For nature lovers all over the UK, there’s nothing more relaxing than some backyard bird watching. Birds are clever, colourful, and quite interesting to watch. What’s more, they’re not destructive; they actually remind us of how delicate and versatile nature can be.
So if you’re lucky enough to have even a small yard or garden, you could easily transform it into a favourite hangout spot for all sorts of birds.
Naturally, most birds will often visit any backyard every once in a while. But without anything to attract them back to your garden, you’ll be in for more daydreaming or stargazing than actual bird watching.
So, how do you make sure you attract a wide range of birds to your location consistently? Simple, by installing one of the best bird tables in the UK.
Bird tables act as pit stops where birds can drink, eat, and rest up as they go about their daily activities. With different types of feeds, you can attract even more species such as tanagers, sparrows, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, chickadees, among many more.
A well placed bird table will not only transform your yard into an attractive haven for birds, it’ll also improve the aesthetics for you and your guests to enjoy. But perhaps more importantly, a bird table gives birds a much needed restock, especially around winter and spring when natural food is lowest.
Key Considerations when Buying a Bird Table
Bird tables come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs. But to get the best value for your money, (and best table for your garden) there are a few things to consider first.
Apart from the aesthetics, the size of your bird table will greatly influence how the birds behave and interact. As beautiful as they may be, you have to remember that birds are still wild animals with territorial instincts. What’s more, these small creatures do not like crowded areas.
So when buying a bird table, it’s always better to go for a bigger model. Smaller tables will only cause more fighting and bickering than feeding. So unless you’re looking to set up a mini cock-fight ring with birds, a table of around 2-4 sq ft is more than ideal.
Most bird tables are made of wood. Not only is wood more natural, it’s also more attractive to the birds since it resembles their natural habitat. However, there are plenty of other materials for bird tables including metal and plastic. These may look a bit less natural in your garden than wood, but they’re easier to maintain.
Typically, a basic platform with some edges and drainage channels is usually the best design – whether it has a roof or not. However, you may want to avoid tables with a nest box in the roof; encouraging birds to feed in another’s nesting grounds is never wise.
d) Safety Features
Make sure your bird table has no sharp edges that could endanger both birds and your other pets or scissoring joints that could trap them. Likewise, a smooth, straight post is necessary so cats, squirrels and other rodents can’t climb.
The Best Bird Tables Reviews
1. The Hutch Company Fordwich Rare Bird Table Retreat
Looking for a bird table built specifically for smaller birds? The Fordwich Rare Bird Retreat is a high quality wooden table that resembles a bird house. Due to its size and design, only birds of a certain size can get inside. This design acts as a deterrent for bigger birds like crows and pigeons while also keeping cats and rodents at bay.
The Fordwich Bird Retreat weighs in at 8Kg and comes in two parts that are easy to assemble. And once completed, the table stands at only 4.5 feet tall. This makes it the ideal height to watch birds while seated somewhere on the deck or patio. The structure is handmade in the UK from sustainable and durable low carbon FSC timber. Since this model is a standing unit, the manufacturer reinforced the bottom with a strong, heavy base. This means that it will not topple over even in windy conditions.
What I like about it:
- Extremely solid, high quality construction
- Walled design to keep cats and pigeons at bay
- Simple 2 part assembly
2. Maypole Antifungal Heavy Duty Bird Table
Here’s another winner from The Hutch Company. If their Fordwich Bird Retreat is a bit too rich for your taste, the same guys have yet another more affordable model. The Maypole Antifungal Heavy Duty Bird Table has an open walled design that allows birds of different sizes and species to feed freely. However, there’s still a roof at the top so the feed doesn’t get rained on. For this one, The Hutch Company used C24 graded construction timber to ensure longevity and durability.
All wood was sourced in Great Britain from sustainable forests where 2 trees are planted for every one cut down. The entire table has also been treated with anti-bacterial marcide to stem the spread of diseases. At a height of 1045mm, this heavy duty table may not be as high as others; but the open walled design allows people to birdwatch from anywhere in the garden. Like the previous model, this one also has a heavy, wide and reinforced base so that it can withstand both the wind as well as a flurry of activity at the top.
What I like about it:
- C24 graded timber construction
- Twin antibacterial treatment with marcide for disease control
- Lower price range
3. Natures Market BFSLATE1FSC Bird Table
Closing off our budget models is a simple, beautiful bird table from Natures Market. If you’re looking for a practical bird table with an attractive but affordable design, the Natures Market BFSLATE1FSC Bird Table fits the description perfectly. This model features a small, edged table where users can offer suet, seeds, fat balls, oil or any other bird feed. But what really makes this particular table stand out it the bright blue slate roof that adds a touch of class to the feeder.
Apart from a beautiful, well proportioned design that amps up the aesthetics, the BFSLATE1FSC Bird Table from Natures Market is quite practical and durable as well. The manufacturer used hardy wood construction to give users a product that will last longer. Natures Market delivers their table as a flat package that requires assembly, but putting it together is a breeze. The base also widens off at the bottom to give the table more stability and resistance against the wind.
