Bluebird Feeder Plans: How to Make a Bluebird Feeder
Attracting Bluebirds with a Specialty Feeder
DIY Bluebird Feeder Plans: This specially designed bluebird feeder is easy to make, and the birds learn quickly to enter the feeder to feast on live or freeze dried mealworms inside. Bluebirds feed primarily on insects, fruits and berries rather than seeds, and they are especially fond of mealworms. If you want to attract bluebirds to your feeders, try offering them a feeder filled with mealworms or specialty bluebird nuggets.
Lots of birds like to eat mealworms, and this feeder is designed to keep larger birds like starlings, sparrows, and jays from devouring all of the tasty little worms intended for the bluebirds. The key is the size of the entrance holes: 1-½" diameter hole drilled through the sides of the feeder lets the bluebirds and other little birds in, but keeps the larger birds out.
Place the feeder in an open area where the birds can find the food, and safely approach the feeding station without the threat from predators hidden in the shrubs and bushes. If the bluebirds have a bit of trouble adapting to the enclosed feeder, try removing one of the clear plastic panels until they are comfortable coming and going. After a few days of entering the open-air feeder and consistently finding a tasty food source, replace the plastic panel. The birds will learn to enter through the holes, and they will feel safe inside.
This bluebird feeder is an easy build, and a great weekend project for the beginning woodworker or to share the building and birding experience with a child. Here's how to build this simple feeder for the birds.
How to Make a Bluebird Feeder
The Cutting List
Cut a ¾" thick board into the following parts:
Qty -- Description -- Size
1 -- Base (part A) -- 7-½" L x 5" W
2 -- Ends (part B) -- 7" H x 5" W
1 -- Upper Roof (part C) -- 10-½" L x 5" W
1 -- Lower Roof (part D) -- 10-½" L x 4-¼" W
2 -- Clear Plexiglas (part E) -- 8" L x 3-½" W
Making the Cuts
Refer to the diagram to layout the 45-degree cuts on the ends (part B) to form the peaks for the roof of the bluebird feeder.
Mill a shallow groove for the clear plastic inserts. Use a table saw, setting the fence ½" in from the side of each edge. Raise the blade about 3/8" high to cut the grooves.
Repeat the process to cut two matching grooves on each end piece. With the grooves facing inward, attach the ends to the base with weather resistant screws or nails.
Some Assembly Required
Cut the Plexiglas inserts to fit between the ends, and slip the inserts into the grooves. The 3-½" wide inserts leave an air space along the top for ventilation.
Line up the edge of the lower roof section (part D) with the peak of the end sections, and then attach it with weather resistant screws or nails.
Rip the upper roof (part C) lengthwise into two sections, 1-½" wide and 3-½" wide each as shown in the diagram. Connect the two sections together with two small hinges, line up the 1-½" wide section with the end peak, and attach it with weather resistant screws or nails.
Mount the finished bluebird feeder on a pole in the garden. Bluebirds are often found near fields, pastures and along the edge of woodlands in rural areas. Add a few bluebird houses and a water source to attract these beautiful birds to your yard.
Bluebird Feeder Plans
Bluebirds eat insects and berries, and they will not typically visit feeders filled with wild bird seed. Try offering bluebirds some mealworms instead!
Bluebird Fun Facts
- There are three species of bluebirds in North America: the Eastern, the Western and the Mountain bluebirds.
- Bluebirds eat bugs and berries but are not attracted to bird feeders filled with birdseed.
- Bluebirds like mealworms, and will visit feeders filled with live or freeze-dried mealworms.
- Eastern bluebirds can have up to three broods per season.
- Bluebird eggs are pale blue in color.
- In winter, several bluebirds will often roost together in a bluebird house for warmth.
- Bluebird populations suffered and declined in the 1960's but rebounded with the help from concerned birdwatchers. The North American Bluebird Society was formed to encourage and instruct and encourage people to build and hang bluebird houses.
Have You Tried Feeding Bluebirds?
Have You Tried Feeding Bluebirds?
Bird Man Mel - Attracting Bluebirds
This short video shows you how to attract and keep bluebirds feeding and nesting in your backyard.
The North American Bluebird Society
Visit the North American Bluebird Society for more information on the different species of bluebirds.
- North American Bluebird Society
The North American Bluebird Society is a non-profit education, conservation and research organization that promotes the recovery of bluebirds and other native cavity-nesting bird species in North America. Become a member today!
Questions & Answers
Where do you get live mealworms?
Most pet stores sell live mealworms, including the major stores such as Petco and PetSmart. I prefer to buy freeze-dried mealworm online. The bluebirds love them!
We recently put up a couple of bluebird nesting boxes and are going to put up some feeders as well. Should we place the feeders near the nesting boxes?
We placed our bluebird feeder near our deck and about 50 feet from the nearest bluebird house. The bluebirds found the feeder quickly, and we can now enjoy watching the birds from inside our house.
© 2011 Anthony Altorenna