Shop Products
Houzz Logo Print
tnbrdnrd

Homemade Feeder

ctnchpr
15 years ago

It's OK to laugh, the DW did. She called it a

contraption. I call it the "Hummer Happy Hour

Feeder". Everything (except the Tequila bottle)

is from the hardware/plumbing/electrical dept's

of Home Depot. Threaded plugs on each end allow

access for cleaning. This pic was taken at midday,

a slow time for the bar. The regular crowd will

shuffle in later.

Comments (123)

  • medontdo
    14 years ago

    i had to send your post to one of my friends who also loves hummingbirds!! she'll also love the video's!! man!! you have a fan!! LOL and thank you so much!! :') talla, my little one (6 and not so little LOL) had to watch just 2 more mom, just a few more mom, ok just 1 more mom, just 1 more i promise mom, ok just some more i promise mom!! we watched a bunch and we still have a few to go, but i left it to where i was so we could finish, that was the promise!! LOL :')

    i'm learning our hubs love to tease us cuz they just have nothing better to do and just to get us to go ahead and see how much of our minds we will actually use!! LOL although my hubs hates it when i really get it going!! LOL he'd just rather me make it look nicer, so that's my goal!! LOL ~Medo

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Thanks, Randy & Sandy!!

    Medo, I'm so glad your Talla likes the videos. I'm adding a different link that will make it easier to pick & choose a favorite video.

    Here is a link that might be useful: All of 'em

  • Related Discussions

    What are you giving your pets for Christmas?

    Q

    Comments (60)
    Sandra Shepard you are hilarious! My husbands dog will get a oinking pig toy and a new squeaker ball. I am making my cat a suitcase bed like the ones I have seen online. Her best present is that she and I move to the new house and the dog and husband have to stay behind and finish the old house. She just can't stop slinking when in the dog's presence and so he has to chase her. I have told her, all she needs to do is slash him once and he will have respect. But no, she slinks, he chases. LIfe without the dog for a while will be heaven for her.
    ...See More

    POLL: April Checklist

    Q

    Comments (122)
    Wow, spring cleaning has really changed since my mother was a kid. [g] They had feather matresses and had to cut them open and wash and hang out to try the mattress cover and then fill them back up again every spring, in addition to scrubbing every inch of the house. 'Refreshing the mantle' really wasn't on the list. [g]
    ...See More

    POLL: Do you have fruit trees?

    Q

    Comments (259)
    Right now I have Meyer lemon, Eureka lemon, Fuji apple, blood orange, naval orange, avocado, cherimoya, white sapote, Kaffir lime, yuzu, and ice cream banana (which has bananas on it right now). When I lived in Venice (CA), I had pineapple guava, Manila mango, papaya, and Texas red fig trees, plus a Valencia orange. I do miss the trees I had in Venice, but I only have so much room. I also grow pineapples, but they are not trees, although they definitely make fruit.
    ...See More

    POLL: Where do you have dinner?

    Q

    Comments (117)
    Kitchen table, well actually dinette table adjacent to kitchen. In the summer, on the screen porch. For company, in the dining room. If we are feeling very informal or there is a TV event we must watch, on the basement sofa. Kids are grown. When they were younger, tried to do family dinner around a table as much as possible (which becomes very challenging as they grow and are active in multiple activities).
    ...See More
  • medontdo
    14 years ago

    we absolutely LOVE them!! Thank you!! LOL :')
    we were over at my neighbors and they were eating on her white butterfly bush. it was so cool!! of course none have came to my yard yet that i've noticed. :'( as soon as my cypress vines come up they will. :') talla has drinken all of the juice out of the trumpet vine. LOL ~Medo

  • buttterflyy
    14 years ago

    Can't wait till I have hummers to NEED one of these. Those little medical test tube stoppers also look like the little stoppers with a tiny hole that go on glass tubes that florists use. Wonderful design!!!

  • batman302
    14 years ago

    Hi,
    I am new to this form and have a question..On the new feeder do you still use surveyers tape to make a seal or you using a gasket of some sort? Can't see any is the reason I'm asking.Also,is the tight fit the only thing holding the bottle on the pipe?

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    batman, No tape on the wine bottle, the tight fit is the only thing holding it in place. It's so snug, I have to twist the bottle back & forth to release it from the 'T'. The tequila bottle needed the tape for stability, it wasn't a seal.

