Wild Bird Seed - bird tables
A bird table is an ideal wild bird feeder that is off the ground and protected from rats and squirrels, you could build one yourself if you have basic carpentry skills; have a look at a selection of bird table pictures or in your local garden centre, and make your own version. Once you have a bird feeder you will be able to equip it with a choice of bird seed.
Open bird tables can be dangerous places for many smaller, or timid birds. If you attach wire mesh around the table to a reasonable height, you give a safe feeding space, the size of the mesh lets small birds reach the food and keeps larger birds out. Mesh is easy to remove for cleaning.
If you possess basic carpentry skills, building your own bird table should pose no problems. Even for a complete novice, with a few tools – saw, screwdriver, hammer, glasspaper – you could make a handy cheap bird table by following the plans below.
A metal post is best to mount your bird table on to make it impossible for cats and squirrels to climb. But you might find it easier to attach it to a wooden post and then slide some plastic drainpipe over it to make it too slippery to climb, or your bird table could be attached to a window ledge using angle brackets or angled supports.
Use exterior quality plywood which won't deteriorate when it gets wet and start to split, or solid timber can make excellent bird tables. Don't make it too small or the birds will squabble over it and shy birds will stay away. Add a rim round the edge as in the illustration above, this will stop food being knocked off or dispersed by the wind. Leaving gaps at the corners allows the rain to drain off and makes cleaning the table easier as you can wash old food out of these gaps.
Sand all wood smooth before putting it together, this removes small crevices which hold dirt and spread disease. It is best to leave it untreated with wood preservative, but if you must treat it to prolong its life, use a safe water-based preservative like Fenceguard or Sadolin and make sure it is totally dry before using it to hold bird food.
Some nails or hooks round the edges are useful for hanging seed feeders, nut feeders and fat balls from and also afford purchase for birds.
The roof isn't for decoration, it gives protection from rain, snow and sparrowhawks looking for food. It also shelters seed and nut hoppers from the elements. The table must be fixed to the ground as they can easily blow over. Tent pegs can be useful for this, or you can make your own wooden pegs. Failing all else, a concrete slab placed on the base helps keep the table stable in wind.
www.birdtables.org.uk: Elegant & sturdy contemporary bird tables - designed & made in England from stone & metal. Prices from £99 + delivery.
RSPB advice on bird tables - the main bird charity with lots of advice, information and wild bird feeding equipment.
The realy useful store - sell a very reasonably priced, easy to assemble bird table
Bird Table Heaven - speaks for itself!
If you sell bird tables and would like a link on this page please email us firstname.lastname@example.org