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.
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.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Bird Table Reviews
Riverside Woodcraft Triple Platform Bird Table Review
This Riverside Woodcraft Triple Platform Bird Table has one large feeding area at the top and two smaller platforms.
The top part measures 60 x 58 cm and is covered by an attractive apex roof which keeps the bird seed dry. The other two tables provide extra feeding spots for smaller birds.
The bird table is made from high-quality wood that has been treated with an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial coating.
You won’t have to worry about it falling over thanks to the 7.5 cm heavy-duty main post. This makes it stable even in windy conditions.
All the parts of the table are sturdy and well-made, constructed in a strong and durable way Riverside Woodcraft, based in the UK. This robust, quality construction means that this table will last for many years.
It comes part assembled; the top fully assembled and the stand in kit form. All fixings are supplied, and it is relatively easy to construct the stand fix the top on.
It can be put together in less than an hour.
The birds in my garden took to this feeding table straight away and I’m really impressed by how structurally sound it is – I see no reason for it not to last well over a decade.
Overall, this is one of the best bird tables for attracting all types of birds thanks to its various platforms. Plus it’s extremely strong, well made, and looks great too!
Fully Assembled Fordwich Rare Bird Table Review
This Fully Assembled Fordwich Rare Bird Table is one of the best bird tables for smaller birds.
It provides them with a safe place to feed away from larger birds and potential predators. The small openings in the covered bird house only allow smaller birds access to the food.
The table has a solid-wood construction, consciously made using FSC approved timber.
The 1.7 m height is designed to enable you to view the birds easily from a seated position. This makes it easy to sit indoors or on the patio and enjoy a perfect view of the birds as they come to feed.
The bird table comes in two parts and these are ready assembled. All you need to do is attach the top to the stand.
If you have a cat which frequently scares birds away from your garden, this bird table should offer small birds a safe sanctuary.
I would class this as one of the most secure bird tables, perfect for trying to entice those smaller, more timid birds into your garden.
It’s sturdy, well built, and takes mere minutes to put together.
Riverside Woodcraft Sherringham Bird Table Review
This is another great bird table made by Riverside Woodcraft here in the UK.
The Riverside Woodcraft Sherringham Bird Table is made from solid wood and has a strong, stable stand.
It looks great in the garden, and the covered feeding area has a lovely slate-effect roof. It looks just like real slate but is actually made from a clay and plastic mix – much more durable, and easier to clean, than the real thing!
To help with delivery, the table comes part-assembled. You only need to put the stand together and then fix it to the pre-assembled bird house. It’s a really easy process; all fixings are provided, and it is simple to construct.
The only downside is that the actual feeding area is a little small.
Bird Table Feeder With Asphalt Shingles Review
This Bird Table Feeder With Asphalt Shingles has an intricate, hexagonal design, making it more aesthetically interesting than many square bird tables.
The roof has been finished with asphalt shingles and has cute little window details. It really does make an attractive addition to the garden.
One thing to bear in mind is that this bird table does not come with a stand – you will have to buy a stand or plinth separately to put it on.
You can put food down the chimney and it distributes into the table, this is enjoyable and easy without being fiddly.
In terms of construction, the wood is sturdy and well finished, and it comes fully assembled.
The design is reasonable compact and ideal for smaller gardens with the actual table surface measuring approximately 48 cm across.
The small openings make it easy for small birds to access the food and discourages larger birds such as pigeon and magpies.
Overall I’m very impressed with the unique yet practical design of this bird table. It’s a really good option for encouraging smaller birds to feed in your garden.
Wildlife World Bempton Bird Table Review
This Wildlife World Bempton Bird Table is one of my personal favourites because of its truly beautiful design.
It resembles a sweet, hanging pergola. With latticework timber finished in a pale green colour that goes perfectly with the real Verdigris copper roof.
The feeder can be hung from a tree or fixed to a post, creating a lovely feature in the garden.
