

What if you could get more use out of your pumpkin and benefit wildlife at the same time?  Creating a bird feeder from pumpkins is a fun and easy backyard project and you most likely already have all you need to get started – a pumpkin!

heirloom pumpkin
Heirloom pumpkin

You can use a carved pumpkin or one that is uncarved.  I used the heirloom pumpkin that had been decorating my home for the fall holidays to make my DIY pumpkin bird feeder.

DIY Pumpkin Bird Feeder

1. Cut your pumpkin in half.  If your pumpkin still has seeds inside, scoop them out and roast them OR save a few to plant pumpkins in your garden next year (I grew a pumpkin from last year’s heirloom pumpkin).

DIY Pumpkin Bird Feeder 2

2. Carve four small trenches in which to rest perches for your feathered visitors.  You can put in wooden dowels or small branches as perches.

DIY Pumpkin Bird Feeder 5

3. Fill the pumpkin with bird seed and set out.  I placed our pumpkin on an old tree stump so that I could more easily see it from the house.  You could also use sturdy twine to hang it up – simply knot two lenghts of twine together in the middle and set the pumpkin on the knotted section and bring up the ends and hang from your favorite place.

DIY Pumpkin Bird Feeder 6

Needless to say, it didn’t take long to attract visitors.  A pair of Abert’s Towhees (Melozone aberti), who are mostly found in Arizona and who make their home in my garden, were the first visitors.

Now, pumpkin bird feeders won’t last forever, but I like the idea of getting more use out of my pumpkins before I throw them into my compost pile.  How about you?  Have you ever made a bird feeder out of a pumpkin?  Maybe, this year will be your first time!

My fellow blogger, Jill, wrote a great blog post about little known facts about pumpkins and different ways to use them, which I encourage you to check out.

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Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. When she is not writing or helping other people with their gardens, you can find her growing fruits and vegetables, and planting flowering shrubs and maybe a cactus or two.