How to Help Birds on a Budget



As someone who loves birds, but is also a college student, I want to help birds as much as I can. So, I decided to put together a list of ways I (and you too!) can help birds on a budget.

  1. Many websites dedicated to helping birds have ways you can help wild birds that don’t require emptying your pockets. One of my personal favorites is the Christmas backyard bird count, which is an annual bird count headed by the Audubon Society. The data from the bird count is used to help determine which bird species are thriving and which are in decline, among many other uses. Also, it lasts from December 14 to January 5, so you won’t have to worry about classes or studying for finals. The only thing that matters for you during this time is the birds.

  2. Many bird organizations expound upon the values of feeding birds. However, birdseed can be expensive at times, especially since there are so many variations for specific birds. I’ve found a couple of different recipes that can be used to attract all sorts of wild birds, but most state that sunflower seeds and millet are a must for attracting backyard birds. If you buy them in bulk, you can not only save more money but also prevent waste from seeds birds don’t eat that are common in commercial seeds, such as milo.

  3. Make sure there are places for your friends to eat from! You don’t even need to buy a bird feeder, as there are tons of ways to make some homemade bird feeders. You could use craft sticks, an old boot, or mason jars.

  4. Fill up an old bowl or dish with water, especially during the winter. If you don’t have a heater, you can simply buy a cheap plant saucer and replace it with fresh water in the morning.

  5. Lastly, your feathered friends will need a warm home to sleep in, especially since so many places seem determined to not allow birds to even sit. Like bird feeders, birdhouses can be homemade. There are even ways to make birdhouses without requiring saws and nails, which is good for me because I am not handy at all. Two such methods are simply using old shoes, and milk jugs. And a reminder, perches are not necessary for your birdhouse. Perches can be used by predators to grab chicks inside. This article has more safety considerations for your birdhouse.

There are of course many other ways to help our avian allies, but this is just a nice way to start helping on a budget. Please feel free to email me if you used any of these methods, or if you just want to suggest more for me to add on!