Coming into spring and summer, we see more British garden birds make their way to our fully stocked bird feeders looking for food. Putting a bird feeding station in your back or front garden allows space for these birds to come and perch when you want to enjoy British nature.
If you're upgrading your garden with some modern furniture or a cosy cocoon chair, you'll want something to watch while enjoying the outdoors and what better than a bird feeder to encourage wildlife into your outdoor haven.
Whether you want to enjoy birds flitting about your bird feeding station with a cup of tea or just see them come in and out, bird feeders can help to ensure they keep coming back.
Which bird feeder attracts the most birds?
According to the RSPB, there are different types of bird feeders to consider that will suit your garden and the type of wildlife you want to attract. So, we've got some information on that below.
Seed feeders: These are ideal for small birds to medium-sized birds like sparrows, robins, finches, woodpeckers and blackbirds and can be hung on a bird feeding station, tree, hook or anywhere suitable. They tend to come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so have fun picking out a seed feeder to fill with sunflower seeds and hearts, or other seed mixes.
Ground feeders: This is a bird feeding table that sits low to the ground and is ideal for birds like blackbirds, thrushes, wrens and robins. But these can also attract other animals looking for food like squirrels, pigeons, rats and cats so consider getting a protector cage to prevent them from getting access.
Nut feeders: These are perfect to attract birds like woodpeckers that can cling to the feeder and are often made from steel mesh. RSPB recommends, "The mesh size needs to be large enough to prevent beak damage and small enough to prevent large pieces of nut from being removed – about 6 mm is a good compromise."
Suet feeders: These feeders have wider holes so that birds can access the suet balls or suet cakes that fit inside. Suet feeders will likely attract members of the tit family and starlings.
Where should I hang a bird feeder?
It's easy to pick up a bird feeder from any common garden centre or home store in the UK. Usually, the problem is getting the bird feeder in the right place so that the birds actually feed on it and predators don't steal the food!
Firstly, you should always put your bird feeder near some green space - like a tree or bush. This helps to ensure the birds aren't exposed to the open and are safe from predators. This goes for noisy spaces too, which will scare birds off.
Remember stability. You want your bird feeder to be stable enough that it doesn't fall over and can take the weight of the birds. You can put metal spikes or secure hanging lines to ensure that it doesn't affect the feeder.
All birds are different, some like feeders higher up and others - like blackbirds - like to feed on the ground. Consider investing in a few feeders and placing them around your garden to test and see which works best. Remember you can leave out nuts and seeds on floors and flat spaces to see if birds start to pick them up.
Other animals can become a problem. Squirrels and foxes are pesky and will come back if they have access to constant food and scare away birds. To clarify, if you want to attract more birds, make sure to hang your feeders up higher. This is so foxes can't get them and away from any place squirrels can jump onto them.
Best bird feeders and stations - UK
Here's our selection of the best bird feeders we recommend, with every kind of garden or balcony in mind.
Argos Home Wild Bird Feeding Station
Best bird feeding station for easy assemble
This is a great bird feeder with different heights and is extremely easy to assemble. We like that it's an all-in-one bird feeder so that you can mount food, water and bird seeds all at once. With a spiked squirrel-resistant base, you'll have all the birds hanging out in no time.
Why we like it: Three-piece pole design that's easy to assemble
Dimensions: H187 x W57.5 x D17 cm
Review: "Yes it’s a little on the flimsy side but for the price, it looks nice and works perfectly. You can configure the attachments how you like which is good. A cheap way to offer the birds a one-stop-shop, currently I have mealworms, sunflower hearts, nyjer seed and water and I have all sorts flocking to it!"
Honeyfield's Wild Bird All in 1 Dining Station
Best bird feeding station with all-in-one
The birds will have lots of space on this all-in-one bird feeder with 12 hangers, giving lots of opportunities for bird action in your back garden. Make sure to use the detachable twin fork for extra stability. Plus, add your trays for food and water.
Why we like it: Twelve hanging points. This means lots of room.
Dimensions: 210H x 60W cm
Review: "This is the best bird station I’ve ever bought, this one is so strong and easy to put together - with the extra fork part at bottom of the station it’s so sturdy. I'm filling the water and food bowl up every day."
Maypole Slate Bird Table
Best wooden bird feeding station
Handmade in the UK, this sturdy wooden bird feeder is made out of sustainable wood made with Marcide coating - preventing any diseases from spreading. Sustainable, well-built and safe - what more could you want?
Why we like it: Sustainable treated wood that's sturdy
Dimensions: 136.5H x 36W cm
Review: "Excellent little bird table and it represents great value for money. I could not really be any happier with the overall results. I will be ordering another for my front garden so that I can observe birds from both front and back rooms."
Green Jem Wild Bird Feeding Station with Leaves
Best smaller bird feeder
This Green Jem bird feeder is an attractive station to add to any modern garden. With the cutout leaves and birds, it gives a lot of space for any bird to perch and you can adjust each branch to position how you like. It's a smaller size so great if you'd like a bird feeder without taking up too much space.
