Feeding Birds with Recycled Baskets

Save money by feeding birds from baskets found at thrift and other bargain stores.

Reader and Community member Sue Farris recently shared her easy, money-saving trick for adding new bird feeders to her yard. She purchases baskets from thrift stores, fills them with seeds or nuts, and sets them out or hangs them in trees. It’s just that simple, and the birds love it.

Feeding BirdsSue Farris
Sue Farris A sparrow enjoys a basket of sunflower seeds.

Sue notes that there’s no need to line the baskets; the small holes allow rainwater to drain out, keeping seed fresh. When baskets start to break down from the weather, you can dispose of them and easily find more at any thrift store, especially after Easter.

Feeding BirdsSue Farris
Sue Farris A tufted titmouse snags a peanut.

This is a great and inexpensive way to put out extra food in the spring for birds just returning after migration. Nesting birds need lots of extra food to keep them going in the spring. You can also try filling the baskets with peanuts in the shell for feeding birds like blue jays that might bully birds at your regular feeders, or to distract the neighborhood squirrels.

Feeding BirdsSharon Sheron
Sharon Sheron These baskets also make for great photo opportunities!

Have you tried hanging baskets like this for your birds? What other tricks do you have for feeding birds?

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.