Solar Powered Bird Bath
Wild birds really appreciate easy access to fresh water for drinking and bathing. If you feature a bird bath in your garden you will help the birds whilst enhancing your viewing opportunities. As some species may not be attracted to your feeder but would be looking for water, your bird bath could help you to see a greater variety of birds.
Birds can find it difficult to source water in the winter months. When puddles, streams and ponds freeze over bird baths become even more important but they can freeze over too. If you wish to add a bird bath to your garden or you already have one then you should take steps to ensure that the water doesn’t freeze.
You can help keep the ice away by choosing the right colour of bird bath. Dark coloured bird baths are the best choice. Dark baths will absorb more heat from the sun whereas light colours will deflect it away. Dark bird baths are also more visible to birds when there is frost or snow on the ground.
Balls and Drippers
By adding a plastic ball to the bird bath you can help to prevent it from freezing over. The ball will move about on the water’s surface. Agitating the water slows the process of freezing. A dripper will have the same effect. This is a small device which you connect to an outside tap. It has a regulator to control water flow and simply drips water into the bird bath. The dripping causes ripples in the water and so slows down the freezing process. The dripping sound is also appealing to the birds.
A heater will keep the water temperature in the bird bath above freezing. Small immersion heaters can be placed in the bath and are safe to use. They consume little energy and so are cost effective to operate. You will require access to an exterior power source to use one. The latest immersion heaters will turn themselves off if the water in the bird bath runs dry. They can also feature a thermostat which ensure that the heater will only kick in when the air temperature drops to freezing point.
Heated Bird Baths
There are a wide variety of heated bird baths available. A powered bird bath may also include a fountain which provides a pleasant soundtrack for your garden. A heated bird bath will require an external power source. Alternatively you could invest in a solar powered bird bath. Solar heated bird baths will not add to your energy costs and can also feature fountains and other effects which create a pleasant sound. No access to a power point is required and there are no wires and cables to conceal.
You should never add anything to the water in your bird bath. Salt and antifreeze are definitely a bad idea and will poison the birds. Some people advocate adding glycerine but this is also be avoided. High levels of glycerine are required to prevent water from freezing. If birds ingest glycerine it can elevate their blood sugar to dangerous levels. Bathing in glycerine can also cause feathers to mat. If your water could freeze, don’t mess with the water, attend to the bird bath instead!