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Homemade Feeder

Posted by ctnchpr (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 14, 07 at 15:01

It's OK to laugh, the DW did. She called it a
contraption. I call it the "Hummer Happy Hour
Feeder". Everything (except the Tequila bottle)
is from the hardware/plumbing/electrical dept's
of Home Depot. Threaded plugs on each end allow
access for cleaning. This pic was taken at midday,
a slow time for the bar. The regular crowd will
shuffle in later.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Homemade Feeder

Now that rocks. I am building one.
Thanks for the ideas..


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That's amazing! I never would have guessed that you could find the little feeder cups and such at a home project store.


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Now thats Cool! I would like to see it at happy hour


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Thanks, everyone!

yardenman,
The ports are wire connectors (wire nuts). I
used a Dremel motor with a cut-off wheel to
remove the tips, then pulled the steel coil
out with pliers.

hummersteve,
It's too dark here in the woods at Happy Hour
for a good photo with no blurred and/or under-
exposed images. In late Aug/early Sep, my adults
and juvies combine with the migrating Northern
tribes, and there is literally a swarm around my
feeders, even at midday. I hope to get a pic of
all 30 ports being used at once then. If I do,
I'll be sure to post it


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Incredible--Amazing--Awesome Feeder!!!

And just like our Local Geezers Pub in the Business district, you caught a few in the pic "drinking their lunch". LOL


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Thanks, amity!! Your Pub image is exactly what I saw in
my mind's eye, too!

I have 3 cropped photos to add. The crowd is beginning
to arrive in the third one, but the fading light made for
blurred hummers.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Is that 1" or 1 1/4 " PVC?

Ken


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How are you holding that Tequila bottle in place???
Frank


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Sorry 'bout the slow reply.

Ken: 1 1/2"

Frank: You have a picture below. For lack of a
better term, I'll call the flared part of the neck
the 'lip'. The lip fits snugly in the tee and rests
on the flange that serves as the seat for the PVC
pipe. My original plan was to put a thick "O" ring
on the neck below the lip to help stabilize the
bottle. Tractor Supply is 20 miles away, so as a
temporary fix, I wrapped surveyor's tape around the
neck. I liked the extra bit of color it gave, so
I kept it. Plus, it's infinitely adjustable.

Hummersteve: I'm 40% toward my goal, there were 12
on the feeder at once yesterday.

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Thanks so muck. I am having a proplem with over flowing of water through the wirenuts, I have a bottle with a tube that sets in below the waterline in my 2" PVC.
It still wants to push out the water through the feeded holes.
Help!


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RE: Homemade Feeder

luckydogg,
Maybe your tube isn't sealed completely in the mouth
of the bottle and is allowing air to enter.


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Frank needs one of those!

What a great idea!! You had to be a Boy Scout..


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RE: Homemade Feeder

  • Posted by txhummer 8a TX -- Central Tex (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 30, 07 at 19:54

Wow, totally impressed!! What an awesome feeder, what is the most you've seen on there at one time?


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Thanks, dakster and txhummer!

dakster,
Nope, never a Boy Scout. Farm boy. We had to improvise.

txhummer,
The photo below is a typical moment. Others were flying
around outside the view of the camera, they didn't like
me being only 3' from the feeder. There are more just
before dark, but I can't get a good picture. The DW
and I counted 20 a few evenings ago, she counts one
side, I count the other.

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Awesome!


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That is the coolest thing I have seen!!


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Awesome!!!


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Thanks, everyone!!


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  • Posted by rjinga middle ga, zone 8 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 16, 07 at 22:05

what's in the bottle ;) seriously though...do they like the homemade syrup better than the red stuff? and if yes, what's the mixture? 4:1 sugar water? Also how often do you have to change the feeder (mine does not have the activity yours does, so I'm worried the nectar might not be fresh? any thoughts?


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I just love your feeder. My husband has made one but he used a two liter soda bottle instead of the tequila bottle. We have a question though. Do you have a lot of trouble with bees? We're having a terrible time. When the hummingbirds come they try to chase them away.


