Bird feeders can attract the prettiest birds, but the problem is all the mess and weeds that you get from the bird seed! Learn how we made a birdseed catcher to keep the ground under our bird feeder weed and mess-free.
How To Make a Bird Seed Catcher for Your Bird Feeder
Didn’t winter this year seem like it was never going to end? (We even lost a significant amount of our new landscape/plants due to a very late deep freeze – ugh!) But end, it did, and it seems like we skipped spring altogether!
We’ve spent the last couple of months getting settled in our new home, and have been hitting all the landscape projects hard. We’ve gotten several large mulch beds done, and next week we have 30 yards of river rock getting delivered for the areas where there is a lot of water runoff.
We want all the birds!
A “secret project” Hubby and I are working on is that we are on a mission to start luring some of the colorful birds from our neighbor’s bird feeders over to ours! (Shhh…, don’t tell, lol)
We’re planning to add a small butterfly/bird garden, a new water fountain, and a couple of bird feeders to an area just outside my bedroom window. We’ve been so busy with all the hardscape areas, we haven’t gotten to the flower planting yet, but the bird feeder is already up, and hubby will be working on my fountain this weekend. (similar to this one, but 3 tiered.)
How to Keep the Bird Feeder Area Weed Free
We absolutely love bird watching in our backyard, but the only downside to bird feeders is the mess the birds make and the weeds that germinate from the seed.
We got tired of pulling the weeds from under the bird feeder, so my hubby got creative at our last house and came up with a fabulous solution to the bird seed/weed/mess under the feeder.
In our case, we have two feeders for two different types of seeds.
In the larger feeder, we use black oil sunflower seeds, (which don’t seem to germinate) for the cardinals and lesser goldfinch (yes, these tiny little birds prefer the sunflower seed), and a smaller feeder for white millet for the other colorful songbirds. (We have stopped buying the wild bird blend because, over time, we have realized, the birds pick out and throw on the ground almost everything but the sunflower seeds. And the same with the millet blend – we just buy the pure millet now)
All the birds love this millet, but it is the messy one, and these seeds do germinate and grow like crazy. To keep the area under the feeder with the white seed clean, Hubby used a large water heater pan, painted it to match the ground cover, and placed it under the messy feeder to catch all the spilled seed.
You can see the bird seed catcher in action in the background at our old house in this photo full of discarded seeds and, most importantly… NO WEEDS growing in our flower bed!
These photos were taken with my phone through the window, so the quality is not the best, but you can see some of the birds we get. (The yellow birds LOVE the bubble fountain we made.)
This is the baffle we use. It works great for keeping the squirrels from climbing up the pole and cleaning out the feeders.
How to Make a Bird Seed Catcher:
- Large pan (water heater pan works great, the bigger, the better.)
- Spray paint to match your ground cover
- Shepherds hook/bird feeder holder
- Bird feeders / seed
Paint the top and sides of the pan. Let dry completely.
Using the bottom prongs of the bird feeder as a guide, and mark the spot where the prongs need to penetrate the pan.
Drill holes through the marked spots.
Put the pan in place and push bird feeder stand into the ground. (BTW, isn’t that grass gorgeous? We had it installed last month. It’s a new Bermuda product that comes pre-seeded with Winter Rye.)
Backfill the pan with ground material.
Set up your feeders, and you’re done!
Now it’s your turn! Do you have any tips to share on keeping the area under your bird feeder weed free? Sound off in the comments below!