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Build your own hummingbird feeders with everyday materials!

Here are the directions, but you can be flexible and do what works best for you. Example: you can paint the feeder a solid color, add stripes and other details, or leave it unpainted; you can use a drill or a heated awl; you can use Krylon plastic paint, or just scuff the surfaces with sandpaper and use whatever paint you have on hand. Children should have adult supervision for this craft project.

Let's look at the materials we will need.


1. (1), 1 liter pop bottle (required)
2. (1), small 1/4 fluid ounce capacity plastic cup; 1/4 US cup = 2 US fluid ounces (required)
3. (1), eye hook (required)
4. (2 to 5) plastic flowers (optional, you can make your own out of aluminum foil)


1. Hot glue gun & glue stick (required)
2. Pliers (optional, but much safer for holding things)
3. Drill & drill bits (optional, you can use an awl heated on your stove top)
4. Utility knife (optional, you can use an awl heated on your stove top)


(Painting is optional except that the flowers must be red. A plastic spray can paint such as Krylon "Fusion" will work best. However, most paints will stick to plastic for a season if you first scuff the surface well with sandpaper)

1. Masking tape (optional, not required if you painting the feeder a solid color)
2. Base color such as white
3. Highlight color such as light blue (optional, not required if you're painting the feeder a solid color)
4. Apple red (for the flowers)
5. (1) sheet sand paper (anything above 80 grit will do, the type is not important)

Step 1.

Drill several holes in the top of the pop bottle cap, then finish cutting out the end of the cap. If you don't have a drill or utility knife, you can heat an awl on your stove top and use it to cut the whole. Note: if you don't have pliers, use gloves to hold the cap when drilling or using the heated awl. If the plastic gasket that comes with the pop bottle cap comes out while cutting, cut a hole in it and put it back into the cap. Keeping the gasket is important to get a good seal that won't leak.

Step 2.

Next, take your small plastic cup and fill it with water to within about 1/4 inch from the top. This will help the glue to float so you can attach the cap.

Carefully hold the cap as shown above and start adding glue to form a bridge between the cup and the bottle cap. One important thing to remember is that the bottom of the cap will be the lowest level of the hummingbird sugar water, so you don't want it more than half a cap down (see above rightmost picture). Note: use more glue than I did here, because I found that when you screw the cap onto the bottle, it stresses the joint; just leave enough room to insert the flowers.

Step 3.

Sand the outside to remove any labels and to promote adhesion for the paint.

Step 4.

Drill a hole and screw the eye hook in. You can use a hot awl if you don't have a drill. Make sure it's a tight fitting hole so it doesn't leak air.

Step 5.


Paint the empty pop bottle a solid color; use a coat hanger or wire to hold it as you paint.

Step 6.

Making Stripes

1. Wrap a line of tape around the bottle on either side of your intended stripe.

2. Tack a piece of paper onto the first line of tape.

3. Put down a second line of tape to make a seal between the first line of tape and the paper. Do this to the other side of the taped off stripe as well, so that everything but the exposed stripe area is covered.

4. You now have covered everything but where the stripe will be. Use spray paint or a brush to apply the paint. Before the paint has completely dried, carefully remove the tape. Check you hands as you go, so you don't get paint on the white.

Step 7.

Apply the flowers with a drop of glue on the bottom and mount it on the edge of the cup. Make sure there's a hole in the center so the hummingbird can get it's beak down into the sugar water in the cup.

Next, reinforce the bond with more glue on the bottom. Note: I used four flowers here, but you can make any arrangement you want so long as you include red flowers.

Your hummingbird feeder is ready to be hung!

I hung the feeder in a tree with a piece of electrical wire, but you can use anything to fasten it.

Step 8.

Try to hang your hummingbird feeder in the shade in a place you can still see.

The nectar for hummingbirds is made by mixing 1 part regular table sugar, with 4 parts water and heating it until it dissolves; let the sugar water cool and pour it into the bottle using a funnel. You shouldn't make more then your hummingbirds can drink in a week, even though the bottle can hold a lot! (See our hummingbird food page for more information...)

Nectar must be replaced every 7 days (more often in the heat of summer). When you do this, be sure to clean the inside of the feeder with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly.

Now, sit back and enjoy your new little friends!

Select a hummingbird by its name: (in alphabetical order)

Allen's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird
Blue-throated Hummingbird


Booted Racket-tail Hummingbird


Broad-billed Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird


Calliope Hummingbird


Costa's Hummingbird
Crimson Topaz Hummingbird


Long-tailed Hermit Hummingbird


Magnificent (Rivoli's) Hummingbird
Peruvian Sheartail Hummingbird   Plain-capped Starthroat Hummingbird   Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird   Rufous Hummingbird   Sword-billed Hummingbird
Violet-crowned Hummingbird   White-eared Hummingbird   Xantus' Hummingbird

Select a hummingbird's nest by its name: (in alphabetical order)

Allen's Hummingbird (nest) & another

Anna's Hummingbird (nest) & another

Bearded Helmetcrest Hummingbird (nest)
Black-chinned Hummingbird (nest) & another & with mother


Broad-billed Hummingbird (eggs only)


Buff-bellied Hummingbird (nest)
Calliope Hummingbird (nest)


Costa's Hummingbird (nest) & another & with mother


Fork-tailed Emerald Hummingbird (nest)
Giant Hummingbird (nest)


Glittering-bellied Emerald Hummingbird (nest)


Golden-bellied Starfrontlet Hummingbird (nest)
Purple-throated Sunangel Hummingbird (nest)   Ruby-throated Hummingbird (nest)   Rufous Hummingbird (nest) & with parents
Sappho Comet Hummingbird (nest)   Xantus' Hummingbird (nest)  

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