Make a hummingbird feeder out of things you can find in your home! A few examples are shown using various common household items. Created by April Rastaetter, RHA Educator
Level: All age
Duration: 45 minutes – 1 h our
Setting: Indoors or Backyard
- A plastic bottle (water bottle, Gatorade bottle, etc) with cap
- Tupperware with a red lid
- Granulated sugar
- Screwdriver – or any other tool to make a small hole.
- Felt to decorate
- Hot glue
Background Information: Hummingbirds are the world’s smallest bird. Due to their size and metabolism, they need to eat once every 10 – 15 minutes! By putting out a hummingbird feeder, you are helping a great pollinator. For more information about hummingbird feeders,
- Gather your supplies. Pictured here is the Gatorade bottle, lid, Tupperware, scissors, and screwdriver.
- Trace the lid of the bottle with a washable marker so that you can position it correctly on the Tupperware. We want to make sure the hole is as close to the size as the mouth of the bottle as possible, as we want it to be secure in the lid.
- (Adults) Heat up the screwdriver so that it is hot enough to push through the plastic. You’re going to want to make a hole in the lid of the bottle, and a hole where you’ve traced on the Tupperware to make it easier to cut through.
- After you cut a hole in your Tupperware, you will want to make sure that the bottle fits. This one was cut a little too small, but it worked out because it provided a tight fit once I was able to screw the Gatorade bottle into the Tupperware. You’ll want to screw the lid of the bottle on to make sure that it fits as well.
- Now that we know the lid fits, we need to punch holes for the hummingbird to feed. I secured my lid back on my Tupperware to make this easier. I went back to heating up the screwdriver so I could get some nicely shaped holes. You can do this with a hole punch as well! Just remember, the holes need to be big enough so that the hummingbirds do not get stuck, but not so large that they let all kinds of critters in.
- Next, we can prep the hummingbird nectar! The ration is four parts water to one-part sugar. Please refrain from adding dyes or sweeteners. Since the Tupperware I used here is small, I went with 2 cups of water and a half cup of sugar. Bring the water to a boil, then add in the sugar and stir until it is dissolved.
- Set aside and leave it to cool.
- While the nectar is cooling, we can create the hanging mechanism for the feeder. Assemble the feeder as it would be – put the bottle through the Tupperware lid, and then put the cap on the bottle.
- If you have a hot glue gun, you can glue around the mouth of the bottle where it meets the Tupperware lid to make sure it’s sealed in there well.
- Stand it up and get your twine (or other string you have on hand) ready.
- This can be tied however you’d like! The approach I took was the following:
- Take a string and tie it loosely around the base of the bottle, enough so you can fit a finger under it. With the Gatorade bottle, I lined it up with the grooves to make it easier to place it.
- Next, take a longer piece of sting (this will be your handle / hanger) and loop one end through one side of the of the string you tied at the base, loop the other end through the opposite side.
- Tightly tie the base string so that it has the two ends of the second string secured to it. Then tie the two ends to the base string.
- Finally, take another piece of string and tie it around the end of the bottle, including the string for the hanger. This is just an extra string to secure it all in place.
- Once your nectar has fully cooled, it’s time to fill your bottle and put it all together. I stood the bottle upright with the Tupperware lid around it, and poured the liquid in. Secured it with the cap, and then snapped the Tupperware dish to the lid. I flipped it over and voila! This hummingbird feeder will allow the birds to also perch on it, giving them a moment to rest.
- If you feel as though the weight of the liquid will make the Tupperware lid and base separate, you can add an extra set of string to tie them together, or tape it up.
- You can also opt to not hang this and have it sit on your deck or patio instead.
- Be sure to change the sugar water regularly — before it gets cloudy, or about twice a week in warm weather. Clean the feeders with a solution of one-part white vinegar to four parts water about once a week.
Have you seen a hummingbird use the feeder?
What kind of colors are the birds?
Do they make any special sounds?
What other organisms may be attracted to the feeder?
How did you like this activity? Please share any questions, comments, or photos that you and your child have on the Raritan Headwaters Learning Community Facebook Page!
More Raritan Headwaters Learning Resources