What food can I put out on the bird table?
The great thing about having a bird table is that you can feed birds with such a variety of food. We like to use yummy things like sunflower seeds which we scatter on the top and fat balls too. We just crumble those on top. You can also hang our mesh bird feeders off the bird table for the ultimate feeding station!
Bird-appropriate scraps are perfect for putting on the bird table too which helps to avoid food waste. When Sally’s (the creator of all things Chimney Sheep!) son was young they used to have heaps of fun feeding bread to the ducks. Recent advice has been not to feed bread to wild birds. However, according to the RSPB a bit of bread is fine so long as it doesn’t make up the whole diet. A great way to make it more nutritious is by soaking stale bread in fat (because we all know we shouldn’t be putting fat down the sink) and then put it out for the birds. Yum!
To read more about what you can and can’t feed birds, read this advice from the RSPB.
What’s better, a bird table or a bird feeder?
It’s really a matter of preference and depends on what space you’ve got in your garden. The advantage of a bird table is that you can put out more leftover scraps. You can also fit hooks to the bird table and hang feeders from it, so you get the best of both.
Ground feeding birds tend to prefer a bird table too because it is similar to how they’d be feeding on the ground. We do have a ground feeder too which they love too!
How do I keep rats and squirrels off?
This is a tricky one and there are all kinds of solutions offered. The RSPB suggests fixing an inverted biscuit tin on the bird table support. This makes it tricky for them to climb up.
Try to ensure there isn’t food lying around on the ground for rodents, especially rats. It’s nice to see the ground feeding birds but just make sure it’s them getting the food and not our furry friends!
How easy is it to put together?
Really easy! We aren’t massive DIY fans but there are only five separate pieces, plus all the bits you need to fix it together with so even we could manage it without any stress! You can have a look at the assembly instructions here: The Premium Boxed Instructions – Generic V3.
Does the bird table need any maintenance?
It’s recommended that you clean it regularly, using a bird-safe disinfectant. You can buy specialist veterinary disinfectants but the British Trust for Ornithology suggests you use a weak solution of domestic bleach. Dilute it with one part bleach to 9 parts water. Scrape off any old food and poo and stuff, give it a clean with some hot water, then spray it with the diluted bleach. Because bird tables attract a lot of different species (including non-birds!) it’s important to keep it clean to prevent the spread of disease. Greenfinch populations declined by 35% in 2006 – 2009, partly due to diseases spread on bird feeders.
The product has been dipped in a water-based non-toxic wood-stain with should keep it in good condition for a good few years. If you need to re-treat it make sure you use a bird-safe, non-toxic treatment