Last updated on December 31st, 2021 at 11:20 am
Here’s how to make two homemade coconut bird feeders that blend with any garden landscape. Fill either with a variety of foods for the birds.
Update: I’ve added a third design: a creative idea for a coconut suet feeder!
By Jane Lake
Half-a-Coconut Homemade Bird Feeder
Mixed bird seed in this half-coconut feeder attracted a pretty goldfinch within minutes of appearing in the yard. Chickadees, sparrows and a pair of bluejays came for lunch the next day.
The second design (main header photo, above; directions follow), has a natural roof to protect the food.
Set either version under the house eaves for shade and to protect food from nasty weather. So far, for me, neither has attracted squirrels.
If you like orioles, use our oriole nectar recipe but tempt them further by filling a coconut feeder with a half orange, cherries, banana chunks, nuts or suet. Very ripe fruit may also attract butterflies. Another economical project for bird lovers is this simple teacup and saucer bird feeder made from old tea sets or thrift store finds.
Open the Coconut and Drain the Milk
Do a Google search for ‘open a coconut’ and you’ll find step-by-step photos or videos. But if you’re handy with a hack saw, you may already know how to make both of these coconut feeders just by seeing our photos.
You Will Need:
- 6 feet of household twine
- shower curtain ring or hook
- drill with a small drill bit, or an awl
- hand saw, hack saw, or other tools to split open the coconut
- bird seed
The first step is piercing one of the three darker spots on one end of the coconut then draining out the coconut milk.
My preferred method was clamping the coconut in a bench vise. Clamp it firmly enough not to move in the vice, but not so tightly that it cracks in unexpected places.
Next, use a hack saw or hand saw to cut the coconut roughly in half.
Now you can use both halves to make two separate feeders, hanging them as explained in the following instructions.
Make a Hanger
Drill three, equally spaced holes around the rim of the coconut. Thread a 24 inch length of twine through one hole, bringing the ends together evenly. Starting near the hole, begin twisting the two strings together to make a single cord and temporarily knot them together at the top.
Repeat with the other two holes, then undo the original knots and knot all the strings permanently together at the end. Before you tighten the knot, ensure that all three strings are the same length so the coconut feeder hangs properly.
Hang Your Half-a-Coconut Bird Feeder
Use a hook, or a shower curtain ring, to suspend the coconut bird feeder from a tree or large shrub. Mine is suspended near a large lilac bush.
In winter, I move it to a hook under the eaves of the house, away from winter weather, and within sight of the kitchen window.
Fill with bird seed and wait for the birds to find their new feeding station!
Homemade Coconut Bird Feeder with a Natural Roof:
After completing the half-a-coconut bird feeder, an alternative design occurred to me.
In this version, you remove a quarter section of the coconut from the top. This way, you only get one bird feeder per coconut, but the natural roof protects the food from rain and snow.
Use a Bench Vise and Saw
Make this style of feeder by clamping the coconut sideways in a bench vise then cutting only halfway through it with a hand saw or hack saw.
Remove the coconut from the vise and re-clamp it in an upright position so that you can make another cut at right angles to the first cut.
This creates a natural roof over the feeding area, keeping the food dry and clean.
Screw a cup hook in the top, or drill one hole through the top to thread a knotted string through as a hanger.
Add sunflower seeds, or your favourite bird seed mix, and watch the birds come in!
Coconut Suet Feeder
I can’t take credit for this coconut suet feeder, and haven’t made one, but I think it’s creative and easy to make.
First, though, study this photo and you’ll see what I see: a coconut with large holes drilled into it using a hole saw.
For a hanger, drill a small hole in the coconut top, fold twine in half, thread the looped end through the hole from the inside out, then knot the ends together.
Pack the coconut with suet, or suet mixed with bird seed then hang the feeder outside. Place it within viewing distance of your windows so that both you, and the birds, enjoy the feast!