Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum→Inexpensive homemade bird feeder domes...

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Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Critters Allowed Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads
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UrbanWild
Jun 6, 2020 11:37 AM CST
I have several domes on bird feeders. The domes I prefer (and have several of) I just can't justify spending the $30 each. I needed two more so I took a cue from several of the craftier folks in the forums and after a visit to Dollar Tree (bowls) and Lowe's (stainless steel hardware) I think I have roughly $5 each in these shown below. Green isn't my first choice but I broke the clear hard plastic bowl drilling it for hardware. Foresight led me to buy three bowls!

The hardware list is:

bowls
1/4" stainless steel eye bolts - I used 2" long and 2.5"...both still 1/4" diameter. I kept the nuts on them they came with to hold washers in place)
1/4" stainless steel coupling nuts
1/4" stainless steel washers (on both sides of bowl)
and I added some S-hooks I already had but you might not need those

The hardware was the most costly part of the ~$5 total.

If a bowl breaks, it's $1 to replace with the existing hardware.

The clear bowls are harder plastic (and brittle). The opaque bowls are more flexible.

Now I'm looking for appropriately sized bowls to use for my hummingbird feeder domes.

Thumb of 2020-06-06/UrbanWild/b785fe

Thumb of 2020-06-06/UrbanWild/6c4db0
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Critters Allowed Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads
Dog Lover Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
UrbanWild
Jun 12, 2020 4:58 PM CST
Experimenting with other dome types. I have a few more but temporarily ran out of hardware.

Thumb of 2020-06-12/UrbanWild/16d3f0


Thumb of 2020-06-12/UrbanWild/5328df

Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE

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ElPolloDiablo
Jun 13, 2020 5:24 AM CST
Perhaps this can help you.

Thumb of 2020-06-13/ElPolloDiablo/22d707

This is my oldest bird feeder. No idea of exactly how old it is nor what's the brand: the only identifying sign reads "Made in Denmark".
That dome shape keep the feed perfectly dry, and it also has a couple of tiny drain holes just in case. Very good stuff, albeit the clear plastic tube is getting a bit brittle with age.
The Saviour.
central ohio (Zone 5b)
PlantingOaks
Jun 13, 2020 6:07 AM CST
I understand why you want a dome on top of the open seed cup, but why do you need them on top of the hummingbird feeders? (seriously, I have those feeders. Should I be putting a dome over them?)

Also, fantastic idea. I was really stumped this spring wanting a dome for my oriole feeder but not wanting to pay those prices for one.
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Garden Art
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Hamwild
Jun 13, 2020 11:27 AM CST
PlantingOaks said:I understand why you want a dome on top of the open seed cup, but why do you need them on top of the hummingbird feeders? (seriously, I have those feeders. Should I be putting a dome over them?)

Also, fantastic idea. I was really stumped this spring wanting a dome for my oriole feeder but not wanting to pay those prices for one.


Rain and squirrels I would imagine. I had squirrels hopping on mine. Glare
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Critters Allowed Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads
Dog Lover Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies
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UrbanWild
Jun 13, 2020 2:21 PM CST
Rain and 4 of the 6 hummingbird feeders get runoff from pressure treated lumber on 2nd floor porch. Luckily squirrels haven't decided hummer feeders were worth exploring. Could be because they're so fat from all the bird seed...especially sunflower. I feed already hulled sunflower to avoid the mess and allelopathic effects from hulls. Also, I'm wondering if it will help with ants
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
[Last edited by UrbanWild - Jun 14, 2020 11:26 AM (+)]
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Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Critters Allowed Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads
Dog Lover Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
UrbanWild
Jun 13, 2020 2:55 PM CST
Given events last year when it was exceptionally rainy and I had suet blocks mold within the feeders, I'm going to experiment covering them with domes as well.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE

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ElPolloDiablo
Jun 14, 2020 5:43 AM CST
UrbanWild said:Given events last year when it was exceptionally rainy and I had suet blocks mold within the feeders, I'm going to experiment covering them with domes as well.


I have a domed suet cover, came from the same source as the bird feeder above. If you want a picture for inspiration just ask.

I haven't had a suet ball mold yet, not even with this ultra-rainy May and June, but that's probably because they don't last long enough. Robins and tits make short work of them and I suspect woopeckers help out in Winter as well but albeit the latter are rather common here they are incredibly shy and hard to observe.
The Saviour.
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Critters Allowed Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads
Dog Lover Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
UrbanWild
Jun 14, 2020 8:44 AM CST
I mainly put mine out for a pair of downy woodpeckers here but starlings wear out the blocks. House sparrows hit them hard as well. I'd rather chickadees move in but none around thus far.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Critters Allowed Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads
Dog Lover Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
UrbanWild
Jun 14, 2020 8:52 AM CST
Someone I sent the photos to in a text asked about the order of hardware when putting them together. I thought that might help here as well so below is how they're put together. Basically, the order going from top to bottom is:

1/4" stainless 2.5" steel eye bolt
1/4" stainless nut that came with the eye bolt
1/4" stainless steel washer
bowl (in example below I used a clear shallow garden bowl from Dollar Tree...might be a little late to find these in quantity)
1/4" stainless steel washer
1/4" stainless steel coupling nut
1/4" stainless nut that came with the eye bolt
1/4" stainless 2.0" steel eye bolt

Shown in the next two photos

Thumb of 2020-06-14/UrbanWild/92224b

Thumb of 2020-06-14/UrbanWild/eeb99e

Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Critters Allowed Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads
Dog Lover Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
UrbanWild
Jan 6, 2021 1:27 PM CST
I'm making some changes. Late summer into fall 2020, there were multiple occasions where a hummingbird would check out the following bucket I'd stuck on a garden pole. A couple of them spent 15 mins or more checking it out. I know birders who have had similar interest wearing red cloth lures on hats or even red hats.

Thumb of 2021-01-06/UrbanWild/acbabd

It struck me that several of the feeder domes I had made for feeders (including hummingbird feeders) were clear , green, or some other color. So, I've been finding replacements for the coming season to use over hummingbird feeders. I have been going much larger in size than those I originally made and in the reds color-wise.

Pictured below are a few that will be pressed into service in a few weeks. I'm hoping the larger red domes will help draw in interest by hummers whether passing through or in territory. Note the small red bowl. That was a dome I made last season to go over a Ruby Slipper hummingbird feeder. I'm going with much larger domes over all types of hummingbird feeders for the upcoming season. I'm thinking it should help with visibility...especially in early season when not a lot is in flower and/or when migrants are blazing through a short while from now (OK, a couple of months!).

Thumb of 2021-01-06/UrbanWild/b0f8e7

Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
[Last edited by UrbanWild - Jan 6, 2021 1:29 PM (+)]
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