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  • Posted by sandwhy z5, Evanston IL (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 17, 07 at 15:41

LOL Hummer Happy Hour!!!! This contraption is freaking brilliant! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sandy


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RE: Homemade Feeder

rjinga,
"What's in the bottle?" you ask. 4:1 sugar solution.
But I don't like to drink alone, so on Sat afternoons,
I slip 'em a little somethin' extra.;-) READ MY LIPS:
DON'T USE THE RED STUFF - IT'S BAD! BAD!! BAD!!! In
our lovely Southern weather, 3 days is the max you
should keep the nectar if it's in the shade, less if
it's in the sun.

Carol,
I don't have a lot of problems with bees and wasps.
Occasionally, one will hang around the feeder and become
a nuisance, so I use a scrap vacuum cleaner to get it.
I make sure there's plenty of dog fur and saw dust in
the VC bag to clog their spiracles. You can make a
fairly effective trap using a 2-liter soda bottle.
Cut off the top portion of the bottle so you end up
with 2 pieces - a funnel and a straight-sided cylinder.
Put some nectar/apple juice/watermelon etc in the
cylinder for bait. Invert the funnel and push it into
the cylinder until the cut edges are flush with each
other. Staple or tape them together. The pests will
enter through the funnel, but won't be able to find
the way out. If you use nectar, make it strong - 2:1.
The bait gets pretty funky after a few days, so it's
best just to toss it and make another.

Thanks, Sandy!!!


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I made one of those wasp catchers I posted a photo on a new thread.\

I love your feeder !!

Here is a link that might be useful: wasp trap


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Pretty awesome...my dh loves to make things with pvc too!!! I had my first hummer yesterday, found it around my bee balm. I'm going out to buy a feeder for it today What's the secret to having them return...plants, food??? I'm new at this and have been trying to attract hummers for 3 years wih no success until yesterday.


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Thanks, minnie and gardengirlz2!!

gg2,
The secret, if there is one, can be seen in the background
of all my photos - trees. Look in any direction from my
house, and that's all you'll see. It's what the RTHB was
accustomed to for who knows how long.


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I am really neat this so please excuse my dumb question:
Do the hummers feed at a certain time of day? Do they have a feeding route??? Thanks, MAria


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WOW! I am impressed! Thanks for sharing your feeder and the great photos!

Where are you located???? Those look like RT hummers and I know they don't like to "share" their feeders so they must not be RT's, right?

Gardengirl, In my yard they feed from sun up till sun down, all day long. I have three feeders and if I am watching any one of them for a full 10 minutes I always see at least one hummer coming to that feeder. Sometimes I see a hummer use a feeder every couple of minutes which would mean it's different ones coming to the feeder. I've heard that the feed about every 15 minutes, whether on your feeder or another source of nectar. Janie


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I have tried the jug trap without success. I am only bothered by wasps. I cut the top portion off of a gal jug and inserted and taped a funnel to it with a mix of applesauce and catfood. Did this earlier this summer only that went in were spiders and flies . I may try the all liquid deal, those wasps are so annoying to the hummers.


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Amazing feeder...I want one even though we don't have but one pair of hummers.
As for bees and wasps, more and more of them were coming to our feeders every day. Then, I bought a really inexpensive one that the hummers seem to prefer while the bees and wasps prefer the first. So for the time being we will just cater to both with different feeders. At least the hummingbirds can eat in peace now.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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I just got a new feeder forthe back patio area and am waiting to see how long they catch on that it is there. There are now five guys out in front and one is very busy being a traffic cop and making sure the feeders are off limits to anyone else!! From early morning to twilight time. I love it when they zoom down to about 2 feet away and look me in the eye. I think it is the eyeglasses that attract them.


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thanks, Janie!


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Wow. That feeder is just amazing. Gives new meaning to "belly up to the bar".

For a wasp trap I just use a butter tub with a splash of OJ and a small squirt of dishwashing soap. I set it on the rail close to my feeder and empty regularily. I catch alot of wasps that way and an occasional fly.


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Gardengirlz

Same here, since the younguns have arrived this past week its pretty much all day long, I see hummers anytime I want to look out or go out. But I am lucky back in early june there was a great deal of courtship going on in my yard, and now am reaping rewards, last year it was august before I got this kind of acitivity. There are between 6-10 birds at almost any time of the day, subject to change of course.


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Thanks, everyone!!

Janie,
Yes, they are RT's, but belong to a well-mannered
subspecies, Archilochus colubris politerus.


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Wow...that's pretty cool! But I bet it's kinda hard to keep it clean. Most of mine are like backyardmamas second picture, cause they all come apart and it's easy to clean.