  • reidvicky83
    14 years ago

    Inspirational. How do you clean it now without the end plugs? Do you know what brand and size medical stoppers you used? Also, how do you get the filled wine bottle on without spilling the contents?

    Great and original idea. I want to build one for my wife before next spring!

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Thanks, rv83!! Can't help you on the brand & size of the stoppers, I just grabbed the reddest ones available. The ports can be anything, I'm saving the red caps from tubes of Carmex lip balm, they should work great.

    To clean: I flush the tube with a garden hose - put in about 1/2 cup aquarium gravel (pea gravel) - add vinegar until it's coming out the ports - let it soak 2-3 minutes - dump the vinegar - shake the tube back & forth to get the gravel to scrub its inside - flush it again with the hose. Quick & easy! I don't try to get the gravel out, it's been sanitized by the vinegar and will do no harm. A few pieces fall out while dumping the final rinse, so I occasionally have to add a little.

    Here's the business end of the wine bottle... I hold my finger over the tube until the bottle is inverted & in position over the 'T'.

  • Ann
    14 years ago

    I get the same endorphin rush looking at these photos as I do when there's a hummer at my own feeder! You guys are inspirational!

    Ann

  • todancewithwolves
    14 years ago

    OMGosh! This link popped up in the Garden Junk forum. I couldn't believe my eyes. You should patent your design. I love it, love it, love it.

    I have to show the Cottage forum people as well.

    Edna

  • Marie Tulin
    13 years ago

    I gotta post this link on the New England Forum. It is getting cold, and we need a lift. There are still people up here planting bulbs, and the snow is starting to fly. Thank you. I stayed up way past my bedtime to read every post and look at the video.

    If you wuz a farm boy, you coulda been an engineer, too.

  • tbob_2009
    13 years ago

    Fantastic Feeder! What do you do about squirrels? They chew up every feeder I put out here in South Carolina.

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Thanks, folks!!

    tbob, Sophie, the Wonder Dog, keeps the squirrels at bay. Alert & fearless!!

  • sunnybunny
    13 years ago

    Wow, this is really cool and it really made me laugh! I live in the NW, south sound region and had hummers come this winter even though my yard is pretty barren and I am just starting out. I have always read that hummers will fight so not to put out too many outlets...but it appears you are going gangbusters with the huge feeder!

  • nicksteel
    12 years ago

    How long is the 1-1/2" PVC pipe?

    Also, I can't find the concave test tube stoppers. What size stoppers do you use and do they already have holes?

    As I write, 5 hummingbirds are fighting over my head for control of 2 feeders about 20 feet apart!

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Posted by ctnchpr (My Page) on Sat, Jun 28, 08 at 9:18

    Thanks, folks!! I thought this thread was dead and gone.
    You'll need some 1-1/2" PVC pipe, 1-1/4" will be OK; 2 caps to seal the ends (the threaded plugs are unnecessary); and a 'T'. The part of the 'T' in which the bottle goes comes in different diameters, so get one that gives the tightest fit. The perches are 1/4" oak dowels (3' piece for less than a buck at HD), attached with #12 screw hooks (sold in packages of 3). I drilled a small pilot hole for the hooks and dipped the threads in PVC glue to prevent leaks. The ports can be anything. I made a small prototype from a scrap piece of PVC (why waste good PVC on something that may not work?), drilled some holes, and painted rings around the holes using red nail polish. They found it in just a few minutes. I made another feeder this year, and used medical test tube stoppers instead of the wire nuts. A few of the nuts never did fit well (shoddy hole drilling), and would fall out when blasted with a garden hose. The stoppers fit much better, and are easily removed. The hummers weren't very happy with them at first (probably because they aren't bright red), but are OK with them now. Good luck!!

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    The length of the PVC pipe depends on the number of ports. The feeder with the wine bottle is 29", this one is 18"...

    If you haven't found the test tube stoppers yet, forget 'em, they're not the best option. I don't think the hummers liked the smell of the hot rubber when the sun was on the feeder. You can be creative with the ports, something as simple as a hole surrounded by red nail polish will work. These caps on the latest version are the best so far...

    Here is a link that might be useful: Video

  • nicksteel
    12 years ago

    I assume this one uses "wire nuts"? Also, how did you build the support pole? I'm trying to get one installed soonest in the garden to see if one bird chases all the others away like with my porch feeders.

