DIY vs. Buy: 6 Considerations Before You Build A Backyard Bird Feeder

Let’s face it, you don’t work for DIY network. You’re probably a Bird Nerd – and have a passion for birding — or are at least interested in creating a perfect environment to attract them to your yard. Unless you’re somewhat of a master craftsman (or craftswoman), the bird feeder you create is going to be less than or equal to one you can buy. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done!

Depending on the size and style you’re looking for, do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are a great way to cut costs, customize a project to your exact specifications, and gain a sense of accomplishment from the end result.

However, we’ve all had those projects where our vision of what we wanted something to look like is pretty far from the final product. So, let’s talk about those DIY projects vs. store bought bird feeders: the pros, the cons, and how to choose the best one for you.


You must know your “preferred birds” to DIY it right: To start, you’ll need to determine which type of bird feeder you need. Consider the types of birds you’ll be feeding (or want to feed). I would start by using our helpful pictures and descriptions to determine which types of birds frequent your backyard. Once you have your preferred “target birds,” you’re ready to move onto selecting your feeder!

Birds are pretty, but picky: Let’s assume you’re dealing with beautiful, yet picky, backyard bird friends. After all, different birds are attracted to different types of feeders. Are you seeking out a specific type of bird? Shopping on a budget? Looking for a cardinals or mourning dove bird feeder? Head here to browse the various types of feeders by backyard bird.

Better birding experiences: Now here’s where you decide whether you want to try to build your own bird feeder, or if you’d rather buy one. Based on your experience with this type of project, the complexity of the bird feeder you’d like to build, and the amount of time you can dedicate to the project, the decision to DIY or buy a bird feeder should be relatively simple. If you’re anything like most of the birding world, you’ll end up with a better birding experience via a store-bought feeder, rather than a DIY. Better quality, better look, better functionality. Obviously we’re biased, but buying almost always produces a better feeder. Sorry, not sorry!

DIY takes too much time: Let’s say you go the DIY route. You’ll need to make a list of supplies, have thorough instructions on hand, and set aside an appropriate amount of time to construct the bird feeder. Depending on your skill level, this may be a several-hour-long project or a task that spans numerous weekends. In addition, the amount of time, effort and money you invest into a DIY project will impact the look of your feeder. A couple of hours could yield a functional soda-bottle birdfeeder, but it will visually leave something to be desired. Still, there is the potential to save approximately half of the cost, and you will have a sense of achievement after building your new bird feeder! That is…if it turns out the way you want it to. And you’ll need to get rid of the soda somehow (we recommend not drinking the 2-liter by yourself in one sitting).

Faster arriving feeders = faster enjoyment: If you’re more of the instant gratification and polished appearance type of person, purchasing a bird feeder is an excellent option. Choose from bird feeders made of wood, metal, glass and more. Whether you’re looking for a smaller feeder that can accommodate only one or two birds at a time or a feeder that has room for an entire family of birds, possibilities abound.

Squirrels will E.A.T. from your D.I.Y. bird feeder: Perhaps you’re concerned about wildlife taking over your feeder. Squirrels, for example, love to try to get into feeders. Rest assured, there are squirrel-proof bird feeders that will keep your feathered friends’ feed squirrel-safe and sound. has something for everyone, every budget (and every backyard bird). Select your bird feeder and rest assured that you’ll receive a high quality product delivered to your home quickly and efficiently. Or build it yourself and let us know how it worked out. Either way, good luck bird nerds.