Illustration: Jeff Rogers

1Find a 16-ounce plastic yogurt or sour cream container. Use a screwdriver to poke four equidistant holes in the lid, just in from the edge, then poke four holes under the rim of the container itself, spaced the same as those in the lid. Next, use a needle or the tip of a knife to poke four small holes in the bottom of the container. “This will let water drain when it rains,” says Andronic.

2Lay two 36-inch lengths of twine alongside each other and bend them in half, lining up the ends. Create a small loop by joining the two lengths together with a knot a couple of inches from the top of the bend, leaving the four long ends to hang free. You want to create a loop big enough to slide onto a tree branch.

3Thread each of the four twine ends through each of the holes in the lid and tie a knot on the underside, leaving about 3 inches of twine hanging under the lid, then thread the twine ends through the four holes under the container rim, tying a knot on the inside to secure them. The lid can serve as a perch, while still leaving enough room below for small birds to feed from the container, “and the lid also collects a little rainwater so the birds can drink."

4Fill the feeder and hang it. A good all-year seed mix should contain milo, millet, wheat, and oil sunflower.