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I have to keep coming back to look at your feeder. My GD who returned to Calif asked me to email a photo of it.

I hope you get a patent on it really quick!!!


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Thanks, lanternboy! When I was turning this thing over
in my head, I thought it would be hard to clean, so I
added the removeable plugs. I've had to take them out
only once. It's very easy to clean. All I need is
vinegar in a spray bottle for the ports, vinegar and
about 1/4 cup of pea gravel to scour the inside of the
pipe, and a garden hose. Takes less than 5 minutes.

minnie, I'm flattered!! Form follows function, and this
is just the Hummer equivalent of a stockyard feeding
trough. There are 2 improvements I want to make on it,
but they'll have to wait 'til winter.


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  • Posted by rjinga middle ga, zone 8 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 26, 07 at 8:22

I have also just started seeing them (I had the red stuff out (3 feeders) and I DUMPED it and made the 4:1 sugar stuff....the VERY NEXT DAY...they came...do you think they can smell good stuff? Anyway...I have only seen a few (from my best assement anyway) they seem to be fussing with each other to see who's gonna feed where, I think they are making laps around the house, (feeder out under my eve on my patio and one hanging from my crepe myrtle tree out front)....both are relatively shaded but the one out back not completely....

so this might sound dumb...but is there a better time to swap out the syrup? so as not to run them off? maybe at night time?

PS: the coolest thing, the feeder out front is situated just below a dove's nest...I did not see the dove nesting when I put it up!!! what a great view to see such wonderful things in nature just steps outside my front door. I'm gonna work on a photo with hummers there and the dove too.


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rjinga plan on devoting whole afternoons to trying to get a good shot of them. They are so delightful to watch. I call them little gentlemen (male or female) All they need is a top hat and cane.

Just getting my daily fix on that bird feeder ctn!!!


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rjinga

There are a couple different schools of thought on changing the nectar. One is doing at night when they quit if you have enough feeders out for them to still feed. The other is have extra feeders already made up and just swap them. Dont worry about running them off when you are out there, if they have been using your feeders for a while they will circle around and come right back.


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rjinga,
Your hummers lack the language skills to thank
you for dumping that red stuff, so I'll do it
for them - THANK YOU!!! Hummersteve is right,
you won't run them off. The bottle for this
feeder holds only 750ml, so I have to refill it
2-3 times a day, at all times of the day. It only
takes about a minute, but they're right there
buzzin' and fussin' the whole time.


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  • Posted by rjinga middle ga, zone 8 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 27, 07 at 12:59

I'm hoping that the hummer memo gets out soon, so that anyone (hummers that is) in the nearby and distant vicinity will get the directions to my house :) I'll feed them all....In CA I had a big pine tree alongside my driveway that had nests...I remember one time a big rain storm washed off a nest with 2 babies in it, one survived the other didn't. (this was my first experience with them) I found a lady in Chula Vista who had an aviary (spelling) and she rescued them...I drove him out there 40 minutes from home...and she showed me her set up and gave me an education on the different stages of their developement etc....coolest thing I've ever seen.

Anyway, no one nesting quite yet. but there is always hope for that...


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THAT is Way Cool!!!!


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I have 3 hummingbird feeders up at all times. The hummers not only come to these feeders, but they love all the flowers I have provided for them. I wonder about the flowers that I have in my garden that attract them.... Monarda, cardinal vine, cypress vine, lobelia, Pentas, trumpet vine, lychnis, etc. Once they feed on a flower, can they go back to that same individual flower for more syrum/nourishment, or is each flower depleted after only one feeding? (only a" one visit " supply of food ?)


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Thanks, eclpsprinc!

bjames, I'm no plant expert, so I can't answer your
question. Cleome spinosa is the only plant that I grow
just for my hummers. Each flower of the C. spinosa
produces a large drop of nectar in the morning and
afternoon for two days. I would think that other
flowers also offer nectar more than once.


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Had to have another look!!


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thank you - this is awesome! i'm making sure my DH sees this! you could sell these maybe? we just started seeing hummers in Cleveland. one is coming for the butterfly bush & the trumpet vines. you've inspired me!


