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Birds, Bird Baths & Your Backyard

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Do you love having birds in your backyard? The kindest things you can do for your feathered friends is to provide a source of clean fresh water. Birds depend on a source of water more than they do a source of food. Many species of birds that will not come to a feeder will, however, visit water. Watching birds use a birdbath to drink or splash around and bathe is a never-ending source of entertainment for the entire family.

Birds depend on a source of water more than they do a source of food

Now that you have decided to add a birdbath to your yard, it is important to carefully consider where you want to put it.

  • The birdbath should be at least five to ten feet away from any place a predator, like a cat, could hide. Pedestal birdbaths provide some protection. One idea is to place your birdbath near some trees or shrubs; branches give the birds a place to escape in the event a predator does make an appearance. A place to escape and hide is important because a wet bird can only flutter a few feet.
  • You’ll also want to set up your new birdbath within reach of a hose. The water needs to be changed frequently to help keep the birds healthy.
  • Situate the birdbath so it is visible from indoors so the entire family can enjoy viewing the birds anytime.

You can add an assortment of features to your birdbath. One component that might make your backyard especially popular with the local birds is moving water, which fascinates and attracts birds. Adding a mister or a fountain to your birdbath can increase the number of birds that will visit. For example, hummingbirds will not wade into water, but they love to fly through misters and get their feathers wet. Moving water also prevents mosquitoes from breeding in the standing water; it also lessens the chances of mineral deposits, stains and water contamination.

Birds certainly appreciate the addition of warmth during the cold, winter months. Another handy birdbath accessory is a heater; the birds will certainly appreciate the addition of some warmth during the cold, winter months. The heater also prevents ice from forming and ensuring a source of fresh drinking water year round. If you plan on adding a heater, make sure the birdbath is located close to a GFCI outlet.

The depth and type of surface are also very important. The center should be about two to three inches deep and the edges should be shallow to allow the birds to easily wade into the water. Make sure the bottom of the birdbath bowl is rough to provide traction since birds typically do not like their feet to slide.

Is your birdbath a little too crowded? An easy way to make some extra room to fit more birds is to add a few rocks to the center of a birdbath; this creates more perches. Pebbles and rocks on the bottom of the bird bath can also help if the bowl is to too deep or slippery.

 
No home or backyard setting is complete without a beautiful birdbath full of vibrant songs. Your feathered friends will thank you!

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