Although winter is seen as the most critical time for feeding birds, they do benefit from being fed all year round. In an ideal world your local environment would contain lots of natural bird food in the form of insects and seed heads, but birds can experience episodes of food shortage at any time of year, and often appreciate any supplementary food that is put out for them.
Due to having a highly predatory cat, we don't have a bird table, as it would be unfair of us to lure birds to an area he could access. He doesn't, however, climb trees (presumably due to being rescued from one at just a couple of weeks old, prior to us adopting him from the Blue Cross).
When the kids asked to feed the birds as one of their #30DaysWild activities, I started to think about ways we could do that without increasing the risk of our cat catching them, and this is what we came up with.
And for our feeder we used our rustic willow ball - it'll be perfect for the birds to hold on to, is totally bio-degradable, and can be hung up high in a tree well away from our prowling cat and other predators.
Another great way to feed garden birds if you don't have a conventional feeder, and want to feed the birds in the trees, is to fill the bark holes in tree trunks with softened suet or lard containing insects, meal worms and peanut granules. This will be appreciated by birds such as tree-creepers and woodpeckers.