Bird Feeding Tables, How to Choose the Most SuitableKeith
Choosing a new bird table, consider the following:
- What Size – a small table will lead to fighting rather than feeding. An area of about 3-4 square feet is perfect.
- What Material – Most bird tables are made of wood, but an increasing variety of metal, plastic and polycarbonate tables and feeding trays have become available in recent years. Although these look less natural, they are easier to keep clean, maintain and don’t rot.
- Which post – The smoother and straighter the post, the more difficult it is for cats and squirrels to climb – metal ones are great. Avoid knobbly rustic ones that provide claw and paw grips.
- Safety First – Make sure there are no sharp edges which will harm birds’ feet and that there are no moving joints in which a bird may be become trapped.
- Design – A basic platform with edges and drainage channels with or without a roof is the best. Avoid tables with a nest box in the roof – encouraging birds to feed in another’s nesting territory is a no no. Thatched bird tables will quickly go bald in spring as the birds take the thatch to build their nests. Some bird tables incorporate a bird bath on the top. These usually get the food wet and the water turning to soup, and are not recommended.
- Consider the birds you want to attract – If you want to make sure smaller birds get some food at your bird table, and exclude larger birds such as wood pigeons and collared doves, you should consider getting an adjustable bird table. The RSPB’s ‘Adjus-table bird table’ allows you to slide the feeding platform up and down for three different roof heights.