In this guide we’ll look at the best bird tables for the UK market.
I’ve compared design, features, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
In this guide we’ll look at the best bird tables for the UK market.
What is the Best Bird Table?
In a rush? Here's my top choice...
Long-lasting, super-stable table with three feeding platforms
This Riverside Woodcraft Triple Platform Bird Table has one large, covered feeding area, measuring 60 x 58 cm, and two smaller platforms. It's suitable for a range of birds and is extremely stable. Riverside Woodcraft construct this table in the UK from quality wood, treated with an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial finish. It's sturdy, long lasting, and easy to assemble.CHECK PRICE →
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Bird Table Reviews
Riverside Woodcraft Triple Platform Bird Table Review
One of the best bird tables for feeding several species at the same time, this Riverside Woodcraft Triple Platform Bird Table has separate platforms that can be loaded with different foods.
This keeps larger birds from scaring off smaller ones, and creates plenty of space to hopefully avoid any turf wars.
The top platform measures 50 x 48 cm and is covered by a wooden apex roof which keeps the bird seed dry. Below, the other two smaller tables are sheltered by the larger platform.
Riverside Woodcraft, who are based in Staffordshire, use FSC certified timber, so the wood for this bird table has been sustainably sourced. It’s also been treated with an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial coating and fares well outside; it will require additional wood treatments after a couple of years.
In terms of stability, the combination of the 80 x 80 cm base, as well as the thick 7.5 central post, means that it remains sturdy even in windy conditions. All of the wood used in its construction is thick and solid, creating a stable, robust bird table overall.
It comes part assembled, and requires the base to be put together before connecting the top section. This can be done in less than an hour with the help of an electric screwdriver and Phillips screw bit (although using a standard screwdriver will take a lot longer).
It’s also robust enough to hang birdfeeders from without making it unstable, reiterating the point that it’s one of the best bird feeders for attracting different types of birds, no matter how they like to feed.
Overall, this is a high-quality bird table that offers a lot of potential in the garden. It will also stand up well against the UK climate, whether that’s rain, snow or wind, whilst remaining sturdy and well balanced.
- Constructed from solid timber and has an overall quality appearance
- Assembly takes between 15 minutes - 1 hour (aided by using an electric screwdriver)
- Capable of withstanding bad weather and strong winds
- Appeals to a range of birds thanks to the separate platforms and possibility to hang feeders from the table
- Constructed by a family-run company based in Staffordshire
- Open sides mean strong winds may blow rain into the feeding area
- Large, bulky and relatively heavy - can be tricky to move to the right spot without an extra pair of hands
The Hutch Company Maypole Heavy Duty Bird Table Review
If you’re after a bird table that delivers on both quality and price, this Maypole Heavy Duty Bird Table is solidly constructed yet very affordable. It’s one of the best bird tables in terms of value for money, made from thick wood making it stable and robust, with a price that is hard to beat when compared to other models on the market.
The design is relatively basic, but still entirely functional and hardwearing, and the wood has been sustainably sourced; two trees are planted for every one that is cut down – reassuring, as cheaper prices can sometimes mean unethical practises.
A green, slatted roof covers the feeding platform, helping keep the seeds dry, and the 60 x 60 cm base remains stable without the use of pegs. It offers a good compromise between weight and stability, being light enough to move around but also unaffected by high winds. The only problem that can occur, when it’s both raining and windy, is that rain can get blown onto the feeding platform due to the open sides.
It has been treated with an anti-bacterial coating to stop the spread of disease between animals, but the wood isn’t pressured treated, so will still need to be regularly treated and sealed to help it last outside year-round in the UK climate.
In terms of assembly, putting it together is relatively straight forward and can be done in around 40 minutes with the help of an electric screwdriver. Only the apex roof comes pre-assembled, but all of the holes are pre-drilled.
The main criticism relates to its size, as this isn’t the largest table. The total height is 134 cm, which is smaller than a lot of standing bird tables and as a result the roofed section isn’t very tall. This may put off some larger birds.
