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How to make a hanging bird feeder

You will need

Terracotta pots (11cm in diameter)

Wire approx 50cm long

Wire cutters

Twigs, secateurs

Fat balls (roughly three per small pot)

Do it: September - November
At its best: winter
Takes just: half an hour


Birds benefit from supplementary food in gardens, especially during winter and early spring, when food is in short supply. Make a simple feeder using terracotta pots packed with fat balls, to attract a variety of birds such as the great tit, pictured.

How to do it


Use secateurs to cut a piece of twig that will fit across the base of the pot. Wrap a length of wire around the twig, leaving enough to hang the pot with later.


Clean the pots with a weak disinfectant solution and rinse thoroughly. Feed the wire through the drainage hole in the base of the pot, ensuring that the twig fits snugly inside.


Turn the pot over and pack the inside tightly with fat balls. Fold the wire and loop it onto a longer piece, hanging from a branch. 


Hang the feeder singly or group it with others.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to make a hanging bird feeder
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Dave Lewis 29/08/2013 at 21:17

This sounds fine, but if it is hung within easy reach of the squirrels in my garden,thenthe birds have no chance, they have taken so many fat ball holders away and we never find them again, iI'm beginning to think they have there own stash somewhere. frustrated from Pratt's bottom

patty3 29/08/2013 at 21:45

Hi Dave,

I used to have the problem with fat ball feeders.

Then i hung them on a branch attached to a length of strong wire.

the squirrel could not reach from the trunk, or climb down the wire!

when i hung them on the trunk of tree the were eaten by snails too!!

kaycurtis 05/09/2013 at 02:29

Oh! if only they were red squirrels instead of these destructive grey rats with fluffy tails they killed most of our indigenous species off with the disease that they carry, they destroy trees and eat through every type of bird feeder ripping wire mesh apart with their vicious little teeth, bring back our charming little reds.

Georgia Cinq-Mars 16/01/2016 at 14:58

This looks so pretty!

What's a fat ball? Suet?


fidgetbones 16/01/2016 at 15:36

Fat balls are balls of suet mixed with seed. We have special feeders to put them in,  We also get square blocks of the same stuff that go in square feeders.;/fat_ball_feeders#.VppjalKfM7A


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