Saturday, October 14, 2017

How to Improve a Twirling Bottle Bird Feeder

My twirling bird feeder in summer.
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).

I made one of my own last summer. Click here to see the directions. It worked fine until the rains came. The u-shaped openings that allow birds to feed also allowed rain water to get into the bottom with no way out. The result, soaked and swollen birdseed.

Using a nail to drill holes in the bottom.
It was time to make some modifications or take it down until next summer.

I chose to make some changes to improve performance.

Improvements for the Twirling Bottle Bird Feeder:
Cut a small hole in the pan's middle.
Tape the edges to prevent leakage.
  • Drill small holes in the bottom to allow rainwater to drain.
  • Use a small metal pie pan for a roof. 
  • Add plastic beads to the bottom to reduce the amount of seed near the drain holes.
  • Use a fuel funnel to fill the bottle through the small top opening.
  • Screw the cap back on above the new roof.
  • Hang the bird feeder from a tree or post. 
  • To keep squirrels off, hang it at least a foot away from any branch. 
Insert plastic beads to fill the bottom area.
I hung my new and improved twirling bird feeder back on the bridge railing.

It is in a perfect spot for me to watch the action from my side of the sofa in the cabin.

So far, two Oregon Juncos have been using it.

Beads fill area below the feeder openings.
Plus a chipmunk who's learned how to leap about two feet from the bridge deck up onto the smooth round perch.

At least he eats daintily and doesn't flick the seeds into the lake water below.

Using a fuel funnel to fill with seeds.
Now I use a plastic fuel funnel to fill my bottle.

The bottom of the funnel fits nicely into the top opening. No more seeds spilling out of my rolled up paper funnel.

Did it solve my problem? So far, but the really heavy rains haven't arrived yet. I'll keep you posted.

The improved twirling bottle bird feeder hanging from our bridge to shore.

Here's my feeder ready for whatever the fall and winter may bring, or at least I hope so.

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


  1. Great idea for protecting it from the water. I have seen squirrels leap 6 feet from the roof of the grandsons' fort to the feeder. My solution was some squirrel proof feeders from Amazon - not expensive and they work far better than the ones that are 50.00 to 100.00 each.

    1. We have a gray squirrel come by once in a while, but it's mostly chipmunks. I think they are cute and fun to watch, plus they don't seem to bother my garden plants. I have more problems with the Jay and Raven at the feeder than squirrels and chipmunks. - Margy

  2. The nice thing about seeds falling into the lake water beneath the feeder is that they don't attract mice. Or flocks of starlings.
    Thanks for the link, again!

    1. You are welcome about the link. The lake does make the spot a clean one, but the chipmunks would appreciate a few landing on the bridge. - Margy

  3. Hello, I love the feeder and the Stellar Jay. It is a great idea. I had to stop putting out my feeders, I was seeing too many squirrels, raccoons and other unwanted critters. I appreciate your joining in with my 200th Critter party. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

    1. Congratulations on your 200th Critter party. In the world of blogging that is a huge accomplishment. - Margy

  4. We are kindred spirits. I love creating stuff like this.

  5. This is a very clever birdfeeder! I wonder if it would keep the very hungry and aggressive squirrels that live in my backyard away form the seed? They can empty a birfeeder in an hour.


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy