I love watching the squirrels figure out how to get peanuts in the shell from the squirrel feeder, made from a wide-mouth gallon jar in a stand. Some are very cautious and examine the feeder from all sides before they stretch their body venturing in to grab a peanut. Other squirrels walk into the jar so that their entire body is inside, they pick up a peanut, turn around and exit the jar. They sit on the lattice fence examining the peanut; then they start breaking open the shell to remove and eat the nuts or they scurry off to hide the peanut for colder weather.

When I put peanuts out for the birds I usually throw a few handfuls of nuts on the ground or I line them up on the lattice fence around our deck.

Here are directions to make a peanut feeder for your backyard birds.

peanut-feeder

Peanut Feeder for Your Feathered Friends

If you want a parade of colorful birds coming to your backyard, try offering them peanuts.

We recommend serving them in the shell. It makes it difficult for squirrels to get to the goobers, while woodpeckers, blue jays and nuthatches have little trouble breaking the shells with their bills.

Here’s What You’ll Need
One 2-foot 1-inch x 6-inch board
Approximately 12 inches x 18 inches of hardware cloth with 1/4-inch squares
36-inch-long light-duty chain
One screw eye
Netting staples
Waterproof carpenter’s glue (or 1-5/8-inch deck screws)

Recommended Tools
Band, saber or scroll saw
Wire cutter
Needle-nose pliers
Soldering iron (optional)

Start Building
Cut out four disks-two should measure about 4-3/4 inches across, and two should measure about 3 inches across-with a band, saber or scroll saw. Make the circles with a compass, or simply trace the rims of quart and 1/2-pint paint cans (or other cans similar to the dimensions above). Cut the smaller disks carefully. They should be as close to identical as possible.

Center and glue (or predrill and fasten with three 1-5/8-inch deck screws) each small disk to a larger disk. Clamp these pieces together until the glue completely dries. This will form the top and base of the feeder.

Fasten one end of the chain to a screw eye. Open the eye with two small pliers. (Twist in opposite directions until the eye opens just enough for the chain to be inserted.) Close the eye with a pliers.

Drill a pilot hole in the center of one of the small disks and turn in the screw eye. This will become the feeder’s base.

Wrap hardware cloth around the completed base. (If using a 1/2-pint paint can to determine the size of the smaller disks, wrap the hardware cloth around the base and the can, which should be positioned about 10 inches higher than the base. Wrap heavy-duty rubber bands around the base and can to form a cylinder.)

Cut the hardware cloth about 1/4 inch beyond the last complete square where it comes together. This will leave small wire tabs on one end (see illustration above). Now you can remove the rubber bands and paint can.

Bend hardware cloth into a cylinder and attach to the feeder’s base with netting staples (with the chain inside).

Join the two ends of hardware cloth to form a cylinder. Secure by wrapping the tabs around the other end using needle-nose pliers. Make sure the cylinder isn’t too tight at the feeder’s top, otherwise it will be difficult to lift up and close when filling with peanuts.

We recommend spot soldering the wire at the seam about every 2 inches for a better hold. If there is excess wire at the tabs, trim with a wire cutter.

The chain can be looped for hanging or attached to a S hook.

Slide the top up along the chain and then fill the cylinder with peanuts. You’ll enjoy watching the “peanut gallery” of feathered friends.

Directions from Birds and Blooms.com

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