Before deciding which design you want for your bird feeder, look for the right kind of bird feeder for the birds you want to attract. Different birds have different ways of feeding and require different diets. For example, sunflower seed tends to attract chickadees and house finches while beef suet suits nuthatches and woodpeckers and hummingbirds will only drink sugar water.
You can make your bird feeder a masterful, artistic creation or a fun project to build with the kids.
You can build your bird feeder out of any materials you want. Bird feeders can be constructed from coffee cans, plastic bottles, glass, wire, logs or pieces of wood. You can make up your own designs or follow plans. There are many resources for ideas and even free construction plans on the internet.
Suggestions of some sites that offer free plans for constructing everything from a simple household bird feeder to a serious feat of carpentry are offered in such sites as Wayne of the Woods, the Missouri Department of Conservation's Woodworking Birdhouse, the Birdwatcher's Digest and Easy bird feeders at www.northern.edu among others.
Place the bird feeder away from the house so the birds are comfortable and you don't attract rodents. Birds will feel safest if the feeder is located in a low traffic area where feeding will not be disturbed, yet where you can watch them as they feed. Remember that birds spill a lot of their food on the ground so once the sun goes down, the rats and mice will come out to clean up the droppings. You really don't want this to happen up close to the house, do you?
For more information on bird feeders and a selection of sites where you can find free bird feeder construction plans (referred to above), please check the links listed under Resources.