Stop Throwing Out Soup Cans And Transform Them Into A Stunning Bird Feeder

Bird watching is on the rise. According to a 2022 survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over a third of Americans participate in some form of birding, with 95% of those saying they make efforts to watch wild birds in their yards. Given that the average fully employed adult is not able to go afield nearly as often as they like, many have chosen to try and attract as many birds as possible into their backyards using various methods. Some buy manufactured birdhouses and feeders. Others may try planting bushes that attract birds or limiting noises that cause birds to avoid their yard.


While each of those things can do the trick, if you want to attract more birds to your yard, you probably already have everything you need in your pantry, trash, or recycle bin. Upcycling tin cans is a great way to reduce your footprint, add unique and quirky décor to your backyard, and attract an array of avian species at the same time. While these cans can be reclaimed through the recycling process, you can reuse and repurpose it immediately. So stop throwing out soup cans and transform them into a stunning bird feeder.

Building a basic soup can bird feeder

As far as DIY projects go, building a basic soup can bird feeder is about as easy as it can get. The first step is to gather up the necessary supplies, which include a soup can (or other similar tin can), twine or yarn, scissors, paint, ribbon, and glue. You will also need something for a perch such as an old wooden spoon, small dowel rod, popsicle stick, or bamboo skewer. Next, prepare the can by removing the paper label, cleaning, and painting it.


Once the can has dried, you can begin assembling your bird feeder. Glue whatever you've chosen as a perch across the bottom of the can. Make sure the perch extends a couple of inches past the open end of the can (an alternate method would have the perch glued inside the can and extending out of the opening). For added strength, wrap ribbon, twine, or yarn around the can and perch. Tie and glue the wrapping in place. Finally, tie another length of ribbon, twine, or yarn around the can, either in the center or on each end. This is what will be used to hang the bird feeder. Finally, fill the can with sunflower seeds or bird seeds and hang it on your porch, patio, or a tree in your backyard.

Ways to modify soup can bird feeders

For those DIY enthusiasts who are a bit more creative, handier with tools, or just have more time on their hands, there are countless modifications which can be made to build more elaborate soup can bird feeders. One easy modification would be to create a double-ended feeder. This typically involves cutting away only half the lid on each side, so you will need to keep that in mind when you empty the contents and be prepared to manipulate the sharp tin can lid, as demonstrated by DaveHax on YouTube. The half opening can be used on single-ended feeders as well. You can also use different sized cans. Using smaller cans and/or leaving the end of the can half-covered can go a long way to preventing larger birds you don't want near your feeder from coming in for a free meal.


Another simple modification is to drill holes in either end of the can to give a more stable hanger. You can also tie or glue multiple cans together. Rather than hanging a soup can bird feeder from an overhead limb or rafter, you can screw a can or cans to a backer board. Of course, if you need to let your creativity flow, there are endless ways you can decorate your soup can bird feeder, such as using foam flowers on the opening or placing beads on the hanger string. You can also give it a natural, rustic look by wrapping the entire thing in twine.