There are many easy ways to recycle to help the birds, whether you are trying to attract more backyard birds or just want to help your favorite wild species. These 15 items are fast and easy to recycle, and each one can help improve your backyard habitat, attract more birds or share your love of birding with others.
Easy Items to Recycle to Help Birds
To recycle to help the birds, get started with these easy items and projects.
- Birdseed: Birdseed is easy to recycle with screens or nets below feeders to catch extra seed for more feeder space. You can also let spilled seeds grow to create a naturally renewing food source.
See: How to Recycle Birdseed
- Old Dishes: Use old crockery, pie plates and trays to create rustic feeders or unique bird baths. An old cup can also become a birdseed scoop, or a plate can be a simple baffle or feeder cover.
- Screening: Use an old window screen for an instant platform feeder with superior drainage to keep seed fresh. Add legs for a ground feeder, or attach hooks and wire to hang the screen feeder.
- Plastic Bottles: A few minutes of crafty effort can transform plastic bottles into easy bird feeders or seed scoops with minimal other materials. Bottles can also make great baffles to squirrel-proof a bird feeder.
See: Make a Plastic Bottle Bird Feeder
- Coffee Cans: Transform an empty coffee can into a simple bird nesting ledge by attaching it to a wooden back and hanging it in an appropriate location. A large empty can is also a great feeder baffle.
- Pet Fur: Instead of throwing away pet fur, save it and offer it each spring as ideal nesting material. Similar materials such as bits of yard or thread can be recycled as nesting material as well.
See: Attract Birds With Nesting Material
- Old Wood: After tearing down an old fence or shed, recycle the wood by making rustic bird houses or feeders in different shapes and sizes. The weathered wood will appeal to even shy birds.
- Mesh Bags: The mesh bags that hold onions or other produce can be instantly recycled for homemade suet feeders or nut feeders. They can also be used to offer nesting material to birds.
- Plastic Bags: Cut plastic bags into strips and attach them to windows to help prevent bird window collisions or to stop birds from attacking reflections, or line a bird bath with a plastic bag for a fast cleanup.
See: Prevent Bird Window Collisions
- Coconut Shells: After enjoying a tropical treat, use a coconut shell as an impromptu feeder for seed, jelly or mealworms. Birds will even nibble at the leftover coconut meat.
- Newspapers: Use newspapers to line flowerbeds for safe weed control that birds won't tangle in, or consider donating newspapers to a local bird rehabilitator for lining cages.
- Christmas Tree: Use an old Christmas tree to build a brush pile for instant bird shelter, or chop the trunk into pieces for feeders. Old pines are also great for erosion control to preserve shorebird habitat.
See: 5 Ways to Recycle a Christmas Tree for the Birds
- Binoculars: Instead of discarding old but still usable binoculars, donate them to a local nature center, Audubon group, school or other organization to help others discover the joys of birding.
- Field Guides: Similar to binoculars, old field guides can be donated to birding groups, birding travel guides or local birding groups for additional use that will introduce more people to birding.
- Anything! Any recycling you can do will help reduce litter and create a more sustainable environment that helps preserve bird habitat and ensure avian biodiversity for generations to come.
See: How Litter Hurts Birds
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