Great tit Parus major, feeding on RSPB hanging bird table in snow

All about bird tables

A bird table will be at its most popular and valuable when natural food is in short supply, usually between October and April.

Find out more information about which bird table to choose and how to keep it in good condition.

Using bird tables

Natural food supply is usually lowest in winter and spring, so this is when the garden birds will reap the most benefits from your table. However, food shortages can occur at any time.

If you enjoy watching birds, consider providing more varied feeding stations to attract more species. Unfortunately, tidier gardens and the changes in farming methods have reduced the natural food supply of species such as finches, buntings and sparrows. Providing sunflower seeds will help them. They are eagerly taken and unlikely to be harmful if given to young in the nest.

If it takes a few days before you see any birds, don't be discouraged. Once the birds discover the food and convince themselves it is not a trap, they will visit regularly.

Great tit Parus major, feeding on suet coated sunflower hearts, from ground feeding table