Friday, March 19, 2010

A Bottle for Hummingbirds

Here is a great project It recycles and serves a purpose for nature.

A Bottle for Hummingbirds

Learn how recycling can lead to an inexpensive and unique sugar-water feeder.
By Bill Merritt, Camdenton, Missouri

Forget buying expensive, decorative sugar-water feeders. Now you can make your own for just a few bucks by using a recycled bottle. You'll be amazed at how fun and easy it is to make this one-of-a-kind feeder using a glass bottle. And with the copper accents, it's a decorative addition to your backyard, too.

What You Will Need

Glass bottle
5 feet of 4-gauge untreated copper wire
3 to 5 feet of 12-gauge untreated copper wire
Hummingbird feeding tube
Beads or other decorations
D ring or carabiner
Screw eye

Recommended Tools

Needle-nose pliers
Wire cutter

Let's Get Started

1.File the ends of the copper wires so there are no sharp edges.

2.Take the 4-gauge wire and bend it at one of the ends to form a small circle. This should fit loosely over the opening of the bottle.

3.Insert the bottle in the circle, and make one more loop around the neck to hold it securely.

4.With the neck of the bottle securely in the two loops, wind the rest of the wire around the bottle. (This is where you have a little freedom to create your own design.) The wire should be loose enough to easily remove the bottle for refilling the sugar water, but tight enough to hold the feeder securely.

5.Bend the last 18 inches or so of wire upward to make a hanging hook and then fashion a loop at the very end to secure it, as shown.

6.Next, decorate your feeder using the 12-gauge copper wire.

7.Use needle-nose pliers and wire cutters to shape the wire as needed. Here's a design tip: To create the look of curling vines, wrap the wire around a pencil first and then attach it in pieces.

8.Use colorful beads or other adornments to complete your design. Remember, hummingbirds love red, so it's a great accent color.

9.Remove the bottle and fill it with sugar water. Then take your store-bought feeding  tube and gently twist the stopper into place at the opening of the bottle. It should fit snugly to avoid leaking.

10.After you fill it with sugar water, place the bottle back into the copper holder. You might have to shake the bottle a little to dislodge any air bubbles. If it leaks, remove the feeding tube and try repositioning the stopper to get a more snug fit.

11.Ready to put your feeder to work? Make sure it hangs securely by hooking the feeder onto a snap ring or carabiner. Then put the ring through a screw eye and hang the entire feeder in the desired location. Now it's time to sit back, relax and watch for hummingbirds. Just don't forget to change the sugar water in the bottle every few days. (Or hopefully you will be changing it much sooner because you'll have so many hungry visitors!)

Looking for Hummingbird Feeding Tubes?

You can easily find them at bird supply stores and several places on-line. For example, you can find a 12-pack on-line at Amazon for around $12. If you can't find a local supplier, try doing a search on-line for "hummingbird feeding tubes" to find a source.
Choosing a Bottle

Glass bottles larger than 375 ml are heavy and more prone to leakage. Thus, they are not recommended for this project. Above all, the bottle must provide a tight fit for the stopper portion of the feeding tube you buy.

Anything less than an airtight fit will allow the nectar to drip from the feeding tube. Many soda and water bottles are a good fit for a commercial tube feeder assembly. Be sure to test the seal before you complete your design and add sugar water.

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