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    nicksteel,

    If you're looking for a feeder that will magically make your hummers stop fighting - good luck!! While you may see 10 or so feeding "peacefully" at the PVC feeder, what you don't see are the 10-15 engaged in aerial combat just outside the view of the camera.

    The support pole is made from 5/8" steel rod. I bent a piece, like Superman, with my bare hands to form the shallow arc attached to the pole. I welded a 1 1/2" piece of rod to each end of the arc, vertically. (I have a small, 120 volt MIG welder, and 5/8" rod is near the upper limits of what it can weld.) I drilled two 13/16" holes in the bottom of the PVC pipe, the distance between them being the same as between the short rods. In each hole, a piece of 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC pipe was glued. (The inside diameter of 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC pipe is 5/8" - go figure!!) The feeder is "impaled" on the short rods. If you mount your pole plumb in both directions, your feeder will be level in both directions.

    I had 2 problems with the wire nuts, both of which could be fixed. First, I wasn't very careful while drilling the port holes in the 1st feeder. Some of the wire nuts were loose, and would fall out during cleaning. Second, when the tips of the nuts were cut off, the hole was rather large. I have trouble with the small, ground-dwelling hornets, and they could come and go thru the hole as they pleased. If I used the wire nuts again, I would just pull the steel coil out and drill a small hole in the tip, 1/16" would be about right. The ports on this year's version are the caps from Carmex Lip Balm tubes, and they're working very well. The ridges on the outside of the caps give a snug fit, so snug in fact, they have to be pulled out with pliers...

  • nicksteel
    12 years ago

    "If you're looking for a feeder that will magically make your hummers stop fighting - good luck!!"

    Thanks for the info. I plan to put several feeders in next season to expand the war zone and move the conflict off our back porch! I have no idea where the females feed.

  • homerpa
    12 years ago

    WOW- just saw this thread- Very Nice feeders! I wish I had enough birds to need one; i can easily see myself making one.

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Thanks, homerpa!!

  • JC (zone 7a, Oklahoma)
    12 years ago

    This is so cool. Just what I was searching for. So easy to build and configure for your own needs.

    Here are some ideas for the "flowers". There are many plastic caps and plugs available that are quite inexpensive. Here are some examples:

    plastic caps and plugs...
    more plastic caps and plugs...

    I haven't ordered from either of these vendors, I just found them after a quick search. Ebay might be a good source. I think I will try some tapered plugs or caps. Looks like they will wedge nicely into the pvc.

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Thanks for the links, jc. A lot of possibilities there, but this is my favorite. It's the best thing I've seen yet! The threads should give a tight fit, but it could be easily removed.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Plug

  • daddys1jenn
    11 years ago

    We tried makng this. But when we put the bottle on, all the water just leaked out through the cups. I think we didnt have them up high enough on the pvc tube. So we are gonna cover them holes and retry higher.. hopefully that works :)

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Make the tube that comes out of the bottle longer, so it extends lower into the PVC pipe. This part...

  • daddys1jenn
    11 years ago

    hmmm ok we didnt even have that part at all... What do you have the hose connecting onto?

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    It's a nylon hose fitting, they come in various sizes at Home Depot or Lowes. If the threaded end of the fitting is too small for the bottle, wrap the threads with Teflon tape until it fits. If the threaded end is too large, you can trim the threads with a utility knife.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Hose fitting

  • daddys1jenn
    11 years ago

    Got it up and water is in it. However we made it Monday and today is Thursday. They are not using it at all. They are just going to the other feeders:( So I just hung one of the smaller ones off the side of it to see what happens. Maybe they will go to that one and realize the other is there. We will see.

  • daddys1jenn
    11 years ago

    They are using it! Next year it's on!! :) thanks so much!!

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    You're welcome!! I'm glad they found it, if you have more questions, please ask.

  • MarcDel
    10 years ago

    I wanted to thank ctnchpr for the terrific idea for a hummingbird feeder. I just finished a smaller version with 1 inch pvc and 8 ports using his design. It's up and ready for the first hummers to arrive here in Michigan. I painted mine with copper paint and it really looks like it's made of copper. Looks great in the garden. I wish I could post a picture but I'm new here and haven't quite figured out if or how I can.
    Happy hummer watching

  • christy2828
    10 years ago

    Go to photobucket.com. Register for the site - it is free (I've been a member for 6 years, never had any issues whatsoever!). Upload a photo from your computer. Hit Save and it will begin an album for you. Hover your cursor over your photo. A small box will appear. Copy the HTML code (I just click it and it automatically copies - I'm on a Mac. Come to garden web and 'paste' the HTML code in your message box. When you click 'preview message' you will see your photo!!!! Good luck, and can't wait to see your feeder :) Christy

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thanks, MarcDel! Please post a photo, I'd love to see your model. The copper color sounds cool!!

