There are several things that can be done to make your home and garden beautiful, relaxing, or attractive. You can cultivate your garden to contain flowers, trees and a lawn. You may choose to put an artificial or natural water body such as a lake.
Another important thing that you can do is make your garden attractive to wildlife such as squirrels, birds, insects, hedgehogs. Doing this helps to make your yard an exciting and refreshing space. You are also creating a balance for accommodating nature for the greater good. Taking care of wildlife that make their way into your garden is a way to keep it beautiful and attractive. It is also a great way of connecting with nature.
Doing this does not involve a lot of work. You just need to create a suitable habitat where these animals can thrive. You may start by planting trees where birds may nest in, have a pond, insect hotels, flower beds and maybe a bird table. You will find tips on making your garden wildlife friendly here.
For this article, we would be considering one of these and that is a bird table.
What is a Bird Table?
This is small a platform or table on a pole in a garden where people put out food for birds. It can as well be referred to as a bird feeder or a tray feeder. Its success in attracting birds is dependent on its placement as well as the kind of food on offer. It can supply foods such as sunflower, nuts, millet, Niger seed, safflower, etc.
Asides from supplying birds with food, it is also utilized for birdwatching and for aesthetics as it adds beauty to wherever it is located. A lot of people keep cameras to record these birds as they feed.
Most bird tables are made with wood because of its versatility. In recent times however, materials such as metal, plastic, and polycarbonate have also been used.
It is best to set the table up anytime from mid-autumn (October) to the middle of spring (April). This is because natural bird food is scarce and they will come searching for food. Not to worry though, once birds are used to your garden, they will still stick around even during summer when food is plenteous.
You can learn more about this and how to build one here.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bird Table
In selecting a tray feeder, there are factors that you will need to put into consideration. We take a look at some of these below:
As mentioned previously, most tray feeders are made of wood but they can as well be made with other materials. In selecting one, you should pick a material that has a natural look. Color matters as birds will not come around a red table. They are more likely to be attracted to green as well as a traditional wooden look.
Another reason wood is quite common is that they are the cheapest to buy. The downside is that they need to be maintained and protected from weather elements. To do this, you may polish them with varnish.
For metal feeders, although they are durable in most weather conditions, they can become overheated during summer. Also, after a frost, they can be difficult for landing on. For plastics, when exposed to the elements over time, they can become brittle and break. The birds may also break it during a feud or squabble.
Bird feeders are meant for birds but that does not stop other kinds of animals from visiting. Other wild animals like squirrels can come around to partake in the food. Domestic animals like cats are not left out as well. For this reason, you have to make the tray a certain height that may not be easily reached by cats. For squirrels, it should be designed in a way that is quite smooth so they won’t be able to climb up to it.
If you do not own a cat and you are sure that squirrels are also not available, you may put it at a lower height or on the ground. This is especially true when attracting breeds that prefer picking up their food from the ground.
Another place you can put your feeder is by hanging it from a tree branch if you have a sizable tree in your yard.
The size of your tray feeder is important as well. You should know the most common birds in your area and select a table that fits their size. Another thing to put into consideration is the feud over food so you might want to provide a larger space. If you are up to it, you may even have several bird tables to attract different sizes of birds.
Other factors that you may need to equally consider are the location of the bird table and the size of your garden.
Asides from the fun of watching birds eat and bicker, owning a bird feeder helps you to contribute to nature.
You should ensure to locate it properly, choose a suitable size and use a material that is not only durable but can be impervious to weather elements.