Water is just as important for your backyard birds as it is for us humans! Not only is water a source of hydration, it allows birds to keep their feathers clean and insulate properly. Dirty and matted feathers may cause life-threatening holes in their plummage so keeping at bath at the ready is a must. Baths will
also attract birds that don’t eat from feeders but are looking for a place to enjoy a cool sip or shower.
Setting Up Your Bath
Bird baths require a little thought when picking the perfect place. Look for a fairly flat and somewhat shaded spot in your yard. Too much sun will evaporate the water too quickly while the trees and perches nearby ensures your birds a safe place to preen after washing their delicate feathers.
When searching for the perfect bath or water feature, keep a few things in mind; birds don’t like to bathe in deep water so look for something shallow or with a platform, or simply add a cluster of rocks to give
your birds something to sit on. You can even create a pathway to the middle of the bath and appeal to multiple species by placing stones of varying sizes to appeal to both small and large birds.
Keep your birdbath full at all times to attract the widest variety of birds. To keep the water fresh, it’s important to change it every few days as birds do leave behind feathers and droppings and it can become unsanitary. Algae also grows much more quickly when the water isn’t cleaned frequently. If algae does take hold, thoroughly cleaning the bath with a stiff scrub brush and warm water should do the trick.
What to do in Winter
Baths aren’t just for spring and summer. Birds need water sources in winter as many natural sources may freeze over. By adding a heater to your bath, you can ensure many visits from your feathered friends staying the winter in your specific area.
Bird Bath Accessories
Don’t forget the showers! Misters are a great option and often attach directly to the bath. Misters create gentle movement on the water’s surface, encouraging birds to take notice. It’s also a great way for birds to get a shower, simply by flying through! Drippers allow birds to sit upon the dripping mechanism and take sips, somewhat like drinking from a faucet. Add a Water Wiggler to create movement on the water’s surface and keep mosquitoes at bay.