How Can I Make One?
Use a piece of exterior quality plywood or some similar board which will not split in wet weather, about 30 x 50cm and 1 to 1.5 cm thick. Fit some strips of wood about 1 or 2 cm high along each side to form a rim around the edge, leaving a gap at each corner to make it easier to sweep clean and to let water drain out.
To hang a table, use small screw-in eyes or hooks at each corner. Attach equal lengths of nylon cord or light metal chain to each hook and tie together in the centre, or, better still, make a loop at either end across a horizontal branch. This stops the table from spinning round.
A table on a post is easier to position, but you need to drive the post firmly into the ground to prevent the table toppling over. Use two or four small metal angle brackets at the top of the post to fix the tray, or small blocks of wood which can be screwed to the post from the side and then to the tray from underneath.
A few nails or hooks in the edges of the table will be useful for hanging nut bags or wire baskets for kitchen scraps. Treat the whole table with wood preservative if possible; creosote is fine if it is allowed to dry thoroughly before the table is erected. Clean the table regularly to prevent any risk of disease to the birds. Also, move it from time to time, as droppings will accumulate underneath.
Source Garden Bird Detectives Exhibition courtesy of BirdWatch Ireland
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