How to make a bird table

Invite our feathered friends into your garden by making a bird table. It's not difficult to build and it will reward you with years of pleasure - and you'll enjoy building the bird table just for the fun of it, anyway.

How to make a bird table

Making a bird table will attract many species, such as this robin

You will need:

  • Exterior wood glue
  • Brass nails
  • Exterior quality plywood or pressure treated softwood
  • Base: one piece 18mm ply, 250 x 250mm (10 x 10")
  • Sides: 25mm x 37mm (1" x 1 1/2") square - two pieces 200mm (8") long, two pieces 250mm (10") long
  • Base supports: four 300mm (1') lengths of 25 x 37mm (1 x 1 1/2")
  • Pole: 7.5cm sq. (3"sq.) 2m (6' 6") long
  • Roof supports: two pieces 25mm (1") thick 75 x 225mm (3" x 9")
  • Gable ends: two pieces 25 mm (1") thick 75 x 250mm (3" x 10")
  • Roof: Four pieces 12mm (1/2") thick 100mm x 250mm (4" x 10")
    One 45cm (18") length of beading
  • Spirit level
  • Brick
  • Hardcore
  • Cement
  • Wood preservative

Time to complete job: Half a day
Approximate budget: £25

A bird table is the perfect way to encourage birds into your garden. By regularly putting out table scraps between October and April, birds will get used to visiting and you'll have a good show almost every day.

It is easy to make your own simple bird table. The basics are given below but you can embellish the design according to your own skills.

The requirements for a good bird table are that it provides a safe platform so that predators (cats usually) cannot sneak up on birds when feeding. The table should be close enough to the house to be seen from a window in winter and at least 1.8m (6') from walls or trees.

Remember to stock up on wild bird food. You can also offer your guests dried fruit and bacon to provide a varied diet.

Interested in this guide? Take a look at these too:

  • How to create a child-friendly garden
  • Making your garden a haven for wildlife
  • How to encourage wildlife in your garden
  • How to build a garden pond video
  • How to be an eco-friendly gardener

    • Step 1: Making the roof

      Step 1: Making the roof

      Shape the gable ends by cutting off two corners to make the triangular shapes as illustrated. Glue and nail the four roof pieces between the two triangles overlapping the bottom pieces slightly.

      Glue and nail the beading covering the top edges and extending out one side by 150mm (8"). This will allow you to hang bags of peanuts.

      Glue and nail the 75 x 225mm (3" x 9") roof supports to the gables.

    • Step 2: Attaching the base

      Step 2: Attaching the base

      Glue and nail the side pieces around the edge of the base - these will form a retaining wall to keep food on the feeding platform. Drill holes through the corners for drainage. Glue and nail the centre of the base to the top of the pole. Shape and nail on the supports to hold the top in place securely.

      Attach roof structure to base by drilling pilot holes in sides and screwing through.

    • Step 3: Erecting the table

      Step 3: Erecting the table

      Dig a 300mm (1') square hole 45cm (18") deep and place a brick in the bottom. Insert the pole and ram in hardcore. Ensure pole is vertical using a spirit level.

      Temporarily nail on supporting props and fill the hole with concrete. You can remove the props after two days. Finally treat with bird friendly wood preservative.

      And, just to keep the birds visiting your table safe from any predators, make sure any shrubs or trees that start to grow too close to the table are cut back.

      You should now be able to have hours of fun watching the visitors to your table.