how to build a finch bird feeder

Finches are small, colorful birds that are a delightful visitors for your yard. You can set up bird feeders designed and stocked specifically for finches if you want them to keep stopping by. While you also can buy the feeders, making them on your own will save you money and provide a fun project.

The most common type of wild finches are the American goldfinch, the house finch and the purple finch. Check with your local cooperative extension or department of natural resources to learn what types of finches are most common in your area. Search online or in field guidebooks for pictures to help identify them.

The most commonly available foods for finches are whole sunflower seeds (oil-type black and black-striped), sunflower kernels, niger (thistle), millet, flax and safflower. Check at local garden centers, nurseries or farm stores for seed availability in your area.

Finches prefer sock, tube and platform feeders, but will also eat seeds that are strewn on the ground. All of these bird feeders are easy to make. Typically, finches enjoy feeding upside-down, so they prefer sock, tube and platform feeders hung in trees.

You can find many free, downloadable bird feeder plans online. You also can check your local library for books that include plans and call or go online to your local state department of natural resources.

Sock feeders are long, narrow bags made of mesh fabric. They can be made from an old pantyhose leg filled with niger seed or by sewing a scrap of mesh fabric into a tube shape. Fill with seed, then hang from a tree branch.

Simple tube feeders can be made from two-liter bottles. Drill a hole in the lid to run wire for a hanger. Drill small holes through each side of the bottle in varying locations, then run a thin dowel rod through each side to create short perches. Drill more small holes for the birds to remove the seeds.

An easy platform feeder can be made by cutting a square of plywood, then installing eyehooks at each corner. Tie a length of string or twine to each eye hook, gather them together and tie them into a knot. Hang the feeder from a tree branch of a shepherd’s hook and scatter seeds on the platform.

Tammy Lee Morris is a writer living in southern Illinois. She has been writing professionally for print publications since 1992 and contributing to online publications since 2006. Now writing a column for “The Weekly Review,” she has also contributed to “Womans World,” “Countryside Magazine,” and the Womans Day website. Morris studied journalism at John A. Logan College.

Simple tube feeders can be made from two-liter bottles. Create a hole in the lid to pass wire through for hanging. Create little perches by drilling tiny holes in different places along the bottle’s sides and inserting a thin dowel rod through them. To help the birds get rid of the seeds, drill more tiny holes.

Sock feeders are long, narrow bags made of mesh fabric. They can be created by sewing a scrap piece of mesh fabric into the shape of a tube or by stuffing an old pantyhose leg with niger seed. Fill with seed, then hang from a tree branch.

Although they prefer to eat from sock, tube, and platform feeders, finches will also nibble on scattered seeds. All of these bird feeders are easy to make. Finches typically prefer sock, tube, and platform feeders hung in trees because they like to eat upside-down.

Tammy Lee Morris is a writer living in southern Illinois. Since 1992, she has been a professional writer for print magazines, and since 2006, she has contributed to online publications. She currently writes a column for “The Weekly Review” and has previously contributed to Asylum, Woman’s World, and Countryside Magazine. com and the Womans Day website. Morris studied journalism at John A. Logan College.

Small and colorful, finches make beautiful guests in your yard. If you want finches to consistently visit your bird feeder, you can install feeders that are specifically made and stocked for them. Although you can purchase the feeders, creating them yourself will be more cost-effective and make for an enjoyable project.

I was passionate about our backyard birds before we had our children. I made sure they were fed properly at all times, and I even placed bulk online orders for no-sprout food to avoid weeds. Then, as life happened, we suddenly had four babies. I was so busy feeding my own flock that I had no time for the birds. There was still no time or chance to feed the birds when our babies grew to be toddlers. The wild birds are welcome back in our yard now that they are preschoolers and interested in birds. We used inexpensive and repurposed materials to create finch feeders, which was an enjoyable engineering project for the children.

Each mesh bag has a center zipper that needs to be unzipped. Then, place one filled tight “bag” on either side of the zipper (there are two per mesh bag). Using sturdy wire or the feeder’s top covering the hook, hang the feeder from a hook. Initially, we attempted to use a pipe cleaner, but it was not sturdy enough to support the feeder’s weight while holding in the wind. It held far more securely when it was just hooked from the rack’s top.

Using the holes in the rack (such as the ones closest to Xayden’s hands in the above photo), cut the pipe cleaners or wire into pieces and use them to fasten the mesh bags to the feeder.

Grab the part of the tights not filled with seeds at the top and turn it through the hole to make a loop as shown in the picture. This allows you to refill the feeder as it is not a knot. Hand the feeder up and enjoy watching the finches indulge. Note: This photo was taken before the holes were poked through. Your feeder will have tiny holes poked all through the feeder to make it easier for the birds to access the seeds. Looking for more STEM ideas? Check out the rest of the ideas featured on 31 Days Of Outdoor Stem over at Little Bins for Little Hands!

Next, have the kids stuff each pair of tights with Nyjer seed after cutting off the legs. They have the option to use the large funnel or scoop it out and pour it in. You don’t need a scoop or funnel; they can just use their hands to put it in. As the kids open and close the tights, have them alternately fill them with Nyjer seed. After filling each, knot the tops loosely so they don’t spill and can be used again. Then, using the sharp end of the scissors, have the kids poke numerous tiny holes in the filled tights. For safety reasons, this needs to be supervised (based on the child’s age and skill level).


What type of feeder do finches like best?

While finches will eat off of nearly any feeder, the best feeders to use are the Finch Stations, Feeder Socks, and Feeder Tubes. Because finches are smaller birds, they are able to access the seeds in socks, but these are all designed to hold food that finches love.

How high should a finch feeder be?

Best Bird Feeder Heights The most popular bird feeder heights for popular backyard birds are: Cardinals and finches (feed at lower levels) – approximately eye level, 5–6 feet. Woodpeckers (feed higher in trees) – 6–10 feet. Hummingbirds (feed from flowering bushes and vines) – 3–6 feet.