Why we like it: A smaller bird feeder that looks great
Dimensions: 65.8H x 21.2W cm
Review: "This is a very nice and easy-to-put together product providing ample hanging points for bird feeders. Looks pleasant too."
Simply Wood Deluxe Bird Feeding Station
Best large bird feeding station
Another multi-function bird feeder, this station is great for those with larger gardens. It has a seed feeder bracket so you can add on another bird feeder and is made with the highest-grade Redwood.
Why we like it: Better for large gardens with sturdy design
Dimensions: H180 x W80 cm
Review: "I did not know what to expect when ordering this. But, I have to comment on how lovely it is. Stunning so good I did not want to use it as a bird feeder, it would be awesome as a coat stand. Really well made and looks costly when constructed, it's well worth the buy!"
Supa Wild Bird Feeding Station
Best bird feeder with accessories
This bird feeder has three hooks and two dishes so that you can adjust what you want to attract the birds. This is one of Amazon's Best Choices so you know it's good with highly-rated reviews.
Why we like it: Lots of choice in adjusting accessories
Dimensions: 188H x 21.2W cm
Review: "Fantastic bird station has everything your garden birds need. Easy to assemble and would look fantastic in any garden. Highly recommend."
Honeyfield's Wild Bird Feeder Pole
The best simple bird feeding station
Not looking for anything fancy? This Honeyfield's bird feeding pole is great if you just want a station that's simple. With a couple of hooks for your birds to perch on, this is an easy bird feeder.
Why we like it: Great if you're looking for a minimalistic look
Dimensions: 49H x 10W cm
Review: "The bird feeder was easy to slot together and seems stable enough so I think it will be fine when it is windy. For the price, as a basic feeder with two arms for hanging feeders from, it's very reasonable."
The Hutch Company Deluxe Bath Bird Table
The best bird feeding station for easy filling
A classic-looking bird table, this Hutch Company feeder has a great shelter so birds can come in no matter the weather. Plus the multi-level feeding trays make it easy for you to fill them up – and easier for the birds to graze.
Why we like it: Sustainable wood, Anti-Bacterial
Dimensions: H180 x W35 x D35 cm
Review: "Absolutely fantastic looking bird table, well made, tall and really looks the part. Very easy to put together, birds are flocking to it all day long. I have added a hook to the outside of each lower tray and hung a fat ball and peanut feeder which they love as well. The neighbours are ditching their lower level table and are going to replace it with one of these. Very happy birds and even happier customer!"
RSPB Premium feeding station
The best for feeding a variety of bird species
Straight from the RSPB, we recommend this premium bird feeder with multi-functions to serve a variety of birds in your garden. With safety and stability in mind, just add your feeders to this station and the birds will be flocking in no time.
Why we like it: Recommended by the RSPB for its durability
Dimensions: 225H x 35W cm
Review: "Feeding station arrived today and is now in place in my garden, the instructions were very easy to follow and the product appears to be of good quality and sturdy."
Nature's Market Hanging Bird Table
The best hanging bird feeding station
Don't have anywhere to put a birdhouse or bird feeding pole? This hanging bird table by Nature's Market is perfect for any garden or balcony with not much standing space. A classic style, it will look great in any garden.
Why we like it: Great for gardens with a lack of standing space
Dimensions: 20H x 10W cm
Review: "Worth the price. As for me, it is cheaper buying this than building it by myself. For this price, you can't go wrong."
Garden Mile Bird Feeder
Best Versatile Bird Feeder
Not only does this feeder come with style, but it's weather-resistant - complete with solar LED lights. This attractive bird hotel gives you a birdbath, bird feeding table, solar-powered light and a flower planter.
Why we like it: Great for gardens with a lack of standing space
Dimensions: H110 x D50 cm
Review: "Absolutely love this bird bath, I thought I might need something to hold it down but we had a storm, and it didn't fall over, so I think once the water is in and the compost actually works, though may need to secure it more for the winter. I would recommend."
Can I build my own bird feeding station?
If you're an avid DIY-er, all you need is some wooden panels and a few screws. You may want to invest in some anti-fungal and anti-bacterial wooden gloss to ensure that the birds will be safe when they're eating.
Check out this video below for a full example of making your own bird feeder.
Can I feed birds on a budget?
Of course! Making your garden the best it can be doesn't have to be expensive, it can be a bargain. There are many ways of feeding birds than having to fork out on smaller supermarket packets frequently.
One way is to buy in bulk. If you have the space to store it then buying a large bag of birdseed or nuts is a great way to cut back on prices. Check out this kilogram of birdseed for less than a tenner.
If you don't have space, you can also hand-make your own bird food. You can make fat balls with leftover fats from meats you have may already cooked. It's a great way to have a DIY session with kids or grandkids too!
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