Monday, August 07, 2017

How to Make a Twirling Bottle Bird Feeder

A little over a year ago I saved directions about how to make a twirling bottle bird feeder from one of my favourite blogs, Wanderin' Weeta (With Waterfowl and Weeds).

The twirling design was to make it squirrel proof. My problem isn't squirrels, but a Steller's Jay that is making a mess with my bird feeders. He's too big and knocks the seeds into the lake.

Here are the directions from Wanderin' Weeta's site, slightly modified:


  • Empty plastic pop bottle with screw-top lid
  • Clean thin twig about 8 inches long
  • Sturdy twine
  • A washer or nut
  • Duct tape
  • Sharp knife
  • Hammer 
  • Small nail, large nail and a straight pen
  • Choose a clean plastic pop bottle.
  • Remove the label.
  • Push a small nail through the plastic about an inch and a half up from the bottom. Use a large nail then a straight pen to make the hole fit the stick.
  • Make another hole on the opposite side of the bottle.
  • Use a nail and hammer to make a hole in the center of the lid.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut two inch horizontal slits about 1/2 inch above each hole. 
  • I used duct tape to cover the sharp lower slit edges.
  • Squeeze just above the slits to make U-shaped openings for birds to reach the seeds. 
  • Thread twine through the slits. Tie one end firmly around the top of the bottle just below the lid. Pull on the other end until the twine holds the two U-shaped sections permanently open. Tie firmly around the neck of the bottle. 
  • Force the twig (I used a length of bamboo plant stake) through the bottle. It should fit snugly. This will make the perches.
  • Thread another length of twine, about 3 feet long, through the lid. Tie the inside end around the washer or nut. Pull the washer tight inside the lid and tie a knot on the outside. 
Finishing Touches:
  • Fill your bottle with bird seed. 
  • Screw on the cap.
  • Hang the bird feeder from a tree or post. To keep squirrels off, hang it at least a foot away from any branch. 
I hung my new twirling bird feeder on the bridge railing.

Did it solve my Steller's Jay problem? Well, not completely. But with smaller holes in the feeder, the Oregon Juncos at least have a fighting chance to get something to eat before it all gets flicked out.

Thanks Wanderin' Weeta for giving me this great idea. And for my readers, I highly recommend visiting her website. She's a nature expert, superb photographer and takes us along to explore Vancouver Island's many trails and back roads. -- Margy


  1. Thanks for the link, Margie! I'm glad you like my spinning feeder.

  2. The duct tape was a good idea.

  3. Remember Art Bell? And the Y2K panic?

    That year, I wrote this, half about the chickadees and their feeder.

    And Art Bell says don't touch that dial, more
    UFO's coming down the light years, the
    extra terrestrials, alien
    intelligences to spin crop circles
    for the millennium. Are you overweight? You're
    out of your mind if you don't buy this radio
    with a light and a crank and a
    crackpot hoard of food for Y2K; the cans
    won't leak even though the world ends
    - don't spin that dial - here in the Nevada desert with
    tanks of water and saucers of ET's coming right up

    And at my window the chickadees take their turn on the dancing twigs, the bottle spinning under its saucer roof, bottle, birds and black oil seeds weightless in the swimming air, black beaks kissing black mouth, dropping one by one to crack the shells and pry the meat and rise again to join the queue. In the hungry hours at the end of light, their holes won't leak.

  4. I remember the first time I saw a Stellar's Jay. It was in Glacier National Park in 1986. What a deep blue colour. Sorry it messes up your feeders.

    1. The new feeder forces him to eat seeds without flicking too many out. There is one advantage, the chipmunks and Oregon Juncos take care of everything that lands on the bridge to shore. The ones that land in the lake are another matter. - Margy

  5. A lovely jay! Ours are pretty tough. I am anxious to put feeders up, again. I haven't seen Junior bear on the trailcam... :-Q

    1. We are lucky that bears don't climb down our stairs to get to the cabin so I'm confident about leaving my feeders up all summer. - Margy

  6. I woke up in the middle of the night, realizing I'd spelled your name wrong. Sorry, Margy!

    1. Thanks for the inspiration. My knife wasn't as sharp as it should have been to cut a clean line so I though a little tape would protect the birds as they stuck their beaks inside. No worries about the spelling. I've been called a lot of things like Margie, Margo, Maggie and I answer to them all. - Margy

  7. Replies
    1. He doesn't stay still for very long, and when on the new feeder he is in constant motion. Looks like a kid on a jungle gym on the playground. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy