Bird Table Aftercare Guide
We have provided an easy care guide to help you keep your Robinson Garden bird table / bird house looking in it’s best condition all year round. Read below our useful advice, tips and hints.
General care and how to clean your Bird Table / House
Ensure that you clean your bird table regularly, never allowing old food to accumulate. Dirty bird tables can harbor dangerous bacteria left by sick birds and can start an outbreak of disease.
Brush off debris every time you put out fresh food and scrub the table with a mild disinfectant solution every few weeks. Move the table from time to time to stop the accumulation of droppings underneath. Some bird diseases can be transmitted to people. Although the risk is small, it is always worth taking sensible hygienic precautions.
Annual maintenance is best carried out in the Autumn. Firstly, clean your bird table, ensuring that the position of your bird table is still in a safe place for birds to feed from.
It may be likely that your bird table will need an annual paint to keep it in its elegant nature and prevent exposure to the bare wood. It’s advised that you should bring your bird table into somewhere dry such as a garage to ensure that the bird table is entirely dry before maintenance. (Take care when handling)
Sand down any areas that are rough or where the paint has flaked off. Wipe down dust with a dry cloth. We then advise you to apply one coat of Farrow & Ball exterior eggshell undercoat where your sanding has reached the wood (leave it to dry for roughly 3 hours, ensure you use the correct Farrow and Ball undercoat colour, for more details please visit their website). Once you have done this you can then start applying the Farrow & Ball colour of your choice applying at least two coats with two / three hours between coats.
If your bird table has a slate roof, apply slate oil or teak oil to the roof using a clean paintbrush. When applying the oil avoid using too much, the oil keeps the slate looking shiny.
Positioning your bird table
It is strongly advised to place your bird table somewhere away from paths that people use continually as this will discourage the birds from using the birdtable. Place the bird table where there is some tree or bush cover nearby as birds feel happier if they have an easy escape route from predators. Allow a week or so for the birds to become familiar with your bird table, you may find that the first few days’ food will probably be left untouched.
All our birdtables have been specifically designed so that the legs have been made in proportional length to the height and weight to prevent the bird table from toppling over. However, to further prevent your bird table falling over during adverse weather conditions, ensure that the ground is even and all four legs are stable and don’t wobble. As an extra precaution, it’s advised to purchase bird table stabilisers which peg the bird table down into the ground.
We would strongly advise not to place your bird table directly onto a surface that is covered in mould, this can affect the bird table’s legs causing the mould and mildew to peel off the paint and then affect the wood. In order to prevent this, place lead platforms underneath each of the four legs.
Bird feed to attract birds
Use bird feed to attract the kind of birds you have in your area. Blue tits love black sunflower seeds. Robins love feed with insects in. Doves and Wood pigeons will actually eat most types of bird feed. Don’t leave seed out for more than a few days, if uneaten clean the table with a damp cloth. It’s important to avoid letting the seeds go mouldy or start to germinate.
It may be best to put a small amount of seeds every day rather than a huge amount to last a long time as that may get damp and be unhealthy for the birds. This will also mean the birds become accustomed to your presence. Robins in particular will probably even sit there waiting for you when they realise what your feeding routine is. If you also use bird feeders do not forget to clean those periodically also and keep the feed fresh.
Starlings, house sparrows, collared doves and the crow family may monopolise a bird table. The overhanging slate / wooden roof may deter larger species but you are unlikely to stop them feeding altogether. It may be worthwhile putting out food in several places, which should at least give other birds a chance. Break up foods such as bread into smaller pieces so that large pieces cannot be snatched and carried off. Put food on the table and in a variety of feeders. Loose food should only be sufficient for a day, to reduce the chance of attracting vermin at night. If pigeons increase, discourage them by containerising all food.
Carrying and handling your bird table
When moving your bird table please be aware that they are very heavy, the reason for this is due to the weight of the slate (if you purchased one of our bird tables with a slate roof) and equally the wooden-roofed bird tables are also heavy.
This has been done to help the bird table during adverse weather conditions as other products in the market may not be as susceptible to typical British weather as we all well know, this can be very unpredictable at times. To further prevent your bird table falling over during adverse weather conditions, ensure that where you position your bird table the ground is even and all four legs are stable and don’t wobble. As an extra precaution, it’s advised to purchase bird table stabilisers which peg the bird table down into the ground.