Bird table and bird feeder (anti predator)

edited 22 September 2020 at 1:59AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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streetsofragestreetsofrage Forumite
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edited 22 September 2020 at 1:59AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Can someone recommend me a bird table that's difficult for wildlife killing pests like cats to get on? Unfortunately the bird table we have is only 1 metre off ground level which isn't tall enough as there is a particularly athletic vicious domestic cat (absolutely horrible things) in the area, so we want to try and make it a bit more difficult for the killer to attack the birds.

Additionally a bird feeder that's difficult for a squirrel to use (we don't really have so much of an issue with the squirrel other than it seems to hog all the bird feed leaving very little left).

Thanking all the bird lovers in advance.


  • MisslayedMisslayed Forumite, Senior Ambassador
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    We are very pleased with our squirrel/crow/pigeon/rat proof feeder from Homgar, it was quite expensive, about £27, but as only the small garden birds can use it, we reckon we'll recoup that in 6 months with the amount of seed we'll save.
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  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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     As a cat owner, I grow lots of stuff that feeds wildlife naturally and supply water in a place that give 360 degree vision.
    Cats aren't 'vicious;' they're just cats being what nature intends them to be. It's only humans who think anthropomorphically and want to change them, although it's reasonable to argue there are far too many cats in highly populated areas of our country. You can blame people for that if you like!
  • Black_Cat2Black_Cat2 Forumite
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    Hi there. We suffer from a couple of grey squirrels in our garden 🐿️.  I got so peeved at them stealing the sunflower seeds from the feeders that I coated the pole in vaseline and took great pleasure in watching the little critters sliding down the pole as soon as they jumped on!  Also, in the past I have coated the outside of one of my feeders with a little hot chili pepper powder but the squirrels seem to love that so for me it didn't work 😔

    My cat is as useful as a chocolate teapot when it comes to chasing anything in the garden so I don't have your problem with her going up on the bird table.  As davesnave says it's cats instinct to chase things (apart from mine lol) so it's a case of living with it.

    Have you thought about either using a pole feeder or raising your table up by a larger amount? 
    Just my opinion, no offence 🐈
  • edited 22 September 2020 at 8:50PM
    twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    edited 22 September 2020 at 8:50PM
    How does the cat get into your garden?
    To defeat my neighbours cat I tacked strips of rubber car matting to the garden gate so it couldn't get under.
    To the fence areas it climbed over continually (plus a squirrel that uses the fence panels as a highway) I tacked or wired some expanding trellis to the tops of the panels on my side so that there was nor balancing room
    It looked a bit untidy to me at first but it's worked a treat and once it weathers or you encourage plants in front of it you forget it's there.
    Table is 5ft high,  painted in one coat multisurface paint so it looks like the expensive ones, Fat blocks in strong wire cage which is also wired to the bird table to defeat magpies, squirrels and seagulls from pinching it. But garden birds can eat it.
    Seed and fat balls on standard pole feeder thingy I bought at Lidl but is in most garden centres. Only small birds can get at it.
    I've tried the expensive, 'squirrel proof' fancy feeders etc and they were also me proof when filling and the birds didn't like them.
    You can see I've worked this through :)
    You could attach the expanding trellis from the bottom of the table either down or sideways from the sides of the table if it was higher. That would stop the cat.

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  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    I have a squirrel proof feeder - the sort that has a mechanism to close it when something large tries to feed. It’s hanging in a tree. For the first few days a squirrel Hung Upside down from a neighbouring branch and tried to grab some food without putting any weight on the feeder.  A pigeon tried the same trick.  Both gave up - presumably the expenditure of energy isn’t matched by the reward.  So I am reasonably confident that the feeder really is squirrel proof.

    I can think of ways of squirrel proofing a bird table but it would have to be really high to discourage a cat.  Wouldn’t a bird feeding station well away from a jumping off point and with a squirrel baffle be better?
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    We cat-proofed a bay tree ball by encircling the stem with fairly soft netting, which caught in claws and certainly put them off trying to reach a nest two inexperienced goldfinches made. Four baby goldfinches hatched, but were then taken from above by predatory birds, as the nest was fully visible from above.
    Later, the parent birds must have found an alternative site, because they returned over several days and stripped the nest for its materials until there was almost nothing left.
    The bay ball nest was at about 6' so if it had been a bird table it would have been cat-secure, but I don't think it would have been squirrel-proof. We don't have squirrels in the gardens, so I couldn't be 100% sure of that.
  • Juilet799Juilet799 Forumite
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    You can use bird feeder poles and tie a bell on their cat’s collar so birds can hear when the cat approaches. Squirrels at my bird feeders drive me nuts, unless you’re feeding squirrels, you’ll need a squirrel proof feeder to shoo them all away from those precious seeds. I’ve come across a lot of bird feeders but this one from Brome is definitely a tough contender. Apart from that, this tube feeder features a mechanism that shuts down the access ports the squirrels climb on it.
  • in_my_welliesin_my_wellies Forumite
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    I have pole feeder with 2 feeders - one for peanuts and one for niger.

    My MSE way was to enclose an ordinary feeder from the £1 shop inside two old hanging baskets joined to make a globe shape, held together with clothes pegs so easy to refill. I place a plant pot saucer inside the baskets under the feeder to catch the bits. If the bits fall on the ground they encourage ground feeding birds which a cat can catch. 

    I haven't seen a squirrel on it yet but the jackdaws have found them and are real acrobats. Working as a team one bites the fat ball in half and the others pick up the pieces and fly off. 
    Love living in a village in the country side
  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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     I have a fat & mealworm block in a block cage which clicks shut.
    I've also attached some stout plastic coated wire to hook over the lid and base and the other end wound round the bird table strut. It can be hooked out easily to change the fat block but so far has defeated squirells and seagulls from either opening it or carrying it off to work on.
    That's a brilliant idea Wellies.
    Will be copying that this spring. Partly the local squirel and partly the seagulls who are also clever.

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

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