Research shows the average wooden free-standing bird table price is between £15 to £150. Bird tables come in all designs, from standard to robust, fancy to contemporary. Would you be wasting your money if you purchased a cheaper bird table? I bought and tested the Wilko Easy-Clean bird table and made a video of the product as new, and another one year on. What was the outcome?
Buying any cheaper product won’t be of fantastic quality. If an outdoor product, you won’t know if it will last or expect it to last weather elements either. The Wilko easy-clean bird table is made from solid FSC wood and has a four-star rating on their online shop.
Update October 2023:
Recently, Wilko closed its doors for good. I discovered an alternative bird table and it appears to be the same quality. The Redwood bird table costs less and has free postage but I haven’t not this brand.
My initial thoughts when the bird table arrived were:
- The table isn’t very tall so agile cats may jump up and on the base or roof, which presents a danger to wildlife
- The pack comes with ground stakes to secure in the earth
- It is lightweight so easy to move
- It is ideal for a child’s first bird table and educational purposes if learning about wild garden birds
|Low price||A few holes do not line up|
|Wood slightly treated||Delivery charges increase the cost – buy from a large store|
|Looks cute||The side flap for easy cleaning does not line up and does not work|
|Child size in height||Too lightweight to stand on concrete|
|A year on, the bird table survived the elements||An agile cat can easily jump up onto the table|
|Comes with ground stakes||Cheap wood|
|Drill holes not finished off and rough|
The video below reviews the Wilko Easy-Clean Bird Table and highlights defects, difficulties assembling, what doesn’t work and what does. When I purchased my bird table in 2020 it cost £15 so has increased by £1 in 18 months.
How to secure the Wilko Easy-Clean Bird Table when the holes do not line up
This product should not have passed quality control because a selection of holes does not line up.
You have two options. Drill holes, or buy No Nails from a £1 store if you are not DIY-orientated or do not own a drill.
Squeeze No Nails onto the sections you need to join together – I applied to the roof joint. It is time-consuming as you have to hold it in place.
The holes for the legs did not line up either, so I tightened them as best I could because I am not a DIY-type person. The video will show the result, and 18 months on, the table is still standing and has survived a house move.
How do I secure the base to the ground if lightweight?
I am updating this article here in July 2022, and I still agree that standing the bird table on concrete is pointless as it is lightweight and will not withstand the wind in an open space. Instead, I suggested a sheltered spot. I moved to my partner’s in March and he has a courtyard garden (coastal region) so my bird table sits in the corner but has heavy driftwood leaning over two of the legs. It has stayed in place.
Each leg has a hole at the bottom so if securing to earth, push the provided ground stake through these holes and secure it into the ground.
Surprisingly, mine stayed in place for over a year but in a sheltered space as shown in the video. But I think depends on your location, how much open space or protection against the wind. Use your own judgment. Because it is lightweight, it can easily move to another spot in your garden.
What do you recommend to treat the wood?
I rummaged in the shed and found a can of Yacht varnish ,which I bought for £1 previously, and applied two coats. It is important to paint all those nooks and crannies beneath the base and roof. Every part of your bird table will be exposed to the elements.
Of course, you may wish to invest in a more expensive weather protector but mine withstood 18 months of East Yorkshire coastal weather with a cheap Yacht varnish. Now in July 2022, the pre-painted roof paint has faded and is now in need of a repaint.
When birds use the bird table, how can I protect them from cats and sparrowhawks?
As you will see from the video, I have the bird table tucked away and haven’t noticed any cats attempting to climb up the base. If sparrowhawks visit the garden they sit on the fence and the space between the feeding platform and roof is too shallow for a sparrowhawk to climb onto.
In fairness, I think it will be hard to have something totally cat or sparrowhawk-proof proof so I recommend putting any table between bushes where birds can dive into for protection.
At my previous house (shown in the video), a visiting cat sat behind a bush and watched the birds. Another cat sprayed in my front garden, so I invested in a battery-operated cat deterrent. You can see the results if you watch the video below.
You might be interested in the following:
- Point 8: Protecting wild birds visiting your garden
- Video about the PestBye Cat Deterrent
- Article about the Pestbye Cat Deterrent
- Article about the Metal Cat Scarer set
- Video about a Metal Cat Scarer set – avoid buying!
Do I need to assemble the Wilko Easy Clean Bird Table outside?
I bought mine in November and assembled it indoors. To be honest, it does not create a mess when putting together, so go for it!
How can I protect the feeding platform from old food and debris?
A piece of sturdy floor runner can be cut to size, washed, and reused. The video will show debris on the feeding base and the issue with the cleaning flap stuck in place. Even with the runner, some food escaped onto the feeding base.
The only remaining choice was to remove the floor stakes, upend the bird table, and tip out food debris. However, I found it difficult to pull out the stakes and recruited my man for help! You will need a hard bristle yard brush to clean stubborn food deposits.
It is vital to keep the feeding platform clean because of the buildup of bacteria from poorly birds and rotting food so I think that’s another video later this year!
Why doesn’t the easy clean flap work?
When I assembled the bird table, the flap, already attached to the base, never sat flush against both sides, so I assume it was cut incorrectly at the manufacturing stage. Again, it is a cheap product but one sold by a large retail company and should function as advertised and sold.
The only solution is to remove the flap, cut it to size, and refix, or leave it as it is, tip up on the end and remove debris.
Did the garden birds use the wooden bird table immediately?
Several days passed before the first sparrow landed on the feeding platform so initially, I wondered if I had wasted my money. I also had two other hanging feeders in the garden, which they used often. Eventually, the birds began feeding from the bird table based on a combination of seed and fat balls.
What type of birds feed from the bird table?
The majority of British birds were sparrows and collared doves, and if I added mealworms or fat balls, screeching starlings arrived. A wood pigeon tried to get onto the feeding base but the breed was too big so I sprinkled seed on the concrete path and away from bushes where a cat may hide.
Do I recommend buying it and are there any regrets?
Admittedly, I was annoyed about paying £15 when from a reputable high street store – in my opinion, the product was worth a tenner. The product is poorly made and should not have passed quality control.
Nevertheless, I recommend it because it has lasted the weather elements. My video will give you a visual perspective so don’t forget to watch it, share and subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Here is my referral code for Quidco – if you register and visit Wilko’s website through the Quidco app (or desktop) and buy the bird table (or anything), you will earn cashback. By joining Quidco using my referral link, I earn a bonus for your sign-up, and you do too.
- Low-cost bird table
- Despite cheap wood and defects, the product has withstood the weather elements
- Grounds stakes secure to soft ground
- On concrete, it can be placed in a corner if you wedge heavy objects across the legs
- The birds use it
- You may need to fix the cleaning flap
- Quick to assemble
- Be prepared to redrill hols or use No Nails
- £1 tin of Yacht varnish is adequate to treat the wood
- Earn cashback with Quidco
Poppy’s Pets has a column in the Withernsea District & Community News