- Great value compared to others on the market of a similar quality
- Remains stable in windy weather
- Hooks can be added for additional feeders
- Assembly instructions are clear and easy to understand
- Two people required to make assembly easier
- Open design means strong winds can blow rain into the feeding area
- Relatively short at 134 cm meaning determined cats may still be able to reach the table from the ground
Wildlife World Bempton Bird Table Review
There are several reasons why this Wildlife World Bempton Bird Table is a great option to consider. It’s great for small gardens because it doesn’t take up any floor space, but it’s also a very pleasantly designed feeder which would work in any size area. Plus, it’s one of the best bird tables in terms of versatility because it can be hung or mounted on a pole.
The fact that it’s relatively small, at just 30 x 20 cm, doesn’t seem to put off larger birds either, with magpies, blackbirds and jackdaws capable of using it, as well as smaller visitors as well. Even in a small garden, you can attract a variety of species.
Overall, the construction is strong, so it doesn’t struggle with the weight of larger birds either, though they may cause it to swing if it’s hanging.
It resembles a little pergola, with a wooden latticework construction (made from FSC certified timber) finished in a pale green colour that nicely complements the Verdigris copper roof.
Whilst it comes with a string for hanging, this feeder can be either be hung from a tree or fixed to a post, depending on personal preference and the birds you wish to visit. The string is quite short, so can be difficult to hang around larger branches, and it may be necessary to use a longer piece of string, or some gardening wire, instead.
The roof works fairly successfully at keeping the seeds and any small birds dry. However, water can still get in and may need to be emptied out after rainfall as it doesn’t always drain. That said, there’s an easy system for emptying, cleaning and restocking the table, as the tray bottom tray can simply be pulled out.
- Slide out tray makes it fuss-free to clean this feeding table
- Solid timber design and natural colours blend in well in most gardens
- A good option for smaller gardens with limited floor space
- Can either be hung or attached to a post, depending on preference
- The string can be a little short for tying around thicker branches and may require a new string or wire to be used
- No drainage holes can cause water to get trapped in the base, requiring emptying after rain
Riverside Woodcraft Sherringham Bird Table Review
Another solidly constructed bird table, made by Staffordshire-based company Riverside Woodcraft, this Sherringham Bird Table shares aesthetic similarities with The Hutch Company’s Maypole Bird Table; however, it’s larger overall.
The whole structure is 163 cm tall, with the feeding platform positioned at 130 cm off the ground.
It has a slate-style roof, which is actually made from a mixture of recycled plastic and clay.
This looks very similar to slate in appearance, but is less fragile and won’t crack or break if the table is knocked or falls.
Realistically though, the table is unlikely to topple; the 70 x 70 cm base is very stable and the overall construction is quite heavy. Although not included, additional hooks can be added to hang bird feeders from without causing any imbalance as well.
To help with delivery, the table comes part-assembled. The top section arrives in one piece, but the stand needs to be constructed separately. It’s a lot easier to put together with the help of an electric screwdriver and a second pair or hands, and in these instances takes less than an hour to assemble.
The only downside of the table is the design of the feeding platform itself. The supportive wooden posts take up space, encroaching somewhat on the feeding area, and because of the wooden barriers all around it is not as easy to clean as other bird tables.
Nevertheless, this is still a good option for several reasons, and is one of the best bird tables in terms of quality and stability. It also has the aesthetically-pleasing bonus of the mock-slate roof.
- Wooden construction is natural and aesthetic - complements existing colours and hues
- Reinforced stand design offers good stability in high winds
- Wood is treated against bacteria and fungus so doesn’t need any extra treatment before assembly
- Tiles are made of a combination of recycled plastic and clay making them less fragile than slate
- Corner posts are thick and bulky which does reduce the size of the feeding area
- Assemble is a little fiddly - you may need an extra pair of hands and some DIY skills
- Can be tricky to clean due to the small openings
Natures Market Slate Roof Bird Table Review
If you’ve got your heart set on a bird table, but haven’t got a lot of space in the garden, this Natures Market Slate Roof Bird Table is a lot more petite than most of the models featured here.
It has a 40 x 20 cm footprint which makes it the most compact option on this page and one of the best bird tables for smaller gardens. It still stands at approximately 151 cm tall, so isn’t excessively short despite its smaller size, and is high enough off the ground to not be easily accessed by cats.
However, it may be more prone to being knocked over compared to tables with a larger base, and might benefit from being positioned in a sheltered spot or being secured in some way.
