How to Build a Bird Table

A bird table is a great way to encourage birds into your garden this summer, and all you need are a few basic DIY skills. This particular design, for example, looks fairly elegant and is simple to make.

An important design feature includes a lip around the edge of the table to help keep food on the table (so as not to attract any unwanted four-legged, furry guests), with small gaps at each corner to make sure that water runs off the table when it rains. Whilst a roof is fairly easy to construct and can give some protection to feeding birds, it can also deter the shyer and larger birds from visiting, so this design is an open one.

This is a simple and effective design, although bird tables come in all shapes and sizes so you have freedom to experiment with feature and dimensions if you’d like to. For example if you are happy to drive the bird table post fairly deeply into your garden (at least one foot), then you may not need the post stabilisers.

To make the table you will need the following:

  • 18 mill plywood for the table 30cm x 50cm
  • 2″ x 2” treated softwood, approximately 5ft from top to bottom, for the post
  • 2″ x 2″ rough sawn softwood for the stabilisers
  • Edge trim for the table – (1″ x 1″ softwood battens)
  • Four (4) Metal Angle Brackets
  • Power drill
  • Assorted screws
  • A Mitre Block and Tenon Saw (for cutting 45 degree angles)

Importantly, you want to use wood that will not split or disintegrate when it gets wet, so exterior quality plywood around 0.5 to 1 cm thick, is perfect.

To create enough space for a number of birds to feed at any one time and to avoid shyer species of birds being kept away, a base of around 30cmx50cm is about right.

The first job is to pin the rim around the edge of the base (1″ x 1″ softwood battens are ideal). Leave gaps at the corners to help make it easy to clean, and to allow any
rainwater to run off. You might like to add a few hooks around the edge of the table to hang fat balls or feeders.


Bird Tabe Base


Next, screw the tabletop to the post using a couple of 2″ screws. You could also add 4 angle brackets, fitted beneath the table top, for added support.

Bird Table Post

Bird Table Angle Brackets

Bird Table Leg Stands


You could simply drive the post into the ground (about a foot deep) or if you’d rather have it free-standing, fixing legs against the post at 45 degree angles will help keep your bird table upright on those windy days. The angles are easy to cut with a chop saw, but if not, a Miter Block and Lenon Saw will do the job. Secure them using the screws and power drill.

Place your table somewhere quiet and sheltered where the birds won’t be disturbed and sit back and enjoy your visitors!

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George Hill is a leading independent timber merchant and building supplies provider in the North West, with branches in Oldham, Manchester, Bolton and Nelson. Founded in 1919 we’re family run, and have been for 99 years.

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