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Hummer Feeder

Materials Tools
Copper wire (10 gauge solid core)
Red craft foam
Hole punch
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Hot glue

See the Activities section for more instructions, hints and tips.

Here are some more ideas to help you enjoy hummingbirds.

See the hummingbird information page for more information on feeders and making nectar.

Here is another simple feeder that uses a small bottle. You can use almost any kind of bottle. Just walk around a grocery or craft store to see what's available. You’ll want it to be about 1" in diameter and 3” deep. I like the clear plastic ones best. Craft stores have bottles for holding coins that work nicely as well as other bottles. You can also use prescription pill bottles, but be sure you clean them out real good.

Younger children may need help holding the end of the wire in place and bending it. You can use vise grips to help them.

These instructions are for a 1"x3” silver dollar coin bottle found in craft stores. If you have another size, use a string to wrap around the bottle to determine how much wire you need. Use enough wire to go around the container 3 or 4 times and have about 4” left over.

You can add an extra six inches of wire and put a horizontal perch that the hummingbird will appreciate. Or you can wrap some extra wire around the hanger. Just make sure that the perch does not interfere with the hummingbirds getting to the nectar.

  1. Wrap the wire 3 or 4 times around the container in a spiral. Bend the last 4” away from the container and bend a loop on the end of the wire. Slide the wire off the container. Bend the end of the spiral towards the middle, making a tighter, smaller loop to prevent the bottle from sliding out.
  2. Hanger

  3. Test the hanger for fit. If the wire is too tight, hold both ends in your hands and rotate so the spiral expands. If it's too loose, rotate so the spiral tightens. Repeat until you get a snug fit. You don’t want it so tight that it’s hard to remove the container or so loose that it falls out in the wind.
  4. Tie a piece of red ribbon to the hanger to attract the attention of the hummingbirds.
  5. To make the cap, cut a rectangular strip of craft foam about 1/2” wide and 7” long or long enough to go completely around plus 1" of overlap. Wrap it tightly around the outside of the bottle. Where the two ends overlap, put a drop of hot glue and press the ends together. This forms the ring portion of the cap.
  6. Lid

  7. Make the flower by cutting out a circle from the foam about 2 1/2” in diameter, about 1" in diameter larger than the mouth of the bottle. To make the petals, cut 5 or 6 V-shaped notches evenly spaced around the edge of the circle. The V cuts should be at most 3/8” deep. Clip off both corners of each petal to give them a more rounded appearance.
  8. Hot glue the foam ring onto the center of the flower. Once it is tacked in place, run a bead of hot glue around the joint where the ring meets the flower to make it more secure.
  9. Use a hole punch to put a 1/8” diameter hole in the flower. For a wide mouth container put the hole towards the edge opposite where the foam ring overlaps so it will be closer to the nectar (see the photo above).

Adjust the hanger so that the bottle hangs at an angle to get the nectar closer to the hole, but not so flat that the nectar drains out.

If you see black mold spots on the flower or cap just throw it away and make another one.

Remember that any type of container can be used, but since hummingbirds can only reach about two inches, it doesn't need to be very deep. You can adapt the wire hanger to fit just about any shape.

Bottle Feeder Bottle Feeder

The only problem with these feeders is that they are small and require attention every day or two. You may have to place several in your yard to satisfy the needs of all the hummingbirds that visit your yard. Remember they will each drink about half a tablespoon per hummingbird per day.

Copyright © 2012 Vincent Hale