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Hanging wooden bird table with roof, supported with four pillars

Should a bird table have a roof

Bird tables are traditionally made with a roof, as the purpose is to keep the wild bird feed protected from the elements - so does a bird table really need a roof.

Bird tables are design on a stand, to be hung on a bracket or branch, mounted to a wall or more relatable to you, designed with no roof - thus exposing the bird feeding platform to the elements. So as its possible to use a bird table with no roof, pick the days that has nice weather only to use the open bird table.

If you didn't know already there is such a thing as open bird tables, so its essentially a bird table with no roof whatsoever.

So in a nutshell you can use a bird table without a roof, but should you really use a open bird table in the UK.

Remember while our summers can be nice, Britain experiences quite harsh conditions the rest of the year, thus forcing the bird feed to sit out in the cold and rainy weather.

However, that is not to say the wild bird feed should be in direct sunshine either.

So I would say only use a bird table with no roof on good days only. But as you would probably want to use the wooden bird table all year round, then I would recommend a bird table on a stand, to be sure.

Without a roof the nuts, fat balls or seed mixes will deteriorate far sooner, forcing you to clear it of rotting food - while also the need to clean up the bird table of its mess.

Bird tables don't need roof

Rest assured a bird table absolutely does not need a roof, so much so is why you can buy an open bird table, made to be exposed to the elements.

While a dry spell with no direct sunshine hitting the feed resting on the bird table platform is ideal, understand rain and UV light can quickly decay the food, thus making it poisonous with bacteria building up.

While those are the downsides to an open bird table with no roof, the upsides are: its far less hassle to clean the bird table while replenishing it with fresh food is far easier.

As feed sits out to all weather conditions, you will have to keep a close eye on the feed.

Benefit to an open bird table which has no roof is you don't need a close up inspection, as seeing it from a far is a possibility - and useful if its raining out.

But let's take a look at the more positive side to a bird table with no roof.

No roof is less hassle

While a wooden bird table with angled roof is fixed above is sure to benefit most in terms of keeping the wild bird feed dry, no roof is certainly less hassle.

No scooping out leftover feed or food that has gone rotten over the course of the week under a tight clearing between roof and platform base.

Instead you have as much access to the feeding platform as you would the dining room table.

Its therefore possible to see you, the user, clean out the bird table more thoroughly, thus never leaving behind rotten feed that can make wild birds poorly.

I don't believe a bird table should have a roof in those circumstances, as the benefit is unrestricted access.

But then again there is the problem with wild bird food sat out in all weather.

Shelter bird feed benefit

To not buy a bird table with a roof will for sure see all the feed you place under the bird table platform spoil far sooner.

That is due to the UV light along with extended exposure to damp conditions ruining the feed - as it hits the feed with a barrage of poor weather conditions.

Its likely then the sell by date will quickly reduce to only a few days while out in the elements, and of course the growth of poisonous bacteria building up.

Bird tables with a roof protect bird feed beneath the high eave roof placement, so does benefit you more in the long run.

But that is not to say you can only position the bird table in the garden only on nice days, and perhaps within a sheltered area.

Having said all that, while a roof can stop too big garden guests entering beneath the roof cover - an open bird table is likely to see larger, more nuisance birds arrive.

Roof will deter unwanted guests

If you have a problem with perhaps crows using your uncovered bird table then I would suggest a bird table with roof only - along with a low eave.

Not only crows either, as the likely visitor for most people is that of the pigeon; taking up the entire space on the bird feeding platform as they stop the more common small garden birds from eating.

If you feel that is something you don't want to see on your bird table, then forget the open design bird table and only use a bird table with for example a nice slate roof.

Moreso, unrestricted access is made for people in squirrel problem areas, or if its a low bird table that has no roof - so pets could access it more easily.

On the plus side, and open bird table is far more safer for wild birds to use as they can quickly dart off in any direction if disturbed.

And so there you have it, while the weather can be a problem, in the end it just might be the larger crows or pigeons disturbing the peace - thus deterring more friendly Robins, Sparrows and Tits using the table.


Its never about the best bird table you can buy, it only comes down to where you place the bird table in the garden.

So weather its a bird table with any sort of cover or what you are asking - should a bird table have a roof? - then the answer is of course it doesn't have to.

However, that is not to say a bird table with no roof doesn't course issues of its own.

Bird tables tend to be built with a roof as to provide shelter for all types of wild bird feed that would otherwise be exposed to bad weather.

Not just cold or rainy conditions either, a day in the sun can see the feed spoil in a matter of hours, not days - thus forcing you to clean up and replace the feed much sooner.

While a bird table with a roof for shelter is absolutely guaranteed to be more beneficial to you, that is not to say an open bird table doesn't have its upsides, because it really does.

That can only apply when you position the bird table in the garden in nice weather only, before putting it back in storage as the poor weather passes by.

But on the upside at least it would be far easier to clean up a bird feeding platform with no cover as a low eave or even a high eave roof clearing can get in your way.

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