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Go Birdwatching In Your Backyard With This Simple DIY

Easy DIY Backyard Bird Feeder - paper plate full of bird seed with an acorn squash slice slathered with peanut butter; DIY Squash bird feeder hanging from a branch

This Bird Feeder DIY Will Have Birds Flocking To Your Yard

One of my favorite parts of spring is seeing all the chickadees, robins, and woodpeckers return to my backyard. Nothing beats opening my kitchen window and hearing their cheerful tunes!

I’m always looking for new ways to make my yard more of a haven for the local birds, and I’ve already added a few new elements, including a pretty bird bath. This week, I’ll be making a new backyard bird feeder that I learned about in Gardening for Birds & Butterflies Magazine.

Not only is it a simply DIY bird feeder, but it’s fully biodegradable too, because it’s made from an acorn squash! I love the shape and look of the squash, and the project couldn’t be easier!

How To Make A Simple DIY Bird Feeder

Easy DIY Backyard Bird Feeder - an acorn squash

You’ll need:

  • Acorn squash
  • Peanut butter
  • Bird seed
  • Dried cherries (optional)
  • String or twine


Easy DIY Backyard Bird Feeder - cut side of an acorn squash; hand holding a one inch slice of acorn squash with seeds removed.

Step 1: Make A Squash Ring

Use a sharp knife to slice the top and bottom ends of a raw acorn squash. You want to end up with a round slab from the center of the squash that’s about 2 inches thick.

Easy DIY Backyard Bird Feeder - slice of acorn squash with seeds removed

Use a spoon to scrape out the flesh and seeds from the center of your squash ring.

Easy DIY Backyard Bird Feeder - slice of acorn squash with seeds removed and peanut butter slathered on it

Step 2: Add Peanut Butter

Next, spread a generous amount of peanut butter on one side of the squash ring.

Easy DIY Backyard Bird Feeder - paper plate full of bird seed with peanut buttered acorn squash slice next to it; acorn squash ring after peanut butter side has been dipped in bird seed

Step 3: Cover With Bird Seed

Spread bird seed out on a plate in an even layer, then firmly press the squash against the bird seed with the peanut butter side facing down.

Easy DIY Backyard Bird Feeder - closeup of acorn squash ring and peanut butter covered with bird seed

If you want to go the extra mile for your backyard birds, you can add a few dried cherries to the bird seed mixture.

Easy DIY Backyard Bird Feeder - two shots of the DIY acorn squash bird feeder, one a closeup, one hanging from a hook

Step 4: Hang It Outside

To finish it off, string a piece of twine through the hole in the squash, tie a knot, then hang it your DIY bird feeder in your backyard somewhere. (I used a bird feeder hanger, but you could hang it from a tree if you have one.)

More Ways To Attract Birds To Your Backyard

  • Add A Water Source. Water is perhaps even more important than food if you want to attract feathered visitors. Not all birds eat seeds and nuts, but all birds require fresh water!
  • Offer Different Foods For Different Birds. A hummingbird feeder is great for hummingbirds, orioles, tanagers, while a homemade suet cake can entice woodpeckers, wrens, blue jays. Do some research online to find out which foods will attract the birds you want to see.
  • Make Feeders Easy To Find. Keep feeders in a place that is relatively easy to spot for passing birds. Putting feeders in the open will make them more attractive to birds who are wary of predators.
  • Plant Purple Coneflowers And Sunflowers. Both flowers produce seeds that birds just love!
  • Offer Shelter And Perching Options. The more shelter and perching options you have, the safer and more welcome your neighborhood birds will feel. Birdhouses and trees are simple solutions, but even shrubs can be safe havens too.


