Wild birds tend to be messy in the way that they eat, scattering seed and empty seed shells in the process. This can, unfortunately, pose problems, such as attracting other animals, including squirrels and raccoons, and uneaten seed can grow unexpectedly in strange places without requiring much soil or water. The solution is a homemade birdseed catcher, which makes for much simpler cleanup of spilled birdseed to prevent waste.
Create birdseed catchers from soft, flexible materials so that they can be folded up and moved with the seeds inside for easy cleanup. Breathable materials that let water through without letting seeds through, such as window screen material or mesh, are good choices. A sturdy material choice for this purpose is large-gauge wire mesh such as rabbit wire, which can be cut to suit a variety of shapes and sizes for a custom birdseed catcher.
Cut the material for the bottom of the birdseed catcher to suit the size of the birdhouse or bird feeder to which you will attach the catcher. The birdseed catcher should be larger than the house or feeder on all sides by at least 3 to 6 inches to accommodate flying and falling seeds. The bottom can be reinforced using the same wire mesh material or rabbit wire as the sides of the catcher, allowing for a sturdier feeder and a platform where birds can eat fallen seed. Create the sides of the birdseed catcher from a strip of wire mesh, and connect the bottom to the strip using craft or floral wire in the same or a heavier gauge.
For simple connection, use standard bungee cords from a hardware store to attach the rim of the birdseed catcher to the frame of the birdhouse or bird feeder. Drill holes or attach hooks to the birdhouse or feeder if necessary. Another option for attaching the catcher to the feeder or house is to run sturdy-gauge wire from one to the other, allowing enough connections for a sturdy attachment. Choose galvanized or coated wire to ensure that no rusting occurs due to weather. Once connected, pour some seed into the catcher to ensure that it can bear weight.