How to Make a DIY Perch Swing for Hummingbirds

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How to Make a DIY Perch Swing for Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are a favorite among bird watchers. Even if you have flowers and feeders in your garden that they love, adding a swing for them to perch on can attract more of these feathered friends. In just one minute, hummingbirds flap their wings thousands of times. As they use a lot of energy for flying, they need a safe spot to rest. Fortunately, you can make a DIY hanging perch for hummingbirds with a dowel rod or stick, some craft wire, and colorful beads.

While other bird species can jump along on the ground, hummingbirds can’t. Therefore, perches are essential for them. Hummingbirds can warm themselves on perches, clean their feathers, and take a break from flying. Kelsey Waddell, a bird expert with WildBirdScoop.com, explained how important a perch like this swing is to these birds. “Having perches nearby allows them to conserve energy by perching and resting between feeding, rather than constantly hovering. They also need to rest and digest their food, which they eat in huge amounts to fuel their high-energy activities,” said Waddell.

Supplies for your charming DIY hummingbird swing

The most important part of this swing is the perch, which could be made from a thin wooden dowel rod, or a stick found outside. To use a stick, try to find one that is rather straight and skinny so that it functions as a nice, level perch. If you choose dowel, a 5/16 inch thick rod that’s 7 inches long is a great size. When buying a dowel from a hardware store, like this Madison Mill poplar dowel from Lowe’s ($2), it will likely be too long and will need to be cut to the length you’d like your perch to be.

This project also requires wire that’s between 12 and 20 gauge in size, and you can find lots of beautiful hobby wire and wire cutters at craft stores. For example, Michaels has Bead Landing aluminum jewelry wire for $5 which would work perfectly. This thicker wire will be used to form an arch over your perch and thinner wire can be used to attach decorations that will help hummingbirds find your swing. While beads may just seem like an optional addition to make your project beautiful, they could attract hummingbirds to your garden. Because of their love of flowers, hummingbirds are drawn to red, pink, yellow, and orange, so try using these colors for your beads.

Crafting a DIY hummingbird swing for your garden

attaching beads to hummingbird swing

Frost Grown/YouTube

Start by taking about 24 inches of thick wire and bending it to create the shape of an arch. It’s okay if the wire has small indentations in it, but you could try to make it straighter if you like. Attach each end of the wire to an end of the rod, forming the base of your swing. Alternatively, you could use two 20-inch long wires and start by tying one on each end of the perch. Then, twist them together near the top, but leave a little room to form a hoop to hang the swing.

Once the base of your perch is done, you’ll simply need to attach your thinner wire and beads. Start by wrapping the end of the wire around the arch of your swing. Now, add beads to the wire as you wrap it so that they stay in place. If you used only one thick wire to make your arch, create a small curve with your thin wire at the top of the arch so you can hang it up later. You can use as many or as few beads as you like and if you have excess thin wire, try forming coils that come off your swing for a unique look. When you finish your swing, hang it up in your garden to turn your yard into a hummingbird haven.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.