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This has been my first year for creating a hummer garden, dont have a lot but hummers use what I have. I have the guaranitica black and blue which , 8 plants of those , 2 cuphea david verity, several coccinia lady in red , subrotunda, earlier has penstemon phoenix red and foxglove but the las two died out on me. Some of the others that have been mentioned like trumpet vine and cardinal are also very good but I just dont have the room for trumpet vine which will spread. I also have started coral honeysuckle and its healthy but still rather small and hasnt flowered yet, so next season as as hummers go for it.

As far as the amount of nectar the hummers can get, thats debateable. Ive noticed that the flowers must be pretty full first think in the morning, but I have watched more than one hummers go over the same flowers. I know that I have set up a mister to run on my flowers a couple of hrs a day and the plants have been revived to more lushness because of it and that fact hasnt escaped the hummers eyes.


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I don't know if it's my computer or not, but I don't see the photo of your feeder. I'm dying of curisoity . What do I need to do to get a peek at your invention?


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I bought some of that red stuff hummer food last year and replaced my 4 to 1 mix. I thought I'd never see a hummer again!!!!????. Don't waste your money. I don't have any of my feeders up right now cause there are so many flowers that the hummers are visiting that they don't seem to need it. But just out of curiosity, I'm gonna mix up a batch today when I get home from work and put up a few feeders to see what kind of reaction I get. They love my bee balm, cape fuchsia, and my butterfly bush. They seem to love anything with some type of hanging flower. I really have had a good hummer season this year. One of the best I can remember. I finally think the word got out to the hummer world that my house is the place to be in my area. LOL!!!!
Lanternboy


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michelled,

I can see the photos on my computer, so I don't know
what to tell you. If you will send me your e-mail
address, I'll send you a picture.


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Wow ctnchpr My hubby and I LOVE your Hummer feeder!! When I saw it I hollered for him to quick come see this!! lol
We are located in Michigan, I have recently became interested
in Hummers and now am very impatient!! :) A friend gave me
a feeder when we hung from a tree.. I watched for hummers for
so long that I think I imagined seeing one! So we got another feeder and hung it closer to the house.. still no luck. We
live in a mobile home park and I dont have flowers and dont have alot of room for them. But I want to plant somthing
somwhere.. as soon as I know what attracts them. I will
switch from the red stuff that you all say is bad.. to the
sugar water. Its pretty quiet w/ not alot of kids here.. but
does noise keep them away ? I just hope the one I think one
hummer I think I was was REAL!! lol Love your feeder.. are you planning on selling them? :)


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Just popping in for another look. I love it!!


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Someone asked how to attract hummingbirds. Most effective way I've seen is a bright colored whirlygig, preferably red or orange. The movement in the wind catches their attentiion to your feeder close by.

I tried tying bright red and orange plastic flowers next to the feeder and that worked, but no as well as some sort of whirling object.


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  • Posted by alii 5 SW Lower Michigan (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 22, 07 at 20:01

I look at this feeder every day! lol I would flip out if I saw 2 Hummers sitting at my feeder! Its in the 60s and we have 3 Hummers today! One is a migrator the other 2 are regulars.. I
get excited every time I see them feed.. im so easy to please :) I just hate to see them leave.


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Awesome! What a great theme too LOL;) Can't wait to make one!


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K! New to this so what is supply list to make this happy hour?

Thanks


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Yes, Please! I'd like a supply list as well, although I think I can figure it out. What did you use for the perch? If necessity is the mother of invention, I'd say you needed this! Now I need one too....

This is . Thank you for sharing!


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Brilliant!

I meant to say this is Brilliant!

You've gotta love a farm boy; in fact I married one!


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Wow, that is totally awesome! I am new to feeding the humingbirds so please pardon my ignorance. Why is the red stuff bad? I just purchased a new HB feeder last weekend and also bought the red nectar that you use to fill it but if it's bad for the HB's, I certainly don't want to use it. Can you please tell me why? Also, is it just sugar and water that you use? You mentioned 4 to 1, is that 4 parts sugar and one part water?

Any help/advice you can give me is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!
Linda


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Linda, the red food dye in the nectar mixes they sell at the store is just not necessary. Hummers don't care what color the nectar itself is, although red is an especially attractive color in the flowers they visit (thus all the red feeders out there). There is even some evidence that red dye may be harmful to hummingbirds, although I haven't seen any conclusive proof. But why take the risk? Plus, it's much cheaper to buy your own sugar and mix it with tap water.

The 4:1 mix is 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Some people like to boil it, but I just pour it out of the tap and keep it in the fridge for refills every other day.


