All birds need water to drink, bathe, and preen. Adding even a simple bird bath to your yard can be helpful to our feathered friends and at the same time give you hours of endless joy.
Here are some simple tips to keep your birdbath busy:
- Keep It Clean:
Dirty water is not as attractive as fresh, clean water. Clean and disinfect your bird bath with a solution of nine parts water and one part bleach every few days, and remove any leaves, feathers, or other debris daily to keep the water clean as long as possible.
- Get a Grip:
Birds need a rough surface to feel secure when perching to drink from a bird bath. If your bird bath is smooth and does not provide that type of grip, add several perches along the edge to make it easier for birds to use.
- Move Along:
Moving water is better than stagnant water, and birds will see the reflections of the moving water and hear the splashes from a great distance, attracting more friends to the water source. Add a dripper or wiggler to your existing bird bath, or investigate bird baths with built in bubblers or fountains.
- Rock the Bath:
Adding a few medium-sized rocks to the bird bath will vary the water depth so smaller birds can feel more comfortable. Choose rocks that can also provide a grip for the birds and that are tall enough to poke out of the water to create extra perches.
- Take it up (or down) a Level:
Bird baths with multiple levels can cater to more thirsty birds. Adding a saucer or extra dish on the ground at the base of a bird bath can be especially effective to let ground-feeding birds and larger species enjoy the water source.
- Be Perfect With Perches:
Adding nearby perches gives bathing birds a place to preen and dry off after using the bath, and thirsty birds may use perches while waiting their turn to drink. Plant bird-friendly landscaping near the bird bath with trees and bushes for perching, or use garden hooks and other decorations for instant perches.
- Fill ‘Er Up:
Always keep a bird bath filled, even if it means adding a cup or two of water to the bath daily in the hottest weather. Bird baths lose a lot of water to evaporation, and a bathing bird can splash a lot of water out of the basin. If the bath isn’t filled, it isn’t much use to the birds.