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How To Make a Bird Seed Catcher for Your Bird Feeder (and save money at the same time)

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Bird feeders can attract the prettiest birds,  but the problem is all the mess and weeds that you get from the birdseed! Learn how to make a birdseed catcher to keep the ground under your bird feeder weed and mess-free.

(This post is sponsored by Ibotta, all opinions are my own)

diy Bird Seed Catcher

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 all together!

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 run off.

Another “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 Save Cash on your DIY / Home Improvement Purchases

The one thing about moving into a new home is we make trips to the hardware store on a practically every other day basis.

Not only for landscaping type purchases but everyday items you take for granted, like shower curtain rods, screws, nails, hooks for closets, cabinet pulls, trash cans, touch up paints, organizational supplies… The list goes on.

The good news is I have an additional way to save and earn cashback on all my home-related purchases.

I’ve shared before my love of using the Ibotta App on my phone to save money when I shop.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Ibotta app,  it’s a shopping app that helps you earn cashback on hundreds of brands and retailers, both in-store and online. Ibotta is 100% free to download and use on mobile devices and new shoppers can receive up to $20 in welcome bonuses.

I always try to use Ibotta to save on my online purchases. But, before today, it was difficult to save when shopping in-store. The good news is, Ibotta finally came up with a easy way to use the app when shopping in person at the actual store. It’s called Pay with Ibotta. 

Just link a credit card to your Ibotta profile, you’ll be able to pay straight from the Ibotta app and get instant cashback on your entire purchase at participating retailers.

In today’s case, hubby and I decided to hit up Lowes on our way home from date night.  (Exciting I know, but anytime shopping without kids is fun to me.) 

I opened my Ibotta app, entered the total amount and the app created a scannable gift card, which the cashier scanned and used as payment on my purchase.

Easy as that and I instantly had 3% credited to my app!

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. We use the black sunflower seeds, which don’t germinate (for the cardinals) and a smaller yellow seed for other colorful songbirds.

All the birds love this yellow seed mix, but it is the messy one and these seeds do germinate and grow like crazy. To keep the area under the feeder with the yellow 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 of this photo full of discarded seeds and most importantly…  NO WEEDS growing in our flower bed!

How to Make a Bird Seed Catcher:

Materials needed 

  • Large pan (water heater pan works great, the bigger the better.)
  • Spray paint to match your ground cover
  • Shepherds hook/bird feeder holder
  • Drill
  • Bird feeders / seed

Project instructions:

Paint top and sides of 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.

How to Make a Bird Seed Catcher:

Put 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.)

mess free bird feeder

Back fill the pan with ground material.

how to keep the bird feeder area mess free

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!

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  1. ColleenB. says:

    Great idea; not only for the smaller birds that eat from the hanging feeders but also wonderful for the ground feeder birds.
    We have had rabbits eating out of our homemade ground, platform feeders.

  2. No drain holes for rain water?

  3. Great idea! Will definitely do this since the birds have been making a mess in my yard.

    I actually have the same feeder as you do on the right – curious how you shortened the string? The existing loop leaves way too much slack between the feeder and the hook.

    Thank you!

    1. Hubby used 2 very small zip ties. They hold it great. We had to shorten it because the squirrels were jumping from the ground to the feeder, lol.

  4. Great idea and post but Is there a reason why you didn’t position the bird feeder stand in the center of the pan? One of your feeders hangs outside the catch pan..I’m confused.

  5. Leigh Ann says:

    I’m interested in who makes the Bermuda/Winter Rye combination as that’s what I was wanting for our yard? I’ll definitely be trying the bird seed catcher as I have multi feeder poles and need a bigger catcher?

    1. We got ours from a place called the Grass Patch in the Austin Texas area. It is definitely a seasonal product. (got ours in February) We called back in April-is and it was too late in the year to get it.

  6. How do you empty the eaten seeds from the catcher?

  7. Al Searsa says:

    What happens when it rains or you water the lawn?

    1. hopefully nothing, we get a few weeds growing through the hole drilled in the bottom of the pan. I (my husband 🙂 ) just pull them up.

  8. Your yard looks beautiful! I too am a lover of our back yard birds, we get so many!! The squirrels are always impossible to keep away, so I’ve given up…now there’s a new issue, recently I’ve spotted a rat near the seed that’s fallen on the ground…I just purchased a few seed catchers that hang underneath the feeders, we’ll see how they work…my question to you, do you have any problems with anything eating the seed that’s fallen into the pan? Like, has it attracted rodents or unwanted critters? Thank you!

    1. I haven’t spotted any mice, but the squirrels, cardinals, and doves do a pretty good job eating the fallen seed. No telling what we get at night though. I am certain the deer have figured out how to drink from the hummingbird feeder.

  9. such a smart idea, I am constantly pulling weed from around the feeder!

  10. I know what Ibotta is, but I haven’t seen that new feature. Sounds kinda neat.