What I like about it:
- Basic and affordable wooden construction
- Attractive, blue slate roof
- Open walled design allows for a 360 degree view
4. Riverside Woodcraft Triple Platform Bird Table
Are you lucky enough to live in an area with an abundance of different bird species? Then nothing but the ultimate bird table will do for your yard. If you want to attract several different birds to create the watchers dream, you’ll need what is probably the best and most elaborate bird table on this entire list. The Riverside Woodcraft Triple Platform Bird Table consists of 3 platforms; one main table and two side platforms.
These platforms are connected and supported by a thick, 3 inch pole that is sturdy enough to handle dozens of birds at once. The Woodcraft bird table comes with a fully assembled top and the stand in kit form. So all you have to do is put the stand together and connect to the tabletop. The Riverside Woodcraft Triple Platform Bird Table is made from robust redwood which has been treated to give the unit more protection form the elements. Together with the wide, heavy base that ensures the table does not topple over, this unit stands at a whopping 6 feet making it among the tallest models.
What I like about it:
- Robust solid and chunky redwood construction
- Comes with 3 different platforms
- Attractive finish with beautiful roofing
5. Gardman Self Assembly Bird Table
A bird table isn’t just designed to feed birds, it’s also a welcomed addition that improves the aesthetics of your garden. Gardman wanted to make something that addresses these concerns equally. The Gardman Self Assembly Bird Table is a blue, vibrant model that will stand out in any yard. The manufacturer went with a subtle duck egg blue so the theme can complement a range of garden environments without necessarily blending in.
This stylish bird feeding haven is made from highly durable pine with a substantially smaller carbon footprint. Likewise, the tile effect roof features a lot of details and adds a nice touch to the finish. The wide roof angle means that rain won’t be able to make it inside to where the feeds are. Looking at the base, you’ll notice that there are small slots or gaps in between. This space allows for easier cleaning and removal of old feeds. At the bottom is a broad base to give the bird table more stability and protection against falls. Assembling the Gardman Bird Table is easy and only takes a few minutes.
What I like about it:
- Eco-friendly pine construction
- Attractive duck egg blue paint
- Slotted edges on tray for easy cleaning and maintenance
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How to make a bird table pigeon proof?
The very first step is to place your bird table away from pigeon territory – they will perch on lamp posts, walls and chimneys, and will swoop down to get food when they see it.
If you place your bird feeder out of the sight line of a pigeon then you should get less of them – however this is not a fail safe way of making your bird table pigeon proof.
A simple and effective way of pigeon proofing your bird table is to make a cage of garden canes around it, making the openings between the canes large enough for small birds, but too small for a fat pigeon to squeeze through.
You can also make a cage using two hanging baskets tied together with the bird table inside – again, this allows the smaller birds through but will prevent a pigeon.
Another option, if you have one of those bird tables shaped like a little house, is to nail a thin piece of wood around the four supporting posts. This will prevent the pigeon from landing and stealing all the food, as unlike some other birds they need to be standing to eat and cannot do it while flying.
If you don’t actually have a problem with feeding the pigeons, then you could put food down for them – they like bread, and corn – in one area of the garden, thus keeping your bird table free for the little song birds.
Q: How to secure a bird table to the ground?
If you have bought your bird table then it should come with supporting legs, to hold it stable and keep it balanced and upright. In this case, you can weigh those legs down with a breeze block or two, to keep it stable during strong winds. Not the most attractive solution, but highly effective!
You can also buy specialised bird table anchoring pegs – shaped like giant hair clips, these fit over the legs of your bird table and secure it into the ground.
You could also, if you are the Boy Scout type, rig up some supporting guy ropes, and peg these into the ground to support your table – but beware, these are definitely a trip hazard.
One more trick, especially if you live in a windy area, is to dig a deep hole and plant your bird table into it. You will lose some height, but this may be a small price to pay for not having to keep picking it up off the ground!
Q: How to attract birds to your bird table?
The best solution to attracting birds to your bird table is to put out food. You should attract all types of birds, but you may get mostly the larger birds like pigeons and blackbirds, and the more aggressive feeders, like starlings.
Different birds like different foods, so try experimenting with different offerings to attract different feathered visitors. Consider putting fattier items, such as suet balls, out in the winter, as the birds will need to store more energy to keep warm.
Placement of your bird table is also important; make sure it is fairly close to hedges and trees, as this is where birds will take shelter for safety, darting out for food if it is there.
Shelter from the wind and weather is also important so birds can be comfortable as they are eating – and so that the food doesn’t blow away!
Remember that, if your garden doesn’t already have a bird table, then birds might not habitually come looking for food there. Be consistent, and leave food out on your bird table for at least a fortnight before you despair of seeing any birds.
Eventually, one will notice, word will spread, and then you will have a garden full of birds to brighten up the view from your window.