Estimated Cost: $$$$
Total: 3 hours
Attract hummingbirds to your yard and watch them hover in mid-air as they sip from this clever little feeder. Hang it near flowering plants and shrubs and watch them supplement that nectar with the sugary mixture in a feeder you made yourself.
Easily made, this feeder features a small plastic bottle feeder and two narrow slots that allow you to see when your mixture has run out or needs to be changed. The enclosed body of the feeder also protects the mixture from the sun's rays, which experts say will quickly spoil the feeding solution.
Cut a 15" piece of 1 x 6 and rip it into two pieces 2 ½" wide. Then, set your saw’s fence so that the blade is centered in the thickness of your ¾" stock and resaw those two pieces in half, so you end up with four pieces approximately 3/8" thick by 2 ½" wide by 7" long. From those pieces, cut the four walls (A) and the bottom piece (C).
Stack two of the wall pieces together and drill two 3/8" holes, one about 3/4" from the bottom and the other about 2" from the top, along the centerline. Draw pencil lines between the outside edges of those two holes on both pieces, and cut that 3/8"-wide slot with a jig saw equipped with a thin, fine-toothed blade. These are the slots that allow you to see how much feeding solution is in the bottle.
From the remaining stock of your lumber, cut the top (D) and cap (E) to the dimensions on the cut list. Use your router and ¼" chamfer bit to cut a chamfer around the perimeter of both pieces.
From the smaller piece of lumber, cut the corners (B). Set your table saw’s blade to 45° and carefully rip four pieces no wider than ½". Crosscut to 5 ½" long.
Center and drill a hole at least 1/8" larger than the cap in the bottom piece (C).
Glue the corner pieces (B) to the wall sections (A), noting how the wall edges lap in the illustration. Keep the corner pieces flush with the bottom of your wall sections.
Once your glue has set, fit the wall sections together and drive ¾" brads through the walls and into the corner pieces. You may want to use masking tape or rubber bands to keep the sections together as you do this.
Place the bottom piece (C) on the bottom of the box and attach with glue and ¾" brads, driving the brads into the corner pieces.
Center the cap (E) on the top of the roof (D) and attach with glue and 1" brads. Center the lock block (F) on the bottom of this assembly and attach in the same manner.
Mark the center point for the ¼" dowel key on the feeder wall as noted on the illustration. Insert the roof assembly and drill a 9/32" hole through one wall, the lock block and out through the other wall. Be careful to keep your drill perpendicular so the two holes on the feeder walls line up properly.
Cut the dowel to proper length and drill a 1/16" hole through one end. Attach an approximate 12" length of fishing line to the dowel and the other end to the eye hook. This will keep the dowel key from becoming lost.
Drill a 1/8" hole about ½" deep in the center of your roof cap and screw in the eye hook.
Apply a waterproofing finish according to manufacturer recommendations.
Fill your bottle with a feeding mixture, place the feeder over the top and screw the feeding tube in place through the hole in the feeder bottom. Invert, place the roof on top and insert dowel key.
Hang in place and enjoy your bird watching.
You can purchase ready made hummingbird food mixtures or you can make your own by boiling water and adding white sugar in a 4:1 ratio (water to sugar). Add food coloring if you wish to make the mixture more visible through the slots in the feeder walls.