5 DIY Bird Feeders Older Adults Can Create

By Doris Kasold, 9:00 am on

Feeding birds is both thrilling and therapeutic for seniors. Crafting an item to hold birdseed is equally fun. The feeders below should be a breeze for your senior loved one to make.

1. Gourmet Bread Feeder

Obtain whole-grain and seeded bread, peanut butter, birdseed, thick string, a shallow dish, large needle, and knife. Your loved one can find birdseed at supermarkets and hardware stores. It’s best to use either stale or dried bread, providing a firm surface. 

About 1 inch from the top bread crust, pass the threaded needle through the bread, then knot the string, making a loop. Spread one side of the bread with peanut butter, then press the coated side onto the dish of birdseed. Repeat the steps for the reverse side of the bread. Ask your loved one to tie the gourmet treat to a branch, then wait for the grateful birds.

Creating bird feeders with seniors is a great way to keep them mentally active and enhance their quality of life. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Safety Harbor, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Suet Sachets

Save supermarket mesh bags that were used for onions, garlic, or oranges. Also, obtain a thread, needle, and sturdy string. 

Your loved one can cut the mesh into squares. For each piece, sew three sides together to form a bag. To make the suet, mix equal parts whole-wheat flour, shortening, peanut butter, and birdseed with three parts cornmeal. Roll the mixture into balls, fill the bags, then sew the tops of the mesh bags closed, pass a string through each, and hang the sachets.

3. Soda Bottle Perch 

Assemble a 2-liter soda bottle, funnel, razor knife, hole punch, tape measure, dowel, and twine. The dowel serves as a perch, so use one long enough to extend through and outside the soda bottle. You can also substitute the dowel with a long-handled wooden spoon.

Using the razor knife, cut a window on each side of the bottle, 3 inches up from the bottom. Make the window large enough to fit a bird’s head. Below each square opening, make holes for the perch, using the hole punch, then insert the dowel or wooden spoon.

Using the funnel, pour the birdseed through the mouth of the soda bottle. Secure the bottle cap and tie a loop of twine below it, fastening it with a knot, then ask your loved one to hang the feeder by the end of the twine. 

4. Cheerios Feeder

Gather Cheerios cereal, peanut butter, birdseed, cardboard, scissors, a hole punch, knife, and twine.

Trace the shape of an alphabet letter on the cardboard and cut out the letter. At the top, punch a hole from which to hang the feeder. Spread the peanut butter over the cardboard. Outline the perimeter of the cardboard letter with Cheerios. Then, sprinkle the birdseed over the peanut butter and pat it down with your fingers. Ask your loved one to loop the twine through the hole and hang.

Some seniors may find it difficult to create bird feeders and manage daily activities. Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you do not have time to tend to your loved one’s needs or have other pending tasks. Safety Harbor respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

5. Suction Cup Trough

Buy plastic suction cups either online or from a department store. Obtain a plastic container to serve as the feeder trough. Glue the suction cups onto the side of the trough, using heavy duty construction adhesive. Allow the glue to set for at least eight hours.

Select a window for your feeder and clean it thoroughly, or prep cold window glass with a hair dryer since the cups will adhere better to a warm surface. Rub vegetable oil over the plastic disks with your finger.

Place the cups on the window glass and firmly press down on the raised centers. With your index finger, smooth out each disk, beginning at its center, to eliminate bubbles. Wait 24 hours before adding seed to ensure a strong bond. 

Bird Feeding Benefits

Making feeders and watching birds eat gives seniors a sense of purpose. Handcrafting engages muscles, joints, and motor skills. Completing a project raises confidence and self-esteem. 

Bird-watching staves off loneliness and depression. Viewing birds with other people can prompt your loved one to share conversation. His or her senses will be alerted by seeing and hearing the birds.

Looking outside or being outdoors orients your loved one to the time of day. He or she will also be aware of seasonal changes. Learning about bird behavior and habits is mentally stimulating, slowing cognitive decline. Your loved one’s memory may get keener when recognizing birds by their colors, sizes, and calls.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Safety Harbor, FL, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 727-330-7862.

Bootstrap 101 Template