Spending time with the family is important. One way to incorporate the joy of birding with the satisfaction of spending time with the kids can be done by making a back yard Finch feeder. An attractive compliment to home landscaping This do it yourself Saturday project can be completed in a couple of hours max. I first encountered this do it yourself project when on vacation at fishing lodge in Michigan. The joy on the kids faces when they see a flock of American Goldfinches with an occasional House Finch thrown in will be worth the small effort and cost. All materials are readily available at the local hardware or home centers. In my area Home Depots, Menards, and Loews are prevalent.
A simple but effective way to attract Finches to the back yard is with the thistle feeder. There are thousands of feeders on the market ranging in cost from $10 to $50, the cost of our homemade feeder will cost around $10.00 for the materials. This will provide enough material to build two or three feeders, depending on the size you choose. The bigger the feeder the more birds you’ll attract.
The first piece of the project consists of a plastic tube. The perfect sized tube is the fluorescent light bulb plastic protector. These tubes have a 1 ¾ inside diameter and come in four to eight foot lengths. Next pick up two 1 ¾ PVC end caps in the plumbing department. This next item is a matter of choice as far as the material goes. I like to use 1/8 brass rods for the perch, they come in four foot lengths and can be found in the hardware section of the store. They don’t rust and give the feeder a little substance. Wooden dowels can also be used . That’s all the material you’ll need for the construction of the feeder.
Cut the plastic tube to length, cut the brass rod into as many 5”pieces for the perches as you think you’ll need. Take a pair of pliers and grab one of the brass rods. Heat the rod with anything that will get it hot enough to melt through the plastic tubing (it wont take much). Inset the perches for a snug fit. If wooden dowels were chosen use a drill with the appropriate bit. Above the perch cut a slit about ½’’ , This is the feeding slit. Fill the tube with thistle, I buy mine at Wild Birds Unlimited. Next attach the end caps. Put a couple of holes in the top and attach with a small chain. That’s it.