In terms of construction, the slate-effect roof is waterproof, protecting the feeding area, and all of the wood is FSC certified timber. It’s easy enough to clean any leftover seeds as well, by simply wiping or brushing them off the main platform.
Whilst assembly is relatively straight forward, a lot of people choose to apply wood glue in addition to the screws provided to reinforce the structure.
The finish also isn’t quite as high quality as some of the other bird tables featured here, with some parts benefitting from sanding down first as well.
This is the main downside to this bird table because it means that assembly can take longer than necessary. However, once together it becomes a useful and decorative table that also fits nicely into smaller spaces.
- Cleaning is easy thanks to the large openings and low sides
- Assembly takes less than an hour in most cases
- Small footprint makes it a great choice for more compact gardens
- Many customers have reinforced the joints with wood glue during construction to make it sturdier overall
- Some parts may need sanding down during construction to get rid of rough edges
- Due to height and small base needs to be sheltered from strong winds
The Hutch Company Fordwich Rare Bird Table Retreat Review
For those who would rather avoid a DIY project, this Fordwich Rare Bird Table Retreat comes in just two separate pieces, easily screwed together in a couple of minutes.
This can save a lot of time and heartache, especially if you don’t have an electric screwdriver – trying to put some of the other bird tables together without one is no mean feat.
Despite coming almost fully assembled, it’s not a small or spindly option, measuring approximately 140 cm tall and constructed from solid FSC certified timber. It’s considered a good height for optimal viewing of the birds, and is relatively predator-proof, although agile cats may still be able to access the house.
The base is 43 x 43 cm and is reinforced by angled struts, making it relatively robust; however, it can be a little ‘top heavy’ and may need securing to stop it from tipping in high winds.
Whilst the design is intended to keep larger birds away, it’s not completely effective, and magpies, pigeons and jays can still fit into the house on top – for the most part this doesn’t seem to deter smaller birds, but is something to be aware of if you’re after a table exclusively for sparrows, blue tits etc.
It’s a good table overall, although the stability can be an issue. It’s more likely to require ground anchors than the other options. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best bird tables for anyone looking for easy assembly and only requires four screws to be wound in by hand to put it together.
- Easy assembly with four screws that can be wound in with a manual screwdriver
- Thick wood makes for an overall sturdy, well-built table
- Covered design keeps food and seeds dry
- Handmade in the UK from sustainably-sourced FSC certified timber
- Top heavy construction likely to require anchoring to the ground, especially in strong winds
- Cats and other predators may still be able to reach the table from the ground
- Larger birds can still access inside the house
Deko-Shop-Hannusch Bird Table With Asphalt Shingles Review
Bird tables can be more than just four walls, and this hexagonal shaped Birdhouse With Asphalt Shingles is a lot more visually interesting than most.
Not only is it an unusual shape, but it offers a lot of protection to birds and also has an ingenious food-dispensing system. Instead of putting food in via the sides, it’s placed down the central ‘chimney’, meaning the food stays in the middle and birds have to enter to access it.
This feeding system, combined with the small entryways on the house, make this one of the best bird tables for attracting smaller birds. Large birds are unable to squeeze through the small openings, creating a safe space for sparrows, blue tits etc. to feed from.
The asphalt, shingled roof is waterproof and keeps small birds safe from the rain, whilst also keeping the seed dry. It’s also relatively easy to clean, as the lid lifts off, although slightly more intricate than other more ‘standard’ bird houses.
It doesn’t come with a stand, so one either needs to be bought separately, or it needs to be attached to a different type of plinth. There is quite a large base area, and it’s possible to get in between the arches with a screwdriver, so attaching it to a stand can be done relatively easily.
- Roof can be removed to make cleaning easier
- Asphalt roof keeps it very dry inside the house
- Food can be dispensed through the chimney, keeping it central and encouraging birds to enter
- Openings are small enough to deter larger birds
- Stand doesn’t come included so a separate purchase is needed
- Small openings make it hard to put food in via the sides if it's not possible to reach the chimney chute
Things to Know Before Buying a Bird Table
One of life’s beautiful simple pleasures is being able to watch birds visit your garden. The good news is you can encourage them to stop by more often with the help of a well-stocked bird table.
Not only do bird tables attract more wildlife to the garden, they are also aesthetically charming and decorative. Some people really prefer the appearance of a bird table over hanging plastic feeders.
