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Illustration of a pumpkin bird feeder

Once the Halloween festivities are over, lots of jack-o’-lanterns lie forgotten on doorsteps and front porches. Instead of leaving your gourds to rot, consider trying this craft from the National Audubon Society to upcycle your pumpkin into a festive treat for local birds.


  • Small or medium pumpkin (up to 10 pounds)
  • Four small sticks or dowel rods cut to approximately the diameter of your pumpkin
  • Two thumbtacks
  • Eight lengths of twine or rope, each about 2 feet long
  • Organic birdseed


  1. Cut the pumpkin in half and use a spoon to scoop out any remaining seeds. The pumpkin shell should be at least a ½-inch thick.
  2. Push a stick into each side of a pumpkin half near the rim, directly across from each other, to create perches. The sticks should extend mostly outside the pumpkin. Do the same with the other pumpkin half.
  3. Knot the ends of two rope lengths together; repeat with remaining rope pieces to get four 4-foot lengths. Use a thumbtack to tack two knots to the bottom of each pumpkin half.
  4. Fill the hollow pumpkin halves with birdseed and tie the loose ends of rope together. Be sure the knots are secure enough to hold the weight of your feeders.
  5. Hang your birdfeeders. Try to pick a location either closer than 3 feet to a window or farther than 10 feet away from one so birds don’t collide with the windows. To discourage squirrels, position your feeders at least 6 feet off the ground and at least 10 feet from nearby trees.

This originally appeared as “Make Your Own Birdfeeder” in the October 2019 print issue of Experience Life.

Illustration by: Dahl Taylor

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