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Thank you, I guess I'll be making up a batch of sugar and water then, I want to be sure not to do anything to harm these little guys.

Thanks again!
Linda


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Thanks, folks!! I thought this thread was dead and gone.

You'll need some 1-1/2" PVC pipe, 1-1/4" will be OK; 2 caps to seal the ends (the threaded plugs are unnecessary); and a 'T'. The part of the 'T' in which the bottle goes comes in different diameters, so get one that gives the tightest fit. The perches are 1/4" oak dowels (3' piece for less than a buck at HD), attached with #12 screw hooks (sold in packages of 3). I drilled a small pilot hole for the hooks and dipped the threads in PVC glue to prevent leaks. The ports can be anything. I made a small prototype from a scrap piece of PVC (why waste good PVC on something that may not work?), drilled some holes, and painted rings around the holes using red nail polish. They found it in just a few minutes. I made another feeder this year, and used medical test tube stoppers instead of the wire nuts. A few of the nuts never did fit well (shoddy hole drilling), and would fall out when blasted with a garden hose. The stoppers fit much better, and are easily removed. The hummers weren't very happy with them at first (probably because they aren't bright red), but are OK with them now. Good luck!!

Photobucket

claire, you're right, gotta love those farm boys! They put the food on our tables, and the cotton in our underwear & jeans.


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This is pretty awesome. I wish I had it when I lived in Tucson, AZ were we had many many hummers at our feeders each day. I am now in NY and have three that frequent our feeder. They aren't as people friendly as those in Tucson though. There they would come right up to us and flutter within inches of our face. Below is a link to some pics of our hummers in Tucson. Note that I didn't have much of a camera then so the pics aren't all that great. Nice job on the bird feeder though. I'm a fan of PVC projects as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tucson Hummers


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  • Posted by alii 5 SW Lower Michigan (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 10, 08 at 21:10

ctnchpr: I must say that I had this post bookmarked and look at it often. Its sooo neat! We only have one Hummer this yr.. makes me
so sad tho I am happy to have it. Would you post a pic of the new
feeder you built? We would love to see it!!! Do you know anything
about plants? Somthing is eating my BB Salvias, my Cigar Plant and
my Hyacynth Bean plant. Im so dissapointed. All the leaves have tiny holes in them and are turing brown. Any ideas? Thanks... and please post that pic :)


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alii,

Sorry, I have no idea what is eating your plants. It could be any number of things. Maybe someone else will know.

Here is the pic of my new feeder. I've made a few changes: eliminated the threaded plugs (unnecessary), reduced the number of ports to 20 (the most hummers seen at once on the old feeder last year), and the 3 liter wine bottle gives a 2 day capacity (the 750ml tequila bottle gave only 1/2 day). The fashion police (wife, daughter, & niece) say that my greens clash, but neither my hummers nor I care.

6-8 is the normal crowd at any given time during the day, about 10-12 is normal early & late in the day.

Photobucket


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Thats a great design you should market it!!!

Question - Where would you find "medical test tube stoppers"?

cheers

Alii, probably aphids are eating your plants


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Thanks, nyssaman!! I got the stoppers from a friend in the medical supply business.


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and you could probably google it and order them i bet! LOL unless your the frugal type. LOL ummmm..... i won't even go that route, ick!!! LOL hmmmm... i totally LOVE your new one as well!! i've read all the posts! you do have some fans that's for sure!! LOL
yes, i agree, ya gota love them farm boys!! they are pretty darned smart!! and ingenious!! i've yet to make that, we have made some of the pop bottle one,s and some of the stuff leaks out, darned ol hot glue failed me....***sigh*** LOL and i really did believe in it!! LOL i know that tape won't do, and hey!! i believe in that you can duct tape everything!! LOL HE HE HE well....hmmmm....maybe if i do it just right it might work, LOL coming from a mommy who homeschools her 2 rugrats and tells them the "right" way isn't neccisarily the "right" way all the time!! LOL
ok i wanted to tell ya the kiddo's and i think your two feeders are totally way toooo awesome!! ~Medo


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Clashing is "in" right now, I'm told. I think the greens look great together. I'm also curious if you find the green tint to the glass might either help keep the nectar fresh longer or reduce mold growth. Similar to algae growth in a clear vs. tinted water barrel.

