Provide fresh water for the birds and butterflies! This simple homemade water feeder takes just minutes to make and ensures butterflies, bees, and smaller birds have a clean water source.
You may already have everything you need to make this thrift shop project.
Love frugal outdoor projects? Make a bug house for your garden. It’s a beneficial insect habitat and garden art all in one.
Build it and they will come
Sometimes the simplest ideas work best! Minutes after hanging up this water feeder, I saw a goldfinch and butterfly both stop by to check it out. Soon after a mourning dove gave it a try but soon realized she was better off at the pond.
If you have room in your garden, it’s ideal to spread out bird feeding stations to accommodate various sizes and temperaments of birds.
I have one area for hummingbirds (near the patio where I can watch them), feeders for the smaller birds (goldfinches are a favourite), feeders for the larger birds (cardinals, blue jays, plus all the ones I wish we didn’t have!), an oriole feeder (they tend to be very shy), and nut feeders for the woodpeckers.
I did not have the room at our old house to spread out the feeders and saw a lot of territorial battles. I feel lucky to be able to do this now. It really reduces the stress and distress between the birds.
My tiny garden pond is an essential water source for all of the garden wildlife (especially in the winter) but the larger birds tend to dominate there. I had a feeling a small water feeder would be appreciated by the smaller birds and I was right. Birds tends to be quite curious and it only took a minute for them to check out their new water station.
Here’s an easy way to make your own bird feeders: DIY Water Bottle Bird Feeders.
If you want to know more about the plants butterflies need for survival, see Are You Forgetting This Essential for Pollinators?
Keep It Clean
The one caveat is, just like bird feeders, you have to maintain cleanliness. Bird feeders (for food and water) should be washed regularly to avoid the spread of disease.
This post explains how to care for bird feeders. There’s no point in offering sustenance to our little buddies if it’s not safe.
DIY Bird & Butterfly Water Feeder Supplies
This is super simple. Some links go to my Amazon affiliate account but I always suggest checking your cupboards or local thrift shop first.
- Grape vine wreath
- Glass pie plate (choose one that sits snugly in your grape vine wreath)
- River rocks or stones
You could sit this feeder on a stand (an old birdbath, plant stand, or chair) or hang it from a tree branch or garden pole.
I cut 4 pieces of twine and tied each one around a section of the wreath. I joined all of the twine pieces together at the top and hung the whole thing from a branch.
The glass pie plate is filled with river rocks to give the visitors places to stand (without submerging in the water).
The plate is not attached so it’s easy to remove, wash, and refill each day.
As mentioned, if you have room, hang it in a location away from feeders and other busy bird hangouts.
Yes, it’s that easy.
Related: How to Hand-feed Wild Birds
- Wash the pie plate (and stones) and change the water regularly.
- The twine will probably need to be replaced once or twice a year, depending on wear and tear.
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