With over 620 species of bird flying around Britain, it’s understandable we want to encourage more into our gardens, and a good quality bird table can be the first step to achieving this.
But, with prices varying from £20 to over £100, it can be difficult to know which bird tables are worth the money. The best bird table has to be easy to assemble, easy to clean and most importantly, provide a safe place for birds to feed when food is scarce.
The colder months are when food is hardest to come by and birds will benefit the most from a bird table with a regular food supply. High-fat foods help birds maintain their fat reserves during this time, whereas high-protein seeds such as black sunflower seeds are more beneficial for moulting birds during warmer summers.
All the bird tables below have been picked by our experts and include a variety of ground feeding trays, stylish hanging bird tables, and mounted metal designs to prevent squirrels reaching the food.
The style and size of bird table you buy will depend on the birds you’re hoping to attract. For example, blackbirds, wrens and robins prefer to feed on the ground so require a ground bird table. Other designs may have low or adjustable roofs to deter bigger birds like wood pigeons while allowing smaller birds to visit.
Find our selection of the 10 best bird tables, below.
How to choose the best bird table
Bird feeders of different shapes and sizes will attract different birds. For example, the classic hanging bird feeders often suit small birds such as finches and sparrows which prefer to perch while feeding. In comparison, ground bird tables will attract blackbirds and wrens.
The RSPB recommend buying a bird table that’s at least 3-4 square feet, as a table any smaller is likely to cause fighting between birds.
The material it’s made out of should also be a consideration. Most bird tables are made from wood, which looks the most natural, but they can also be metal, plastic and polycarbonate. Metal poles can also deter predators because cats and squirrels find them difficult to climb.
There are four main types of bird table to consider.
- Mounted: Typically mounted on a wooden or metal post, the bird table should be between 4-6 feet off the ground. Many have a cross-shaped base to reduce the chance of it falling over.
- Hanging: Wire or a light metal chain should be attached to each corner of the table and hung from a washing line or tree branch. To avoid the table spinning, the wire needs to be hung from more than one point.
- Ground Tray: Birds such as blackbirds, robins and wrens prefer food at ground level. This should be mounted a small way above the ground to prevent damage to the grass below.
- Window Ledge: A little more unusual but some bird tables can be attached to window ledges with angle brackets.
How to secure a bird table to the ground
A mounted bird table has two options for securing it to the ground. It can simply be driven into the grass itself, or it comes with a cross-shaped base that needs pegging down.
Any post without a base should be driven into the ground by at least a foot to make it sturdy. For cross-shaped bases, the bird tables should be pegged into the ground or secured with rocks (or other heavy objects) to prevent it falling over in the wind.
Make sure to place your bird table somewhere quiet and sheltered, away from wind and out of direct sunlight. If possible, it should be close to a lookout point, such as a small bush, so that the birds have somewhere nearby to escape to if they’re disturbed.
10 of the best bird tables to buy
Want to encourage a wider variety of birds to visit your garden? Browse our list of the best bird tables, below.
Bempton Hanging Bird Table
Designed to attract small tits and finches, the Bempton Hanging Bird Table is only 30cm tall, 18cm wide and 18cm deep. With intricate woodwork in a distressed green finish and a Verdigris copper roof, the bird table is stylish and best hung from a tree branch.
RSPB Adjus-table Bird Table
The RSPB Adjus-table Bird Table ensures that only smaller birds can fit into this feeding station. The table slides up and down the central pole to allow for three different roof heights. This enables you to deter larger birds such as wood pigeons if you so wish, and the roof is removable for easy cleaning.
RSPB Country Barn Bird Table
Made from FSC certified wood, this bird table has a wide 35cm tray to allow plenty of room for birds to feed and rest if needed. A recycled plastic tray is removable for easy cleaning and the base is wide to support the impressive country barn design.
Open Bird Table
The Open Bird Table is a simple design made from FSC certified timber in the UK. The table has a removable tray on top for easy cleaning and is supported by a solid wood post with additional supports beneath the feeding platform for extra stability.
Hove Wall Mounted Bird Table
Designed to be mounted onto a wall or fence, this bird table has been treated with anti-bacterial coating to help prevent diseases spreading between birds. The felt roof and food tray have been constructed to allow water run-off and it’s hand-built in the UK.
Fineway Nordic Bird Table Feeder
The contemporary design of the Fineway Nordic Bird Table Feeder comes fitted with a three-pronged stabiliser that will pierce the ground and should prevent it from falling over in adverse weather. It’s made from pre-treated wood and galvanised metal for additional weatherproofing.
Gardman Wooden Ground Wild Bird Feeder Tray
With a micromesh tray framed by FSC certified timber, this ground feeder tray should hold feed such as seeds, peanuts and mealworms in the hopes of attracting thrushes and robins to your garden. With a width of over 40cm, Gardman promise it will hold 1.1kg of seed mix or 3.3kg of suet treats.
CJ Wildlife Corbier Feeding Table
A good option for small gardens or to complement a bigger feeding station, the Corbier Feeding Table can be mounted to a wall or fence. Constructed from painted timber, the table measures 45cm across.
CJ Wildlife Selection Bird Table
This ground feeding bird table has three defined areas so that you can offer a variety of feed to the birds. Offer three different foods at once or trial different types and establish which is the most popular. Made from FSC certified wood, the Selection Bird Table stands 12cm off the ground.
CJ Wildlife Hanging Feeder Table
This hanging bird table has raised edges to prevent food being knocked to the ground and a stainless steel mesh bottom to allow water to drain away quickly and keep food fresh and dry. Measuring 40cm across and 33cm wide, this feeding platform should provide enough room for birds to feel safe to feed.