But now that I think of it, you probably can't keep the bottle filled long enough to test that... =)


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Thanks, Medo!! God bless you for doing so well with those rugrats. I'm adding a link to some 30 second videos made of my hummers last year, maybe they'll like 'em. The link will get you to 1 video, then you can go to the others from there.

Matt, thank you for your kind words about my color choices. I haven't seen much mold on either feeder, but I do believe the nectar stays cooler in the green bottle. I've noticed that the air space in clear bottles expands when in full sun and forces the nectar out. This feeder gets about 2 hours of direct sun at midday, and the air space doesn't expand anywhere near the amount that I had expected.

Here is a link that might be useful: Turn your speakers on!!


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Am new(couple) weeks,to feeding hummingbirds.Hung 4 feeders,looks like a couple pair...going to build one like yours...man is so cool,cant believe the birds you have..GREAT invention!!!Keep it up!!!/Randy in Texas


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THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!! Thank you so much for posting this is just the answer to my current no bee guards for large feeder capacity problem!!! And I'm really handy w/PVC!!! And to think my husband kept teasing me about putting a 55 gallon drum on the roof! Thank you again! Sandy in LA


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i had to send your post to one of my friends who also loves hummingbirds!! she'll also love the video's!! man!! you have a fan!! LOL and thank you so much!! :') talla, my little one (6 and not so little LOL) had to watch just 2 more mom, just a few more mom, ok just 1 more mom, just 1 more i promise mom, ok just some more i promise mom!! we watched a bunch and we still have a few to go, but i left it to where i was so we could finish, that was the promise!! LOL :')

i'm learning our hubs love to tease us cuz they just have nothing better to do and just to get us to go ahead and see how much of our minds we will actually use!! LOL although my hubs hates it when i really get it going!! LOL he'd just rather me make it look nicer, so that's my goal!! LOL ~Medo


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Thanks, Randy & Sandy!!

Medo, I'm so glad your Talla likes the videos. I'm adding a different link that will make it easier to pick & choose a favorite video.

Here is a link that might be useful: All of 'em


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RE: Homemade Feeder

we absolutely LOVE them!! Thank you!! LOL :')
we were over at my neighbors and they were eating on her white butterfly bush. it was so cool!! of course none have came to my yard yet that i've noticed. :'( as soon as my cypress vines come up they will. :') talla has drinken all of the juice out of the trumpet vine. LOL ~Medo


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Can't wait till I have hummers to NEED one of these. Those little medical test tube stoppers also look like the little stoppers with a tiny hole that go on glass tubes that florists use. Wonderful design!!!


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Hi,
I am new to this form and have a question..On the new feeder do you still use surveyers tape to make a seal or you using a gasket of some sort? Can't see any is the reason I'm asking.Also,is the tight fit the only thing holding the bottle on the pipe?


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RE: Homemade Feeder

batman, No tape on the wine bottle, the tight fit is the only thing holding it in place. It's so snug, I have to twist the bottle back & forth to release it from the 'T'. The tequila bottle needed the tape for stability, it wasn't a seal.


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Inspirational. How do you clean it now without the end plugs? Do you know what brand and size medical stoppers you used? Also, how do you get the filled wine bottle on without spilling the contents?

Great and original idea. I want to build one for my wife before next spring!


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Thanks, rv83!! Can't help you on the brand & size of the stoppers, I just grabbed the reddest ones available. The ports can be anything, I'm saving the red caps from tubes of Carmex lip balm, they should work great.

To clean: I flush the tube with a garden hose - put in about 1/2 cup aquarium gravel (pea gravel) - add vinegar until it's coming out the ports - let it soak 2-3 minutes - dump the vinegar - shake the tube back & forth to get the gravel to scrub its inside - flush it again with the hose. Quick & easy! I don't try to get the gravel out, it's been sanitized by the vinegar and will do no harm. A few pieces fall out while dumping the final rinse, so I occasionally have to add a little.

Here's the business end of the wine bottle... I hold my finger over the tube until the bottle is inverted & in position over the 'T'.

Photobucket


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RE: Homemade Feeder

I get the same endorphin rush looking at these photos as I do when there's a hummer at my own feeder! You guys are inspirational!

Ann


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RE: Homemade Feeder

OMGosh! This link popped up in the Garden Junk forum. I couldn't believe my eyes. You should patent your design. I love it, love it, love it.

