After you've eaten your orange or made your favorite recipe using your citrus fruit, keep your peel and recycle it into a bird feeder. It's so easy and it's perfect to feed the migrating birds that may be resting in your backyard as they make their way home for spring. Here's how you do it.

Materials needed

All the materials you need to make your own citrus rind bird feederAll the materials you need to make your own citrus rind bird feeder. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

  • Citrus fruit
  • Knife
  • Yarn or string
  • Scissors
  • Birdseed
  • A plastic knitting needle (optional)


1. Cut your citrus fruit in half. Then eat, squeeze or zest it.

2. Remove the inside of the fruit. For oranges, I personally just eat it from here. For lemons and limes, I squeeze all of the juice out and then with my knife, carefully remove the inside.

Hollow citrus rinds sit on a cutting boardDon't let the removed fruit go to waste. Eat them or use them for juice. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

3. Cut four 10-inch pieces of yarn for each half piece of fruit. Then tie a knot at the end and thread your plastic needle.

4. Poke your needle through the side of your peel. Make sure you go at least 1/3 of the way down from the top of the peel. If you poke too close to the top, the weight of the bird (or squirrel, let's be honest with ourselves) will break the peel and your feeder will fall. If you don't have a plastic needle, you can always use the tip of your knife to poke a hole into the side of the peel. Do this on four sides of the peel.

Inserting yarn into a citrus rindBe careful poking the holes in the rind for the yarn. It's key to making sure the bird feeder is properly balanced when it's hanging from a tree. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

5. Tie all four of the strings together in a knot. This is where you'll hang your feeder from a branch.

6. Hang your bird feeder on a tree branch. Pour your birdseed inside your citrus cup. I found that it was better to hang the bird feeder on the tree first and then pour in the birdseed.

Citrus rind bird feeders hanging from branchesThese bird feeders are a colorful and sunny addition to your yard. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

How to make a bird feeder with citrus peels
This DIY bird feeder uses hollow citrus rinds to create a colorful cup for birds to feast on seeds.