It’s quite small which makes it is difficult for larger birds to access the food; this is good news if you’re hoping to attract small birds.
The roof keeps small birds safe from predators such as sparrow hawks and also keeps the seed dry. You can easily clean and restock the table by simply removing the pull-out tray.
If you’re looking for a small, sweet, hanging bird feeder which will add a delightful feature to the garden, this is one of the best bird tables for the job.
Natures Market Slate Roof Bird Table Review
This Natures Market Slate Roof Bird Table is a sweet little table which is both charming and practical.
Made from FSC-certified wood, with a slate-effect roof, it looks great in the garden whilst being durable and easy to clean.
It’s not as topple-proof as some of the chunkier bird tables on my list, but it still has a sturdy stand which will keep it sturdy in most weather. You just might need to bring it in or weight it down in strong wind.
Everything comes flat packed in one box, with holes pre-drilled.
The instructions and clear and all fixings are supplied; It doesn’t take long to assemble and you’ll only need a screwdriver to get it done.
Maypole Anti-fungal Heavy Duty Bird Table Review
This Maypole Anti-fungal Heavy Duty Bird Table is a great chunky table with a sturdy base.
It’s made from sustainable wood which is always important to bear in mind – in this case for every tree that is cut down, two trees are planted in its place.
The wood has been treated with an anti-bacterial coating to help prevent the spread of disease.
It comes flat packed but is straight forward to put together. Clear instructions are provided and all fixings supplied. You’ll be able to put this bird table together in around an hour.
In terms of space for the birds, the feeding area is a good size and it’s also covered to protect the feed from rain and birds from sparrow hawks.
Overall this is a sturdy, high-quality bird table with an attractive colour combination that will look great in any garden.
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:
Choosing a Sturdy Table
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 a sturdy table?
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.
A bird table made from thick wood is going to be a lot more robust than a delicate table. Take the Riverside Woodcraft Triple Platform Bird Table, for example; it features a stand made of 7.5 cm thick wood which forms a very steady, weighted base.
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.
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.
- 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 the table will topple over.
Hanging Vs. Standing Bird Tables
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 that 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 impossible for bigger birds to balance on them, and there’s no pole for cats or rats to climb up. If you position your hanging bird table in a good spot, birds will likely keep coming back.
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 small bird tables from. It’s even possible to find poles which will attach to the side of the house or shed.
Standing Bird Table
A standing bird table has an aesthetically pleasing, traditional look; they’re an attractive, decorative feature to add to the garden.
Standing bird tables can be easier for human’s to reach than hanging ones, this can make 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.
What Type of Birds Are You Hoping to Attract?
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 really struggling to get enough to eat.
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.
How to Protect Birds from Cats
You definitely want to avoid the birds on your bird table becoming ‘sitting ducks’ 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.
Cats are deterred by scents such as citronella. Using this around the base of the bird table may discourage cats from coming nearby.
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.
If it’s your own cat that is causing the problem, you could consider giving it a collar with a bell – this noise will give warning to the birds when your cat is approaching. The only problem with this is if birds are constantly scared off, they may stop returning.
What to Feed Birds and When
The RSPB recommends putting out food all year round – food shortages for birds can occur at any time.
In the winter you should feed birds regularly. This includes putting out some water as well as food and keeping it topped up daily. In really extreme weather, such as heavy snow, putting out food even twice a day is recommended.
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.
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.
Seed mixes are a good way to go when it comes to putting out food for the birds. Make sure you get a high-quality seed mix so 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.
In the winter it is ok to put out chunks of nut, such as peanuts, for birds. However, in the spring/summer these should be avoided or only used, if necessary, in mesh feeders. Parents will take food back the nest and bigger pieces of food can cause young chicks to choke
Where should I position my bird table?
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.
How should I take care of my bird table?
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.
How can I attract birds to my bird table?
One of the easiest ways to attract birds to your bird table is to put out high fat content foods that they will not be able to resist. You can use fat balls, grated cheese or berries as a great treat for garden birds. 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.