Between April and October, it can be difficult for birds to find natural food sources; bountiful bird tables can make a valuable difference during these harsh months.
With a vast range of options to choose from, it can be hard to know which model will be the best bird table for your garden. I’ve put together the following advice to help you make an informed decision:
The last thing you want is to have to worry about your bird table toppling over if it gets windy. You also don’t want it to come tumbling down if a rotund pigeon succeeds in perching on it. So, what makes bird table particularly sturdy?
If we’re speaking purely about tables with stands, the two most important factors are the weight of the stand, and the stability of its legs/feet.
Look for bird tables with reinforced feet – an extra piece of wood connecting from the feet to the main stand at an angle will make the table a lot sturdier. This will also help in weighing it down more.
Thicker, chunkier wood will also create more weight which is a good for stability. The supportive main column of bird tables can vary in thickness, but look for wood that is over 7 cm wide if you want it to be really sturdy.
Heavier wood will make the bird table harder to move around though, and potentially more difficult to assemble. So there are other things that you can do to make a less sturdy table more secure:
How to Improve the Sturdiness of Your Bird Table
Depending on where you live, and how exposed your garden is, there may be times when you need to take improving the stability of your bird table into your own hands. There are a few ways that you make your bird table more secure:
- Use anchoring pegs – these are U-shaped pieces of metal which will fit over the feet of your bird table and can then be pushed into the ground.
- Hang feeders from your bird table – if you keep these filled with feed, they could be heavy enough to act as weights. Plus, they’ll serve a practical purpose too for feeding birds too. Additionally, if you use squirrel-proof feeders you can keep squirrels away from the table as well (or at least try to – they’re cunning little creatures!).
- Attach the bird table to a heavy base – most wooden bird tables have exposed feet which are fairly easy to drill through. You could bolt your bird table to a loose paving slab (you’ll need a masonry drill to make holes in the stone), or a large piece of wood. The larger and heavier the base, the less likely that the table will topple over.
Whether you choose a hanging or standing bird table, you’re sure to attract birds to your garden. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to each style.
Hanging Bird Table
Hanging bird tables can be placed anywhere where there’s a tree branch or hanging stand. They’re great for smaller gardens because you don’t need to take up any floor space with a standing table.
Small hanging bird tables can feel like a really safe haven for smaller birds – it’s often difficult for bigger birds to balance on them, and when hung from a high branch there’s no pole for cats or rats to climb up.
The biggest problem is finding somewhere suitable to hang them as we don’t all have trees with appropriate branches in our gardens.
You can buy poles which are suitable for hanging bird feeders and suspended bird tables from. It’s also possible to find poles which will attach to the side of the house or shed.
Of course, as mentioned, if using a pole predators might find it easier to access the table/feeder.
Standing Bird Table
Standing bird tables are aesthetically pleasing and traditional; they add something decorative to the garden as well as being functional.
Standing bird tables can be easier to reach than hanging ones, making them easier to clean and refresh with seed.
However, one of the biggest drawbacks of a standing bird table is that it can be more easily accessed by animals that you’re not trying to feed such as pigeons, magpies, rats, and squirrels. A hanging table creates more of a challenge for these animals.
That said, plenty of standing bird tables have been specifically designed to discourage larger birds. This is something to look out for if you’re trying to focus on attracting smaller species. If this is your aim, look for bird tables with small openings and archways without any large entry points.
A lot of bird tables are aimed at feeding smaller birds. It might sound cruel to exclude the larger ones like pigeons, crows, and magpies, but there is a reason for trying to keep them separate.
Bigger birds often bully smaller birds, or intimidate them so that they won’t come near the food. This can result in smaller birds struggling to get enough to eat.
As previously mentioned, if you’re aiming to encourage smaller birds, look for bird tables with small openings that larger birds can’t fit through. This creates a safe-feeling environment for smaller birds and will encourage them to return.
If you enjoy having larger birds around as well, there are a couple of steps you can take to keep all the birds in your garden happy:
- Consider having two bird tables – one with small openings for smaller birds, and one with a large open platform suitable for larger birds.
- Don’t immediately clean up spilled food from under the bird table – you may not want to leave it there for too long as it can attract rats, but larger birds like pigeons will feed off the floor.
