Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It Works!!!

A DIY Nectar-Feeder Works!
Here is our Resident Sunbird taking a sip!

For the last six months, we were trying to buy some bird feeders. We were looking for both, the seed and the nectar types as we were very interested in feeding our Malaysian Wild birds such as the Sunbird ( an alternative to the Hummingbirds which is ONLY found in North & South America).

We were very shocked to find that in Asian Countries, almost no one feeds wild birds this way! Therefore no shops sells this kind of feeders! Try going to a petshop nearby. We even tried to buy one from the Biggest Pet Store in Malaysia (at Ikano Shopping Centre, in PJ) but failed. Although most of these feeders are made in China, they go to the rest of the world but here. Still wondering why? Do we not love nature? At the rate of de-forestation, where are the birds going to go for food and water to survive ?

Here are some examples of the right feeders currently being sold in the USA & UK.

The Seed type. (below)

The Nectar type. (below)

No, you cannot get it in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Even some members of the Malaysian Nature Society says it does not work!!!!! I wanted to buy one from them.

So we decided to make one ourself. We went to a Nick-Nack shop in Klang Parade located on the first floor. Bought the materials such as a plastic container with a cover, artificial fabric flower in bright red colour, a decorated fern like plant with small flowers, a wire basket, drinking straws and plenty of hope.
With a drill and a hot-glue gun, we assembled it. (Click on pictures to enlarge image)

It finally looked like this. Nice?
I mistakenly placed diluted honey for the first 3 days but failed to attract any birds.
Later I discovered that using honey was a no, no. Honey ferments almost immediately upon mixing with water. Today, I took it down, wash it up and placed sugar water instead.

The Sunbirds came in less than an hour!

Just watch this You Tube clip!

Now that's life! Our Malaysian Sunbirds do look like Hummers.


Covert_Operations'78 said...

Dear Donald et al,
What a magnificent bird feeder! Never mind the fact that it looks gaudy (at first impression lah, heh heh). It's brilliant! It works! It doesn't scare the birds off! Wow! I'm a fan!
Best regards,
Ee Lynn.

Birds Talking Too said...

Thanks for your comments Ee Lynn,
Today, the Sunbirds took more than 57 visits! More visits than my blogsite!!!!Ha!Ha!

Anyway, we are very happy that we can help wild birds. Figuring now about seed feeders.

My wife and I really wish more of us especially those living near fringes of plantations/forrests or at the outskirts, make up a feeder like this and help the sunbirds. We are proceding to make more this weekend.

Cheers and Regards
Donald G.H Tan
Birds Talking Too

horukuru said...

hio donald,

impressive feeder !

frodo said...

Hi Donald,
You have come up with an imaginative and yet functional kit.
Many busy people in KL may be looking for something like your creation but prefer to buy them ready- made.How about you placing a few units with the Malaysian Nature Society shop ( The Owlet) at Jalan Kelantan for sale?
Aun Tiah

Birds Talking Too said...

Dear Horukuru. Thanks for commemt.

Dear Frodo. Yup we may have to make a replacement for our first (the original one) because the plastics we use is of the cheap type (what else can on get at a "5 and 10 sen store?)is breaking up in pieces mainly due to the Sun's UV light. The beautiful colors are fading too.

We will now buy the accessories of better quality and also do more, say about a dozen, so those very interested parties can buy it from the MNS strore. Therefore pls call them for booking. First one, first served.Besides my little profit, I would be happy that MNS makes something as contributions towards on going projects. Please give me a call my new HP at 019-2293308 Klang or get intouch with Owlet at MNS.It will come with an instruction how to use this nectar-feeder.
Well Aun Tiah, hope you can also pass the word around so that I can start 'production' soonest possible.

Importantly, just feel positive about using this and see and feel the sitisfaction that a Malaysian wild bird are being fed happily and regularly.

See, the girl and the guy sunbird is very regular at this feeder and as last week, they are building a nest inside a large pot of my wild orchid species..the Dendrodium amosmum...!The love this place.

Cheers and regards
Doanld G.H Tan
Birds Talking Too

Namib Naturalist said...

Thanks for sharing. I have been trying to find plans for sunbird feeders in southern Africa. I live in Namibia, and would love to see if I can get Sunbirds into the garden. I have planted some of their favorite plants, but a nectar feeder will help in the mean time.

Anonymous said...

i'm going to try this -- thanks for sharing. Any tips on how to keep ants away from the feeder? Thanks!

Birds Talking Too said...

Dear Anon,
Yup, ants are a problem. What we did was to attach a large cap of a jar or any plastic cone, make a small hole in the centre and pass a wire thru it. This wire must be able to hold the hanging feeder. Both ends are bent (as a hook) and is connected to the main hanger and the feeder. On the underside of the cap, we use some light grease to coat it, thus the ants stops there. Use the grease sparingly as we do not want the birds get at it.
Hope that helps.

Kelvin said...


I just made the "hover" nectar feeder but it was hideous, not sure if is working though. I am just wondering if you are still making this for sale?


Birds Talking Too said...

Dear Kelvin,
Thanks for dropping by. At that time, I was making lots of it to be given away to friends who are living near the greens. We made the simple ones out of 'mineral water' bottle.
No we did not sell them. If you can see from our later posting, we made the simple ones.

Donald G. H. Tan
Birds Talking Too

Siva Selan said...

hi sir Donald, I got everything clearly but just wondering how much artificial nectar you filled in that container !! Do the Sunbirds actually feed on all of that nectar ?? How if the nectar when too low that its difficult for them to reach by the straw ??