Fill Your Yard with Beautiful Finches

Goldfinches bring merry darts of lemon yellow and bright gold to bird feeders in many regions of the US and the United Kingdom, making it one of the best-loved and most familiar visitors year-round. Michael Berger offers us a way to further invite these cheery guests in Easy Birdhouses & Feeders: build your very own finch bird feeder. This step-by-step project requires minimal hardware and materials, and as a simple project, it’s a fun one for a parent/child activity.

Fun fact: a group of goldfinches is called a charm of goldfinches.

finch feeder goldfinch easy birdhouses and feeders

Finch Feeder

This feeder is built from common screw-together PVC plumbing components available at most home improvement or hardware stores, and it’s designed to hold niger seed. Although commonly called thistle seed, niger seed is imported primarily from India, Ethiopia, Nepal, and Burma. There’s no need to worry about growing weeds below the feeder from spilled seed, as the USDA requires that all niger seed imported to this country be sterilized with heat.

Niger seed is a favorite food for a wide variety of finches, siskins, redpolls, and other small-billed seed-eating birds. The seed can quickly dry out and lose its nutritional oil, so throw away any uneaten seed regularly. And make sure to not let the seed get wet or moldy in the feeder, because it can become harmful for birds.

finch feeder birdfeeder goldfinch PVC pipe
All the parts for the body of this feeder are made from common PVC plumbing parts that you can find at most hardware or home improvement stores.

Hardware and Supplies You’ll Need

  • 2″-dia. × 24″ Schedule 40 PVC tube
  • ¼″-dia. × 36″ steel rod
  • 2″-dia. Schedule 40 PVC threaded coupler, end cap, and threaded cap
  • ¾″ self-tapping hex head screws
  • Threaded hook

finch feeder goldfinch cutting list

Finch Feeder Assembly Diagram

finch feeder assembly diagram


How to Build a Finch Feeder

  1. Drill eight 3/8″-dia. feeding holes and eight ¼″-dia. perch holes through a 24″-long section of Schedule 40 PVC pipe. You’ll drill the holes in pairs, as they are positioned directly across from each other. Locate the holes as you like; just keep the drill perpendicular to the pipe as you work.
  2. Use a hacksaw to cut to length four ¼″-dia. × 8″-long steel rod perches.
  3. Push a 2″-dia. end cap onto the bottom of the PVC pipe; then use ¾″ hex head self-tapping screws to secure the end cap to the pipe.
  4. Push a 2″-dia. threaded PVC coupler onto the top of the PVC pipe and secure it in place with two ¾″ hex head self-tapping screws.
  5. Insert the steel perches into the perch holes on one side of the pipe and out the corresponding holes on the other side. Use a small dab of epoxy to secure the perches in place.
  6. Install a threaded hook at the top center of the 2″-dia. threaded PVC cap. Fill the feeder with seed, screw the cap onto the pipe, and hang the feeder from a shepherd’s hook or other appropriate hanger.

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Discover tested, reliable (and easy) plans for building houses and feeders that attract the most popular backyard birds in North America. DIY birdhouses and feeders are inexpensive and relatively easy to make, even if you don’t own a shops worth of tools or you have very limited carpentry experience. With a few materials and some entry-level skills, you can build cozy homes and an inviting backyard snack bar for all of your favorite feathered friends. In Birdwatcher’s Digest Easy Birdhouses & Feeders, 30 original birdhouse and birdfeeder plans are covered by longtime expert Michael Berger, whose trusty mix of birding and handyman knowledge is backed by the reputation of Birdwatcher’s Digest magazine. The book includes 16 plans for birdhouses and 14 for feeders and birdbaths. All plans feature friendly, complete illustrations and cutting lists, along with assembly instructions and helpful tips and photos. Recommendations for siting and hanging strategies are also included. Some of the species covered within this book are: the American Kestrel, the American Robin, the Barred Owl, the Bluebird, the Chickadee, the Flicker, the Flycatcher, the House Wren, the Nuthatch, the Purple Martin, the Screech Owl, and the Woodpecker.

Michael Berger is a nationally recognized home improvement expert and DIY enthusiast whose work has been featured in numerous regional and national publications. He is the author of The Best Birdhouses for Your Backyard (Popular Woodworking Books), and when not in his shop or watching birds, he spends his time underwater, identifying and documenting historic shipwrecks.