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Bird-friendly school ground - buying a birdtable
photo by Antoni Marczewski
Birdtables are readily available in online shops, garden centers, pet shops as well as in bird conservation organizations in your countries. Aesthetics aside, when choosing a table consider the factors below: • Size – too small table can lead to more fighting than feeding. An area of about 30x50 cm is ideal. • Material – will it survive hot and cold, wet and dry, sun and wind? With care, a good birdtable will last 10 years or more. Avoid the pretty, rustic ones made from silver birch logs – they will rot rapidly. Some plastics go brittle and crack easily when exposed to the weather. • The post – the smoother and straighter the post the harder it is for cats and squirrels to climb. Metal ones are ideal. Avoid the knobbly rustic ones that provide hand handy pawholds • Safety – check there are no sharp edges that will endanger birds’ feet and that there are no moving or “scissoring” joints in which a bird may be trapped or injured. • Design – avoid birdtables that provide a nestbox in the roof - encouraging birds to feed in another’s nesting territory is not wise. Avoid “rustic” thatched birdtables – in spring the roof will rapidly go bald as the birds take the thatch to build their nests! Some birdtables incorporate a birdbath in the table top. Unless very well designed, these generally result in the food getting wet and the water turning to soup, and are therefore not recommended.