How to Build a Homemade Sunbird Feeder

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We had a look earlier at two sunbird species commonly found here on Siargao:

Olive-backed sunbirds

Purple-throated sunbirds

Today, let’s see how you can easily build a simple sunbird feeder to attract these colorful sunbirds to your yard.

First step is to visit an agri-vet shop and buy a small poultry waterer. These are the kind you’d normally use in a chicken coop.

Opt for a red one if you have a choice.

We’ll be using a sugar/water mixture in the feeder which, in addition to the sunbirds, will attract flying insects. To control these visitors we cut out a circle from an old tupperware lid to cover the area where the liquid is dispersed to discourage wasps. You may need to improvise something from what you have handy.

Notice the four holes? These are where the sunbirds will put their long narrow bills to access the ‘nectar’.

The lid for the feeding area is on the left.

 

Now’s a good time to take a lunch break; hopefully something on sticks.

 

These are grilled pork kebabs and NOT barbecued sunbirds!

 

After lunch, it’s time to wash those bbq sticks, grab some fishing line to tie them together and create some perches for your feeder. Sunbirds, unlike hummingbirds, don’t often feed while hovering; they usually prefer a perch of some kind.

 

At this stage you can prepare the sugar water nectar: one liter of water boiled with a cup of sugar will do. Be sure it cools down before adding it to your feeder. I initially used red food dye but have been since advised that’s not such a great idea.

We got a bit carried away and decorated our feeder with some red flowers both natural and artificial to attract the sunbirds:

This feeder works great and attracts quite a few sunbirds to our yard. They’re always active, playful, and fun to watch.

Why not try building your own sunbird feeder? We’d love it if you share a photo of yours in the comment section below!

 


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