A simple bird feeder is a fun project that you can complete over the course of an afternoon with your family. You don't have to be Bob Villa to build a diner for a bird. In fact, according to ornithologists, birds don't even like fancy bird feeders. They prefer, simple, subtle feeders that don't smell like paint or attract attention from potential predators like your cat. Your bird feeder will attract all kinds of cute birds into your backyard. As long as you are doing something nice for the local fauna, you may as well also make your bird feeder totally environmentally friendly. You and your kids can make a cool bird feeder out of an old soda bottle or milk carton.
Clean out an empty soda bottle with hot water. Draw a small asterisk on the side of the bottle a few inches from the bottom. Turn the bottle around and draw a small circle directly across from the asterisk. With an X-acto knife, make some slits in the bottle over the lines you drew for the asterisk and cut out the circle. Insert a handle of a wooden kitchen spoon into the circle and then back out through the asterisk. Turn your soda bottle to the side and make another asterisk, slightly higher up on the bottle than the first one. Make a little circle directly across from this asterisk too. Cut out the new circle and slit over the lines in the asterisk with your X-acto knife. Insert another wooden spoon through the circle and then out through the asterisk. The wooden spoons will be your bird perches. Take the cap off of the bottle and twist a small eye screw through it. Take your bird feeder outside and fill it with birdseed. A little bit should spill out from the circles onto the spoons. Put the cap back on the bottle and hang the bird feeder from a tree with some twine.
Wash out an empty milk carton with hot water. Cut out a hole in the middle of your milk carton big enough for sparrows to go through. Cut out another matching hole directly across from this one. About one inch below your big holes, cut two small holes that are just big enough to fit a quarter inch dowel through. Take the dowel back out for now. Make a cool looking roof for your milk carton with popsicle sticks. You can glue popsicle sticks right to the top of your milk carton so that they look like an angled roof. Let the glue dry completely. Paint the milk carton and popsicle stick roof. If you want to attract birds, you'll have to paint the carton in grays, browns and other drab shades. Bright colors will scare them away. If you like the bright colors better, though, that's okay. You will probably still attract squirrels. Allow the paint on your milk carton to dry, and then reinsert the dowel through the holes so the birds have a perch. Fill the bottom two inches of the milk carton with birdseed and hang your feeder from a tree with some twine.