Siting your table is the important part, away from the hot sun and driving winds and at least 6ft away from cover. Birds will appreciate a few convenient staging posts (places to land and then approach the bird table) on their way to and from the table as they are constantly on the lookout for predators.
Bird tables are at their most popular between October and April and here we list our top ten favourite visitors.
Blue Tits will come to a bird table or feeding station for almost anything but especially wheat, seeds, nuts and insects.
Although Robins will feed freely in open undergrowth they are a very enthusiastic bird-tabler and are very fond of mealworms, seeds and oats. Our favourite for Robins has to be either Mealworm Crumble or Fat Robin’s bird food.
Not a favourite of everyone, the gregarious Starling is a very active bird and will come to your bird table for kitchen scraps, vegetables and food of almost any kind (it has Red Status as its population is in decline).
Another tough customer at the bird table is the House Sparrow- it will especially eat cereal based foods like corn and seeds, but will also waste a great deal as it sifts and selects its favourite seeds. Try feeding mealworms as an alternative.
Greenfinches will come to a bird table - especially for sunflowers - but put up a peanut feeder and it will appear where not previously seen and may also attract a similar looking bird called a Siskin.
A very photogenic bird, the Great Tit will come freely to a bird table looking for peanuts, hemp, suet and cheese. Here’s something interesting the Great Tit has been known to attack and eat bees! (source: Tony Soper- The Bird Table Book)
The Chaffinch is known to be a tame bird and keen bird-tabler. Try feeding berries and seed but they do love bird puddings so any kind of suet product should be eagerly taken. Choose Golden Chorus as it’s bursting with fruits and scrummy soft foods.
Dunnocks can usually be found foraging on the ground among dead leaves but will visit a bird table in search of biscuits and seeds. Lentils are also a favourite of the Dunnock. Try Huskfree Advance or Premium Wild Bird Food.
The Blackbird usually searches amongst dead leaves looking for insects (which it will steal from a Song Thrush) but it will come freely to a bird table for suet, apples and berries. Did you know the Blackbird is actually a member of the thrush family? Try Golden Chorus or Prosecto.
Last but not least here at the Bird Food Centre one of our ultimate favourites is the Goldfinch. It is increasingly common at the bird table especially for Niger seed, teazle, hempseed and – of course- sunflower hearts - however the hemp has to be cracked for them as their beaks are not as strong as other finches.