Make a Hummingbird Feeder for Pennies

April 16, 2011 at 6:56 AM Leave a comment

Hummingbird Feeder for Pennies

This window feeder doubles as a hand-held hummingbird magnet. Find out how to make it today, just in time for hummingbird season!

By Lisa Szczygiel-Durante, Thomaston, Connecticut

I love seeing hummingbirds up close, so I designed a feeder just for that purpose. This window feeder is simple, but it certainly does the job. Best of all, once the hummingbirds are used to feeding from it, you can remove it from the base and feed them by hand!

What You Will Need

  • 12 inches of 18-gauge copper wire
  • 1/2-inch suction cup with a hole in the base
  • Plastic test tube with cap
  • Decorative beads (optional)
  • Artificial flower without stem
  • Small wire cutters
  • Pliers (for twisting and spiraling wire)

Step by step

  1. This is a simple window feeder that anyone can make. To start, cut an 8-inch piece from the copper wire. Let the wire naturally take a half-moon shape.
  2. Lace 2 inches of the wire through the hole in the suction cup and then fold and twist the wire until secure.
  3. Bend the longer end of the wire gently with your hands into an arc, leaving 3/4 inch at the very end for the hook that will attach to the feeder.
  4. Take your pliers and make a large loop at the very end of the arc, forming a shepherd’s hook, with the open end on the top or facing up. This will make it easier to attach the feeding tube quickly and will prevent the feeder from falling off.
  5. Take the remaining 4 inches of copper wire and wrap it around the test tube, with one end much longer than the other. Use pliers to twist and secure the wire to the test tube. This should leave a 3/4-inch tail remaining to attach a decorative glass bead.
  6. Slide the ring you have made more than halfway up the tube, so that when full, the feeder will stay up.
  7. Slide another bead onto the open end of the wire wrapped around the tube and use pliers to spiral the wire and close it up completely. Now the copper wire is wrapped firmly around the feeding tube and you have a loop to attach to your hook with the suction cup.
  8. Make a small hole in the tube’s cap, place it on the tube and poke the end of the artificial flower through the center so that the hummingbirds can get at the nectar as naturally as possible. If the flower doesn’t have a hole in it, make one with a pin.
  9. Attach the closed loop on the tube to the upward-facing shepherd’s hook with the suction cup. Make sure your window is clean so the suction cup will be secure.
  10. Voila! You now have a nifty little hummingbird feeder of your own. Place it in a window where you can easily view it!


Hand-Feeding Basics

Lisa has perfected the art of feeding hummingbirds by hand. She has developed the Hum-Fi hand-held feeder, pictured above (, and offers these tips to beginners.

Ready? Put the feeder where you can easily see it from indoors.

Set. Let the window do the work. Give the hummers time to get comfortable feeding from this feeder first.

Go! Once the birds fly away, hold the feeder in your hand facing away from you. Stay as still as possible. Once the birds get used to you, they’ll approach you without fear!

For more great hummingbird stories, check out the hummingbird section of our website!

Entry filed under: Garden Crafts, Just for fun., Nature Notes.

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