  • MarcDel
    10 years ago


    Here it is. Thanks Christie for the help. This was taken just after I painted it. It is already showing patina so it's darker and nicer. I hope to remove the silk flowers when the hummers find it. Thanks again ctnchpr for the great idea.

  • christy2828
    10 years ago

    That is gorgeous!!! Thanks for sharing :) Christy

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Very nice!!! I like the 4-way coupling, it simplifies the mounting. And the copper paint really looks like copper!!!

    You have a beautiful place, it looks like an ideal hummer habitat.

  • MarcDel
    10 years ago

    thanks ctnchpr. The coupling did make it easier. For sturdiness I filled the post with grout mix I had laying around. I sanded down the hexagon end of an internal fitting to fit it in the bottom connection to seal it from the hummer feed. Thanks again for the great idea

  • nicksteel
    10 years ago

    Started one last Spring here in South MS, will try to finish this Winter. In the meantime, hung 4 feeders together on our porch. Now have about a dozen birds feeding and fighting over them. When I placed widely separated, only had one aggressive bird per feeder. The aggressive ones become overwhelmed with so many birds and females and smaller ones are able feed.

    This encourages me to finish the PVC one.

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    nick, Please post a photo when it's finished.

  • DC
    7 years ago

    Dear ctnchpr. .. found your thread quite by accident looking to build the better "mousetrap " feeder and I tend to have difficulties with ants and wasps..

    I've read that moats help. What's your take? Thank you

    Blue

  • josephene_gw
    7 years ago

    Ctn

    Just found you.

    Showed it to hubby. Maybe he will build one for us, if not I may try.

    Where in the south are you located to get so many hummers?

  • lilacinjust
    7 years ago

    I can't get more than one at a time at mine (now have one with 6 ports)!

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    @Blue...The nectar was out of reach for bees, wasps and hornets, so they weren't a problem. I sprayed "deep woods" bug spray on the base of the poles on which the feeders were mounted, that took care of the ants.

    @josephene...I live on a heavily wooded 20 acre lot in Tennessee.

  • Donna R
    7 years ago

    Did you see Perky Pet has now started selling this design? I think you need o get your fair share of the profits, since your original post with pics goes back to 2007.

    http://www.birdfeeders.com/store/hummingbird-feeders/humbar200dtc?gclid=CKGYqY268cUCFQoUHwodBHwAZw

  • ctnchpr
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    That's highway robbery!!! Donna, thanks for the link.

  • Debra Campbell
    7 years ago

    can you make a video on how it is made, i love it. how do you keep wasps and hornets away from it.


  • DC
    6 years ago

    Ctnchpr: here's a thought... could you do multiple arms instead of the one lateral? And possibly a mini perch to run down the length of at least one arm? Sort of a Starburst pattern thereby making the most use of a single space. I can put up only one feeder. Thank you for your feedback regarding the bees/wasps issue. I'm going to try setting out traps made by designs listed here.

    I did read that if you can place feeders at different heights the females may have more access to feeding.

    Blue

  • Alissha King
    6 years ago

    Ok what's the big ball on top? I need this! We just seen a hummingbird in our garden as we were watering it and then he came back during the light rain

  • ibaroach1313
    4 years ago

    What are the threaded plugs, and where can I find them?

  • Debbi Cantoni
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your design and updated ideas... I love, love, love it!!! This is exactly what I was looking for, to DIY my own hummingbird feeder(s.) I've bought so many of them, from Home Depot over the years and they never make it through the season without breaking &/or leaking.

    Perky Pet did make a tubular feeder (selling for $19.99) but their comments were terrible, mostly on its overall construction, and it looks cheap too.

    Happy 2022 Gardening, Bird and Hummer Watching Y'all

Sponsored
Ayla Saygan for Ethan Allen
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars11 Reviews
Innovative Interior Design Solutions Serving Loudon County & Beyond