I made my first coconut bird feeder in the Winter of 2007 for my Chickadees and I loved it because It was fun to make, Whimsical, different and only a few sparrows were able to manipulate it...Ha!..
It's hard for sparrows to hang from a moving feeder and feed at the same time..because there feet just aren't designed to cling the way a Chickadee's can....Yes you'll come across a few of those wise guy sparrows, but this swinging feeder will cut down on the masses.
Tools you'll need... A Drill of course and
( 1 ) ... A hole Saw 1" 25mm..
I used a Black and Decker hole saw kit, The kit came with the mandrel and hole saw together, You can't operate the hole saw with out the mandrel... the mandrel is the center piece and guide that directs the hole saw into the intended object.
Below.. hole saw with mandrel and twist bit
( 2 ) .. A work bench vise.... to hold the coconut in place while you are drilling.
( 3 ) ... A standard twist drill bit... the size of the twist drill bit is objective as long as you can create a hole big enough to thread a hanger and make small openings for draining the coconut of it's liquid and rain, for this a standard bit will do.
( 4 ) ... String, jute, wire, or a small chain can be used for your hanger, If you have a squirrel problem wire and chain are the best options especially if hanging it from a tree... I had a few smarty pantses that would chew through the string and I would often awake to find an empty coconut on the ground.
The first thing you'll want to do is to drill holes in the bottom of the coconut for drainage. If you are using a fresh coconut you will need to drain it of it's coconut milk or liquid.
I like to drill holes in all three eyes of the coconut when draining it.. Than add a few at the top for the hanger. ( these holes also help the coconut drain and air out a little after it rains )
Below...holes created by the twist bit..
Below ..The nice little opening made by the hole saw...
Step ( 5 ) ...You will need to remove the meat of the Coconut.... To do this allow it to hang for about a week... The coconut will begin to dry and peel away from it's hard shell on the inside...This makes it much easier to manipulate and extract the meat.. My coconut was a little dry from the start because I bought it months ago and forgot where I placed it .... by than the meat had dried up a quite a bit on the inside.
Tools you'll Need ..... A Firmer chisel or any small sharp wood cutting tool if you can't find or don't have any of these tools do what I did in the photo below... get out the screw driver and Take your time.. this part of the job is a little time consuming but expect it.... It's part of the process, getting in a hurry may get one injured...
However, a Firmer chisel or any wood chisel will make fast work of this process because the blade is sharp and thick.. Do use with care please".... My niece demonstrates below..
( 6 ) ... In the photo below my niece is using a twist tag from a loaf of bread to guide the jute. Start from the inside of the coconut exiting the hole made in the top and then back through the other opening and tie it..with a little patience and imagination you'll figure out how to get your hangers in.. be it string or wire.
A few tips and notes: Before the meat of the coconut dries out.. the coconut will be heavy... So hang it up on something sturdy.
The feeder can be filled with many goodies such as suet in the winter, sunflower seeds, fruit, nuts, meal worms and fresh coconut meat... It can be chopped into small pieces and placed inside along with sunflower seeds.
NOTE....I read that shredded coconut... the kind we buy in the super market should never be used...It will swell in the birds bellies and be fatal!
Just like most bird feeders, you will want to check the coconut after it rains and replace seeds accordingly.
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