I have to show the Cottage forum people as well.

Edna


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RE: Homemade Feeder

I gotta post this link on the New England Forum. It is getting cold, and we need a lift. There are still people up here planting bulbs, and the snow is starting to fly. Thank you. I stayed up way past my bedtime to read every post and look at the video.

If you wuz a farm boy, you coulda been an engineer, too.


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Fantastic Feeder! What do you do about squirrels? They chew up every feeder I put out here in South Carolina.


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Thanks, folks!!

tbob, Sophie, the Wonder Dog, keeps the squirrels at bay. Alert & fearless!!


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Wow, this is really cool and it really made me laugh! I live in the NW, south sound region and had hummers come this winter even though my yard is pretty barren and I am just starting out. I have always read that hummers will fight so not to put out too many outlets...but it appears you are going gangbusters with the huge feeder!


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RE: Homemade Feeder

How long is the 1-1/2" PVC pipe?

Also, I can't find the concave test tube stoppers. What size stoppers do you use and do they already have holes?

As I write, 5 hummingbirds are fighting over my head for control of 2 feeders about 20 feet apart!

-----------------------------------------------------------

Posted by ctnchpr (My Page) on Sat, Jun 28, 08 at 9:18

Thanks, folks!! I thought this thread was dead and gone.
You'll need some 1-1/2" PVC pipe, 1-1/4" will be OK; 2 caps to seal the ends (the threaded plugs are unnecessary); and a 'T'. The part of the 'T' in which the bottle goes comes in different diameters, so get one that gives the tightest fit. The perches are 1/4" oak dowels (3' piece for less than a buck at HD), attached with #12 screw hooks (sold in packages of 3). I drilled a small pilot hole for the hooks and dipped the threads in PVC glue to prevent leaks. The ports can be anything. I made a small prototype from a scrap piece of PVC (why waste good PVC on something that may not work?), drilled some holes, and painted rings around the holes using red nail polish. They found it in just a few minutes. I made another feeder this year, and used medical test tube stoppers instead of the wire nuts. A few of the nuts never did fit well (shoddy hole drilling), and would fall out when blasted with a garden hose. The stoppers fit much better, and are easily removed. The hummers weren't very happy with them at first (probably because they aren't bright red), but are OK with them now. Good luck!!


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RE: Homemade Feeder

The length of the PVC pipe depends on the number of ports. The feeder with the wine bottle is 29", this one is 18"...

Photobucket

If you haven't found the test tube stoppers yet, forget 'em, they're not the best option. I don't think the hummers liked the smell of the hot rubber when the sun was on the feeder. You can be creative with the ports, something as simple as a hole surrounded by red nail polish will work. These caps on the latest version are the best so far...

Here is a link that might be useful: Video


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I assume this one uses "wire nuts"? Also, how did you build the support pole? I'm trying to get one installed soonest in the garden to see if one bird chases all the others away like with my porch feeders.


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RE: Homemade Feeder

nicksteel,

If you're looking for a feeder that will magically make your hummers stop fighting - good luck!! While you may see 10 or so feeding "peacefully" at the PVC feeder, what you don't see are the 10-15 engaged in aerial combat just outside the view of the camera.

The support pole is made from 5/8" steel rod. I bent a piece, like Superman, with my bare hands to form the shallow arc attached to the pole. I welded a 1 1/2" piece of rod to each end of the arc, vertically. (I have a small, 120 volt MIG welder, and 5/8" rod is near the upper limits of what it can weld.) I drilled two 13/16" holes in the bottom of the PVC pipe, the distance between them being the same as between the short rods. In each hole, a piece of 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC pipe was glued. (The inside diameter of 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC pipe is 5/8" - go figure!!) The feeder is "impaled" on the short rods. If you mount your pole plumb in both directions, your feeder will be level in both directions.

I had 2 problems with the wire nuts, both of which could be fixed. First, I wasn't very careful while drilling the port holes in the 1st feeder. Some of the wire nuts were loose, and would fall out during cleaning. Second, when the tips of the nuts were cut off, the hole was rather large. I have trouble with the small, ground-dwelling hornets, and they could come and go thru the hole as they pleased. If I used the wire nuts again, I would just pull the steel coil out and drill a small hole in the tip, 1/16" would be about right. The ports on this year's version are the caps from Carmex Lip Balm tubes, and they're working very well. The ridges on the outside of the caps give a snug fit, so snug in fact, they have to be pulled out with pliers...

