1. Pick up a coconut from your local grocery store.
Our Kroger's store carries coconuts that have been scored about halfway through. Look for those, because it's a breeze to open them with just a tap from a hammer along the score line. After you crack it open it, clean it out, then get busy...
2. Mark three equidistant spots to drill holes.
You can do math to create the three evenly spaced points, but it's much easier to just guesstimate or use "The Force" (like I do). Use painter's tape to mark them.
|Painter's tape marks the spots for the three holes.|
3. Knock out two of the "eyes."
Find the three holes at the bottom of a coconut. Two are soft and are easy to push through. These "eyes" make ideal drainage holes to keep water from building up in the shell.
|Use a screwdriver or the end of a pencil to push through the eyes to create the drainage holes.|
4. Place the coconut in a vice.
Use cardboard squares to cushion the coconut and help keep it from slipping.
|It's much easier to drill the holes if you can anchor the coconut in a vice. Little squares of cardboard make nice cushions.|
5. Drill baby, drill.
Make sure the drill bit is large enough to create a hole that will fit the chain you've chosen. Drill about 1/4" to 1/2" from the edge.
|It's better to drill a larger hole than a smaller hole. The chain I use isn't that wide, so a medium-sized bit works for me.|
6. Cut three even lengths of chain, and open the last link on each chain.
Only open one link at the end of each chain. Use the vice to secure the last link and simply twist it open with a needle-nosed pliers (or any type of pliers that fits).
|It's easiest to open the chain by securing half of it in the vice.|
7. Thread the open link through the drilled hole.
Use the needle-nosed pliers to help you thread the link through. After it's through, close it up using the pliers.
|It's very easy to attach the chain. Feed the link through and clamp it shut!|
8. Hang the three loose ends of the chain on an S hook, and close the hook.
Be sure to use the pliers to clamp the S hook closed so the chains don't slip off.
|Could it be any easier? Hang the feeder in a tree, fill it with seed, and watch and wait!|
|A sweet Carolina Chickadee was the first bird to sample the goods. The Blue Jay came next. The birds that most love this feeder are Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and Blue Jays. Strangely enough, the squirrels leave it alone!|
When did my love affair with coconut bird feeders start?
Edith Holden's book is a hand-written record of her daily walks and observations of the countryside around the small village of Olton in Warwickshire, England. Edith is a talented artist and naturalist and fills the pages of her book with beautiful watercolor illustrations of the wildlife and scenery she encountered every day on her walks. Rendered with a naturalist’s eye for detail, her paintings are soft, colorful and engaging. Her love and deep understanding of nature is apparent in every painting. She also scatters her favorite poems in with the illustrations and includes historical information and even folk sayings.
Sunflower seeds are not the only thing you can put in the coconut. You can also fill it with suet, or even leave the coconut meat in it. The birds will peck away at it (and if you look closely at Edith Holden's painting above, you'll see that's what she did. The little birds are grabbing pieces of coconut from the shell.). I want to try making a few suet recipes and putting the suet in a coconut. When I find one that works really well, I'll let you know!