In an attempt to introduce more native birds to the garden I've made a very simple, very effective bird feeding station.
I've just used a clean takeaway container for the sugar water, string I already had and a serving plate which was too big for the drawer.
Grand total: $0 Time taken: 5 minutes.
- Take a plastic serving plate and drill holes in four opposing points. If you don't have a drill, use a hammer and nails to hammer in the holes.
- Knot string into one hole and allowing for a reasonable length, hook over a branch and thread the string through the opposite side. Secure with 3 knots.
- Straighten the plate. Now knot another piece of string through one of the remaining holes, hook over the same branch, thread through the last hole and secure with more knots.
- Your bird catcher should look something like this underneath.
- Don't worry if the plate is not completely level - the food and water can even out the weight.
- Place food and water/sugar water on the plate and you're done! Clean it down every now and then and involve children/grandchildren as they love activities such as this.
What do native birds like?
- Fruit - great way to use up floury apples and fruit scraps
- Leaf foliage
- Nectar. A great nectar alternative is 1/8 cup of sugar mixed with 1 cup of water. Tuis, bellbirds and kaka love it!
- Lots of water in the summer
Things to avoid:
- Honey - birds love honey, but so do bees and feeding them honey can spread bee diseases.
- Bread and grains - great for sparrows, but they will out-compete native birds such as tuis, bellbirds and silvereyes
- Cooked rolled oats (raw oats are OK)