Photobucket


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"If you're looking for a feeder that will magically make your hummers stop fighting - good luck!!"

Thanks for the info. I plan to put several feeders in next season to expand the war zone and move the conflict off our back porch! I have no idea where the females feed.


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WOW- just saw this thread- Very Nice feeders! I wish I had enough birds to need one; i can easily see myself making one.


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Thanks, homerpa!!


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This is so cool. Just what I was searching for. So easy to build and configure for your own needs.

Here are some ideas for the "flowers". There are many plastic caps and plugs available that are quite inexpensive. Here are some examples:

plastic caps and plugs...
more plastic caps and plugs...

I haven't ordered from either of these vendors, I just found them after a quick search. Ebay might be a good source. I think I will try some tapered plugs or caps. Looks like they will wedge nicely into the pvc.


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Thanks for the links, jc. A lot of possibilities there, but this is my favorite. It's the best thing I've seen yet! The threads should give a tight fit, but it could be easily removed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plug


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RE: Homemade Feeder

We tried makng this. But when we put the bottle on, all the water just leaked out through the cups. I think we didnt have them up high enough on the pvc tube. So we are gonna cover them holes and retry higher.. hopefully that works :)


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Make the tube that comes out of the bottle longer, so it extends lower into the PVC pipe. This part...

Photobucket


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RE: Homemade Feeder

hmmm ok we didnt even have that part at all... What do you have the hose connecting onto?


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RE: Homemade Feeder

It's a nylon hose fitting, they come in various sizes at Home Depot or Lowes. If the threaded end of the fitting is too small for the bottle, wrap the threads with Teflon tape until it fits. If the threaded end is too large, you can trim the threads with a utility knife.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hose fitting


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Got it up and water is in it. However we made it Monday and today is Thursday. They are not using it at all. They are just going to the other feeders:( So I just hung one of the smaller ones off the side of it to see what happens. Maybe they will go to that one and realize the other is there. We will see.


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They are using it! Next year it's on!! :) thanks so much!!


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You're welcome!! I'm glad they found it, if you have more questions, please ask.


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RE: Homemade Feeder

I wanted to thank ctnchpr for the terrific idea for a hummingbird feeder. I just finished a smaller version with 1 inch pvc and 8 ports using his design. It's up and ready for the first hummers to arrive here in Michigan. I painted mine with copper paint and it really looks like it's made of copper. Looks great in the garden. I wish I could post a picture but I'm new here and haven't quite figured out if or how I can.
Happy hummer watching


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Go to photobucket.com. Register for the site - it is free (I've been a member for 6 years, never had any issues whatsoever!). Upload a photo from your computer. Hit Save and it will begin an album for you. Hover your cursor over your photo. A small box will appear. Copy the HTML code (I just click it and it automatically copies - I'm on a Mac. Come to garden web and 'paste' the HTML code in your message box. When you click 'preview message' you will see your photo!!!! Good luck, and can't wait to see your feeder :) Christy


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Thanks, MarcDel! Please post a photo, I'd love to see your model. The copper color sounds cool!!


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hummer1
Here it is. Thanks Christie for the help. This was taken just after I painted it. It is already showing patina so it's darker and nicer. I hope to remove the silk flowers when the hummers find it. Thanks again ctnchpr for the great idea.


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That is gorgeous!!! Thanks for sharing :) Christy


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Very nice!!! I like the 4-way coupling, it simplifies the mounting. And the copper paint really looks like copper!!!

You have a beautiful place, it looks like an ideal hummer habitat.


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RE: Homemade Feeder

thanks ctnchpr. The coupling did make it easier. For sturdiness I filled the post with grout mix I had laying around. I sanded down the hexagon end of an internal fitting to fit it in the bottom connection to seal it from the hummer feed. Thanks again for the great idea


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RE: Homemade Feeder

Started one last Spring here in South MS, will try to finish this Winter. In the meantime, hung 4 feeders together on our porch. Now have about a dozen birds feeding and fighting over them. When I placed widely separated, only had one aggressive bird per feeder. The aggressive ones become overwhelmed with so many birds and females and smaller ones are able feed.

This encourages me to finish the PVC one.


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RE: Homemade Feeder

nick, Please post a photo when it's finished.


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