The Perfect Bird Bath and Where to Put It
Wild birds need water for drinking but also to bath in and to preen their feathers. A bird bath in your garden will help the birds and will provide you with many great photo opportunities. However, you need to provide the right sort of bath and to position it carefully.
The Perfect Bird Bath
Your bird bath doesn’t have to be a thing of beauty. The birds won’t care what it looks like! But if you want to complement your garden with an attractive addition then it is worth investing in a nice bath rather than creating a DIY affair.
Your chosen bath should have shallow sloping sides to make it easier for the
birds to approach the water. A sloping bath with a variable water depth will maximise the number of species who will use it. Ideally the water should range from 2.5cm to 10cm deep. If you can’t find the perfect sloping bath then you can vary the depth in any bath by adding some pebbles.
Do ensure that the surface of the bath is rough so it is easy for birds to grip it without slipping. The bath should be sturdy but it will help if it is light enough for you to pick it up and move it around. Try to avoid brightly coloured bird baths. You might like them but birds will be wary of them.;
Location, Location, Location
When it comes to bird baths, the . A shady spot is a good choice as the water will evaporate quickly in the sun. The birds will be happier with an all-round view so they can watch for predators. They will only use the bird bath if they feel safe.
Site the bath close enough to trees and bushes to give birds the chance to survey the bath before using it. This will enable them to check for danger before they take a dip. The bushes will also provide a safe haven close by if trouble does arrive. But do keep the bath far enough from the bushes to prevent cats from using them as cover before ambushing the birds.
If there are cats in the neighbourhood then it can help to plant prickly shrubs around the bushes. This will make them less appealing hiding places for the felines. If you don’t wish to expand your planting then you can also places clippings from thorny plants under the bushes.
The best site for your bird bath may not be immediately obvious. The easiest way to discover the most appealing choice for the birds is to experiment by moving the bath around the garden. You will soon see which location attracts the most visitors.
Maintenance of your Bird Bath
Wherever you decide to site the bird bath do make sure that you keep the water topped up. In dry conditions the birds could be desperate for water. If the bath is empty they could end up trying to drink from water butts, barrels and troughs. These are dangerous for the birds as they can fall in and drown. It helps if you keep these sources of water covered. If they can’t be covered place a plank of wood or a branch into the water to make life safer for the birds.
Clean the bird bath every couple of weeks as this will help to prevent the spread of disease. Use boiling water or cleaning products that are safe for wildlife. In the winter months you can prevent the water in your bath from completely freezing over by floating a tennis ball or an apple in the water.
The right bird bath in the right place will really help the wild birds and will provide you with hours and hours of pleasure.