How to make a DIY bird feeder

This rustic DIY bird feeder makes a lovely addition to your garden for feathered friends.

A finished DIY bird feeder hanging from a branch by a piece of red cord

DIY bird feeder: support wildlife in winter

Most of us understand the importance of promoting biodiversity in our gardens. Do you also know that many bird species have fewer sources of nutrition during the coldest months? Keeping a bird feeder well stocked in your garden from November to February will help them get through the winter. The rest of the year most bird species can find enough food elsewhere, so you can provide less. There are many bird feeders widely available, but why not make a special garden ornament while also supporting wildlife?

Our DIY guide takes you through how to make your own hanging bird feeder using a log and a chainsaw.

DIY bird feeder: materials and tools

The wood you use for this homemade bird feeder should be weather-resistant and not too hard. We recommend soft coniferous wood with a low resin content.

STIHL pro tip: We used a carving attachment when making our bird feeder. This attachment allows you to cut the wood with greater precision.

DIY bird feeder: A STIHL MSA 140 C cordless chainsaw, two screw eyes and red cord on a tree trunk

What you need to make the DIY bird feeder:

How to make a DIY bird feeder

This wooden bird feeder is not a complicated DIY project, and you should be able to get it done in around 30 minutes.

Rather than using a workbench, we created a custom work area: a tree trunk with a v-shaped notch cut into it. The notch prevents the piece from rolling away while you are working on it.

Committed to your safety: protective equipment

Don't forget, you should always wear your personal protective equipment when working with your chainsaw. This includes cut protection trousers, safety boots, safety glasses, a face shield, gloves and a helmet where there is a risk of falling objects. You don't need to wear ear protection if you are using an MSA 140 battery-operated chainsaw as recommended above, but check the operating instructions for your product for further details. Before you use your chainsaw for the first time, you should familiarise yourself thoroughly with the tool and ensure it is in flawless condition before each use. On request, your STIHL dealer will be happy to prepare your tool for its first use, and will also advise you on models and sizes of protective clothing that you can try at your leisure. Please remember that personal protective equipment is no substitute for safe working techniques.

Hanging your bird feeder outside

Close-up of bird seed inside a finished DIY bird feeder

Once the weather-resistant cord is on your DIY wooden bird feeder, you can hang it up anywhere that you can access it easily (to fill it up) and where birds will be able to access the food undisturbed. A sturdy, high branch is a good place. Remember to position it so it's safe from cats and other animals.

There are many different kinds of bird food to choose from, but most species love unshelled sunflower seeds. Be careful not to feed the birds anything that is too fatty in spring, since this may be harmful to fledglings.

And finally, one more tip: birds can become reliant on stable sources of food. This means that if you begin feeding them in winter, they will appreciate it if you do so consistently. Take care during breeding season though, as not all bird food is suitable for fledglings.

Summary: DIY bird feeder

  • Hanging a bird feeder will help birds in the winter and may tempt new species of birds into your garden.
  • The best kind of wood to use is soft and weather-resistant with a low resin content.
  • Using a carving attachment will make it easy to carve a bird feeder out of a log.
  • Hang the bird feeder from a branch in your garden and put some bird food inside.
  • Choose a safe but accessible location for your bird feeder.