Choosing A Bird Table
Putting out a bird table is one of the simplest ways to begin attracting birds to your garden. Before you choose the bird table that is suitable for your garden there are a number of things you need to consider.
Make sure your bird table is big enough. If your bird table is too small you will probably see more squabbles than fighting. Choose a bird table with an area of about 3-4 square feet.
Traditionally bird tables were made of wood and although wooden bird tables are still the most popular you can now find tables in many different materials such as metal, plastic, polycarbonate and glass. Bird tables made of more modern materials are often easier to clean and can look better in a contemporary or urban garden.
Have a look at the post the bird table is supported on. The smoother and straighter the post, the harder it is for cats and squirrels to climb – a metal one is perfect. Avoid rustic, knobbly posts as these are easy for paws to grip onto. Consider buying a guard if you think predators may be a problem.
Check there are no sharp edges which could hurt birds’ feet and that there are no moving or “scissoring” joints that a bird could become trapped in.
The most basic of bird tables is a platform with edges and drainage channels, with or without a roof but you can now buy many different designs to fit in with your style of garden. Avoid bird tables with a nest box in the roof as encouraging birds to feed in another’s nesting territory is not good.
“Rustic” thatched bird tables fit in well with country cottage style gardens but be aware that they may go bald in the spring as birds take the thatch to build their nests so you will either need to repair or replace your bird table.
Some bird tables have a bird bath in the table top – we wouldn’t recommend buying one of these as food on the bird table can get very soggy – buy a separate bird bath instead.
Once you have chosen your bird table it should give you many years of pleasure as the birds come to feed from it.