Related: 14 Genius Ideas That Will Make Your Backyard The Best Place To Hang Out

How do you welcome birds to your backyard?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I love this idea! We haven’t had our Granddaughter to the caravan this week because we were painting the decking but had said to my daughter I wanted to make some little bird feeders for around the caravan and in the trees. Alyssa is only 2 but she ADORES feeding the birds and gets so excited bless her :-) been putting bowls of water out but want a pretty bird bath for them :-) The baby really gets excited and hope to plant flowers to attract butterflies and ither ‘creatures’ for her to look at :-) we are teaching her how to respect the world and creatures in it and she is really enjoying it bless her :-) My Grandson Thomas is 3 and he also has the same live of nature :-) get the love and respect in them at an early age and it stays with them for life! My kids all remember making stuff like this and couldn’t wait until their little ones were old enough to make them too! Off to buy some squash and more peanut butter! Thanks for the point on dried fruit, have used seeds and nuts but didn’t think of dried fruit! Great tips! My kuds and grandkids are going to have so much fun!!! :-) thank you :-) XoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoX

  • I have given up feeding the birds because the BIG birds start overpowering the little birds and soon the little birds leave. I have lOTS of red-winged blackbirds, flickers, those imported whited collared doves. I have always had feeders and loved watching the little guys. Got any suggestions?

  • I want to attract Orioles. I have grape jelly and oranges out. Live in Illinois and someone told me to get the food out by 1 May. Any suggestions?

  • Hiya Jillee!!! What a neat idea. At first glance, I thought you had used an old Bundt pan and packed it with peanut butter or suet and seed for the birds. I don’t mind the squirrels when they show up, they usually put on a good show too. Thanks for the ideas. Blessed be, hugs!!! Pam
    pamspretties57 at gmail dot com

  • Great idea. I wouldn’t want to attract woodpeckers. They can do serious damage if you have wood on your house. I was always instructed to throw a rock if I caught them at the side of our house. I do love watching the other birds- we get all sorts of fun ones where I live, bluejays and cardinals.

  • I went to a lecture on native plants by expert Doug Tallamy last week. He said that birds eat seeds most of the year, but in the spring when the baby birds are hatching, they require many, many caterpillars. Not only that, each species of bird requires a limited number of species of caterpillars only. To provide them, you need plants that evolved in the same general locale. Thus, Asian ornamentals support none of the caterpillars local U.S. birds need. Oak trees are one of the best caterpillar habitats, supporting hundreds of species. (Writing from a mid-Atlantic state.)

  • We have 3 bird feeders going right now BUT we also have attracted an army of squirrels! Covered the pole with Vaseline but if it wears off they are at it again, tried cayenne pepper to no avail, birds don’t mind it and the squirrels don’t either! Any suggestions to stop the squirrels will be greatly appreciated.

  • We bought at a craft sale a wreath style bird feeder. It was made out of plain gelatin and birdseed. A strong wide ribbon was looped through the wreath for hanging. Our birds loved it and now we have woodpeckers loving it too. It’s fun to watch them. The seed and debris that falls to the ground is cleaned up by squirrels, chipmunks and other birds. Only waste to clean up is the hulls from the sunflower seeds. I don’t know the recipe for making these but I am sure it must be online somewhere. Right now the wreath looks like a big C hanging from our overhang because the woodpeckers have eaten out the rest. I doubt the wreath will last long enough for any summer heat to effect it. It is mostly in the shade anyway and in a protected area from the elements.

  • Hope everyone makes their own Hummingbird food as it is much cheaper also healthier for them. 3/4 cup water 1/4 cup white sugar I boil for at min. or two in the microwave to help it stay fresh longer. Birds are such a joy to watch. 1 of God’s many Blessings!!!! Thank You

  • A really good book for birds is The Backyard Bird Lover’s Ultimate How-to Guide by Sally Roth. It has a lot of projects and information (including homemade suet cakes)

  • I enjoy the birds. But they are messy and the seeds attract mice. In my town, bird feeders are illegal for those reasons. I would watch a mouse run across my driveway to feast on my neighbor’s mess at high noon. Their feeder attracted wild canaries (yellow with black wings and they feed up side down). They do not have a feeder any more.

    • I don’t know what town you live in but I sure am glad I don’t live there. What a sad commentary that messy seeds and some field mice would upset people. Hopefully the birds just keep flying and don’t stop.
      BTW, those are goldfinches you described.

  • I think this would work well during the cold weather months but I believe would “melt” and mold pretty quickly in the heat and rain. I bet rice cakes would work well – just a thought.

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