- Buy a table with several platforms – these tables often have a more enclosed platform on top, with other open platforms further down. This can provide areas for both small and large birds to feed.
How to Protect Birds from Cats
A badly designed bird table can result in birds becoming ‘sitting ducks’ on bird tables for any nearby cats. Cats learn to expect birds to be present on the table, and this can spell danger.
Firstly, as previously mentioned, make sure your bird table is as stable as possible. This will at least stop any cats knocking it over if they try to climb up it.
Look for a bird table which is covered and has very small openings. This will normally make it very difficult for a cat to get access to the bird table, and it will be too awkward for it to get into with its paws. A covered bird table will also protect birds from any passing sparrow hawks.
Other steps you could take include:
- Using scents that deter cats around the base of the bird table. For example, cats dislike the smell of citrus, so there are some ‘cat repellent’ sprays that use this smell. It could be sprayed around the base of the bird table to deter them getting closer.
- Placing ‘squirrel baffles’ on the pole of the bird table will make it much harder for cats to climb up. These resemble the plastic disc cones used in PE lessons (remember those?) and create vertical obstacles for cats.
- Giving your cat a collar with a bell (if it’s your own cat that is causing the problem!) – this noise will give warning to the birds when your cat is approaching. The only problem with this is that if birds are constantly scared off, they may stop returning.
The RSPB recommends putting out food all year round – food shortages for birds can occur at any time. However, the type of food and quantity depends on the time of year.
In the winter you should feed birds regularly. They can be fed ‘fattier’ foods in winter such as peanuts (unsalted and broken up, not whole), black-oil sunflower seeds, suet and fat balls. Bird-appropriate seed mix will also be fine, and there are mixes which are specially formulated for the winter.
During winter you should put out water as well as food and keep it topped up daily. In really extreme weather, such as heavy snow, putting out food even twice a day is recommended. However, this is only relevant if the food is all being eaten. If there’s a lot of leftover food, don’t put out as much or you’ll attract rats.
In the spring and summer birds benefit from food which is high in protein. You should be careful with the food that you put out at this time of year – food may be taken back to the nest by parents and anything that is too big may cause chicks to choke. In the spring/summer, large chunks of nut like peanut should be avoided or only used, if necessary, in mesh feeders.
You can change the type of food you feed the birds depending on what birds are present in your garden.
For birds like sparrows, finches and dunnocks you should mostly feed small seeds. Tits and greenfinches are partial to peanuts and sunflower seeds.
Pre-prepared seed mixes are a good choice when it comes to putting out food for the birds. Make sure you get a high-quality seed mix and ensure it is not ‘padded out’ with low-quality ingredients. Seed mixes are often labelled depending on the season so you can be sure you’re feeding your visitors the right things.
There are some things that you should avoid when buying seed mixtures. Don’t buy mixes with: split peas, beans, dried rice or lentils. These are not suitable for smaller birds.
Bird Table FAQs
In order to ensure that birds are comfortable coming to your bird table, you should place it in a quiet part of the garden away from paths.
You should also position it so that the birds have a good view all around when they are using the table as this will protect them from predators. A small bush or tree around 2 metres from the table will allow birds to perch while they check that it is safe to feed.
Birds also like to feed in a sheltered position that is out of chilly winds.
It is important to keep your bird table clean. A dirty table can harbour bacteria that can lead to disease. Every time you put out fresh food you should brush away any debris. Clean the table with a mild disinfectant once a week.
You should occasionally move the table. This will prevent an accumulation of droppings beneath it which can harbour disease. If this is not possible, clear the droppings and disinfect the area from time to time.
Once a year you should thoroughly clean the table and check it for damage such as splinters or loose joints. Tighten or replace any screws that have come loose or been lost. You can also treat the wood with a wildlife-friendly preservative to help your bird table last longer.
One of the easiest ways to attract birds to your bird table is to put out high-fat foods that they will not be able to resist. As a treat for garden birds you can use fat balls, grated cheese or berries. For the majority of the time, a high-quality seed mix will be sufficient. Put out food regularly and avoid putting out too much food at a time so that it does not go off or become contaminated before it is eaten.
Putting out fresh water will also attract birds to the garden in all seasons.
Consider attaching hanging feeders to your bird table to attract a wider range of birds. You might also like to consider scattering some food below the feeder for birds that prefer to ground feed.