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The Garden Bird Table & Garden Feeder

The Garden Bird Table & Garden Feeder

Garden Bird Table with Blue Tits

Blue Tits Feeding

The easiest thing to start attracting birds to your garden is to set up a garden bird table and one or two bird feeders. These can be bought from a garden centre or a pet store reasonably priced. Try a peanut feeder which is usually a cylindrical stainless steel mesh with a removable top. This type of feeder can be hung from a tree branch or a pole and the birds peck away at the nuts through the wire mesh. Its a good solution because it discourages squirrels. You can use it for any suitable sized nuts or other food and the birds will peck food through the mesh. Always get stainless steel mesh, cheaper plastic feeders will not last.
Similar to the peanut feeders are also hanging feeders similar in size and shape but the transparent cylindrical tube is solid, rather than mesh, to contain any kind of seed found in the pet stores. The birds are fed through several ingenious dispensers in the tube wall so three or four birds can feed at the same time.

Photo of Long Tailed Tits - Paul Brentnal

Long Tailed Tits

Of course there is the traditional garden bird table on a pole around 1.5 – 2 metres high (although even this could be suspended from a tree with a chain at each corner. The table should have a lip around its perimeter to avoid seed being blown or washed off the table. A table can be made simply and cheaply at home and the birds will not care about it’s appearance as long as it is constructed firmly and does not wobble. Feeders are also easily made out of hanging baskets, logs with holes drilled and suet cakes pushed into the holes or cracks in the bark.

For ground feeding birds a square of wood or plastic works well. Raise it a little off the ground with bricks or blocks and place in the open but near cover in case predators threaten your bird visitors. You can also cast seed and other food openly over a section of lawn but it is wasteful, food can rot quickly and rodents will also get in on the act.

A terrific feeder, available from some pet stores, is a small plastic tray with suckers which can be attached to a window and loaded with some bird cake (suet cake). The threat from predators is reduced and you will get some wonderful views of your birds feeding as you watch through the window. With a little ingenuity you could set up a web cam to observe the birds, record them both audio and video.

Male Chaffinch at a Feeder

Male Chaffinch

Regularly clean up the fallen seed and food to avoid mice, rats and other pests. Once you start to feed your birds do so regularly so they have a dependable source of food. Your visitors will repay you with their antics and songs. They will become regular friends in your garden.

Do place your various feeders, and garden bird table, fairly close to trees, bushes and other cover in case the birds are threatened. If squirrels are a problem anti squirrel bird feeders are available from pet stores and home and garden centres. Ensure that the birds have water in your garden and your bird bath is regularly cleaned and fresh water added.
The Garden Bird Table & Garden Feeder

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