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How to Make a Bird Seed Catcher Tray

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how to make a bird seed catcher tray

There is no denying the importance of a birdseed catcher tray, especially in catching seeds and casings that are not eaten and dropped by the birds. It will help in keeping your backyard clean and free from waste and debris during the bird’s mealtime. But do you know how to make a seed catcher tray?

A seed catcher can be purchased commercially but can be very expensive. Fortunately, a birder can make a do-it-yourself seed catcher, which is more affordable compared to the commercial one. Please check below different methods to learn how to make a bird feeder seed catcher.


Method No. 1: Making a Bird Seed Catcher Tray Using a Pan

The key to having a very effective bird seed catcher is to have a tray that can cover a large area on the ground. With that said, using a pan as your primary material in making a DIY catcher tray can work wonders in enhancing the effectiveness with its sheer size. In this method, I suggest using a heater pan due to its size. As they say, the bigger, the better.

What You Will Need:

  • Large pan, spray paint, drill

Step 1: Preparing the Pan

The initial step is to prepare the pan before the installation. Preparing means painting it to a color that suits your preference. I suggest using a color that matches the color of the ground cover. Also, when painting the pan, cover everything, including the top and the side portion of it. Let it dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

There are many reasons why it is a must for you to paint the pan before installation. Apart from matching the color of your bird feeder and probably the ground cover, painting can also help prolong the lifespan of the birdseed catcher tray. Covering the pan with paint can help prevent rust from accumulating on the surface while also making it look good.

Step 2: Drilling the Holes

The next step is to drill the holes on the pan. What you do is check on the bottom of the feeder pole and look for any prongs. If there is, use the prongs as your guide by marking the spot where you want the prong to go and penetrate the pan.

Once the spot is already marked, get your drill and start making a hole to the marked spot a while ago. Be very careful of drilling the hole because making a mistake will mean that the prongs and the bottom of the feeder pole will not fit the hole. Make the hole precisely to the spot where the prong penetrates the pan.

Step 3: Installing the Bird Seed Catcher Tray

Once the holes are already drilled, you are now ready to install the seed catcher tray on the ground. Initially, you can start putting the pan to where you want to position it on the ground. Then, push the bird feeder pole into the ground slowly through the pan’s holes.

The ideal situation is that the feeder pole should be in the middle of the pan. You can now start pushing the feeder pole towards the ground. You can use tools to help you do it, like a mallet or hammer to strengthen the pole’s foundation.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Once the pan is already put in place in the ground, and the feeder pole is installed correctly, you can now put some finishing touches to make your seed catcher tray more effective. One way is to backfill your pan with ground materials to make it look good and magnet to birds.

After putting in the ground materials, put your feeders and check the tray’s effectiveness regularly. Regularly cleaning the tray from debris and unused seeds will also help prolong its lifespan.

Method No. 2: Using a Plastic Plant Saucer

In the first method, the birdseed catcher tray was set up at the bottom of the bird feeder stand while positioning it on the ground. In this method, the step-by-step process is a little bit easy since we will be sticking the tray directly at the bottom of the feeder.

In this method, the size of the saucer is not that huge compared to the pan. However, the upside in doing this hack is you will have more seeds to catch since you are putting it directly beneath the bird feeder.

Materials You Will Need:

  • Plastic plant saucer, Glue

Step 1: Preparation

The initial step is to prepare the plastic saucer before sticking it to the feeder. You need to clean it thoroughly. If you are just recycling an old saucer, make sure to wash it so that it is free from oils or other dirt before using it.

When it comes to selecting the glue, make sure that the one you are using is of high quality. Meaning it should be a construction level adhesive to stick the saucer thoroughly under the bird feeder.

Step 2: Sticking to the Feeder

Once all the materials are prepared, you can stick the bird feeder to the saucer. Make sure that the back of the feeder will be positioned in the middle of the saucer to have balance. It also helps maximize the chance of catching the seeds at any angle.

You can glue around the bottom of the feeder but make sure that all the parts have glue to maximize the result. You can start pressing the saucer to the back of the feeder while ensuring that all are sealed on both sides.

Step 3: Curing and Drying

After sticking the saucer, let it dry and cure for a few hours. Do not hang the feeder until it is fully cured and dried to ensure that everything is good. Always remember that bird seeds are heavy. If many seeds are collected in the tray, it becomes heavy.

Allowing it to cure will make it more durable and tough to accommodate the weight of the seeds once it is used. There will also be less chance of weighing down or breaking apart if you let it dry or cure fully.


If you are still a fresh bird watcher, then learning how to make a birdseed catcher tray is excellent knowledge to have. Feeding birds in your backyard can be fun, but not the waste of seeds that the birds leave on the ground after eating. The birdseed catcher tray is your answer to catch all the dirt and prevent the bird from making your backyard messy and dirty.

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