EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BIRD BATHS
BENEFITS FOR YOU
- The birds will be around to help keep the insect population down.
- You will be able to keep your garden and yard pesticide-free.
- You will be able to attract more birds to your yard compared to bird feeders and bird houses.
- Birds will pollinate your flowers and plants.
- Better mental health.
- Lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress.
BENEFITS FOR THE BIRDS
- Birds need water for drinking.
- For preening.
- To remove dust and loose feathers.
- Helps remove parasites and other debris.
- Helps keep their body cool in the summer months.
- Helps keep their body warm in the winter months.
BEST BIRD BATH?
There is no such thing. Any bird bath you decide to buy or make, is the bird bath to use in your yard or garden. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when providing a bird bath for your birds.
- WATER DEPTH. Keep it between 2" or less. Song birds do not want to bathe in deep water. It can be harmful for smaller birds and it makes it difficult for most birds when preening. Birds will choose there own water depth. So provide a bowl that gradually slopes deeper to the middle. If not, place rocks, marbles or different thicknesses of platforms inside the bird bath, adding some items will help solve this problem.
- WATER MOVEMENT. Will attract more birds, since they will see the water sparkle in the sunlight and will hear the sound of water. Plus moving water prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs inside your bird bath. Algae can be a problem for bird baths. so having the movement of water will make it harder for algae to grow. So what do you do? Purchasing a fountain bird bath can be one way, but they can be very expensive, big and awkward to move around if you have to. But they are beautiful and they do mimic the comforting sound of a creek, river, or waterfall. But not to worry, you can create any bird bath to have the movement of water. Purchase a water wiggler, water dripper, or a small fountain accessory to place inside your bird bath.
- MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION. Bird baths you purchase are usually made out of safe material for birds. The only time you should be aware of toxic material is when you are making your own bird bath. When painting your bird bath, do not paint inside the bird bath or where paint could chip and enter the bird bath. The chemicals used in the paint could be released into the water. Instead, use an animal friendly waterproof sealer.
TYPES OF BIRD BATHS
There is basically 3 different bird baths 1.HANGING 2.STANDING 3.GROUND. Then out of these 3, comes different, types, categories, classifications, and designs. All bird baths can have one or many of the characteristics listed below. Such as:
GLASS BIRD BATHSView Details
CEMENT BIRD BATHS
PLASTIC BIRD BATHS
MARBLE BIRD BATHS
GRANITE BIRD BATHS
COPPER BIRD BATHS
BRASS BIRD BATHS
RESIN BIRD BATHS
Some say, the only bird bath that makes any common sense or the only bird bath birds would rather use, are ground bird baths, cause you only find water on the ground. While there is some truth to that statement, it is not entirely true. Since birds will use and have been seen using all three kinds of bird baths.(Hanging, Standing, Ground). Also in nature when it rains, you can see birds perch up in the trees or purposely perched on pole wires getting a shower. Then after it has rained, you will see birds beginning to preening themselves. Or they will fly to a tree and perch on a branch while letting the water drip on themselves from the leaves and begin to preen themselves. Hummingbirds love to fly thru in and out the trees after a rain storm, letting water droplets land on them from the leaves. To mimic rain droplets for you hummingbirds, a mister is great idea to use.
So whether the water is on the ground or up high, the birds will take advantage with any one of the bird baths you choose to use (Hanging, Standing, Ground).
BIRD BATHS IN THE WINTER?
As strange as it is to us to be wet in the winter, it can be beneficial for birds. Not saying that birds should be wet in the winter, since this would be very dangerous for the birds. But providing a little bath water will help the birds with preening to evenly distribute preen oil from the uropygial gland to waterproof their feathers. Plus preening, helps remove dust, dirt, and parasites from their feathers and align each feather in the optimum position so they do not get matted.
If a birds feathers get matted or dirty, they can not fluff and the birds will lose critical insulation that is needed in colder temperatures. Fluffing is when a bird fluffs out their feathers, which makes them look puffy. What they are doing when fluffing is creating air pockets that provide extra insulation from the cold. A healthy bird will not immerse themselves or bathe when the air temperature is cold enough to freeze.
When a bird needs a drink of water, they can either melt snow to drink or eat snow, but it will lower their body temperature and they will have to use extra energy that could otherwise be used to maintain proper body heat. So if birds can drink from a bird bath, they will have a much better chance surviving in freezing temperatures.
WHAT BIRD BATHS NOT TO USE IN THE WINTER: Try avoiding Concrete, Stone, Ceramic, Mosaic, Solar, Glass, Misters, and Fountain bird baths, in the winter, since they are more susceptible to breakage if the water repeatedly freezes and thaws.
INSTEAD USE: Metal, Resin, Fiberglass, Marble or Plastic bird baths, along with a de-icer, these are better bird baths to use during cold winter months. Or you can purchase a heated bird bath that is specially made for the winter months.
WHERE TO PLACE A BIRD BATH
It may be helpful when deciding where to place a bird bath, is to know where not to put a bird bath. It would be a good idea not to place a bird bath near a feeder or near a tree or bush that regularly sheds its leaves, the birdbath will soon fill with dirt and debris that can foster mold or bacteria growth that can cause disease.
The size and weight can determine where you want to place your bird bath. You do not want to place a heavy bird bath in a place where you have to keep moving it, plus if you have a light bird bath, it will need some kind of shelter or be anchored to keep it from tipping over from strong winds. Keep in mind a heavy bird bath can also sink in soft soil, making the bird bath lean to one side.
Place the bird bath in a spot that will be noticeable to you, but also noticeable to the birds. The birds should be able to see your bath from the sky, so when birds are flying over, they are able to notice your bath. Depending how you decide to fill your bird bath, whether with a hose or carrying water to the bath may determine where you place your bath. Having a bird bath in a open area can make the birds feel nervous using it.
It is best to place your bird bath near shelter, like plants, trees, or bush, so they can escape if they feel threatened but not so close that debris will be going into the bath. It is not a decision that should be difficult one, just keep these tips in mind. Find a spot that you would like to place your bird bath and see what happens. Then if needed, make the necessary adjustments.
HOW TO CLEAN A BIRD BATH
To clean your bird bath, use a solution that is one part distilled white vinegar to nine parts water. How often you clean a birdbath depends on the weather, the quality of your water, the location of the birdbath, and the number of birds using it. The best advice is to clean the birdbath whenever you begin to see discoloration of the water on the bottom of the birdbath basin, which could be twice a week or every few weeks. Use a heavy duty scrub brush to give your bird bath a good wash. After you have cleaned your bird bath, let it dry out in the sun. The sun will help sterilize the surface against bacteria or other contaminants. It will help discourage algae growth and keep the bath fresh for a longer period of time. On a hot, sunny day, the basin can dry in a few minutes. It would also be wise, not to use synthetic soaps and cleansers; since they can strip the essential oils off of a bird feathers.
A TIP: to help extend cleaning a bird bath and help keep it algae free, is to add some copper to your bird bath. Copper is biostatic, which means, many types of algae, bacteria, and fungi will not adhere or grow on it. Copper is known for its antibacterial uses and to some degree be self-sterilize. Because of copper's biostatic properties, algae is less likely to grow in a bird bath that is either made out of copper or has some copper in its design. A Warning When Adding Copper to your bird bath, copper can become oxidized, so when you add copper to a birdbath, it should be fully submerged in the water. If you do not have or wish to purchase a copper bird bath, you can add one of the following ideas to your existing bird bath or future bird bath.
- Copper coins.
- Pennies, but if you add pennies make sure it is made before 1982 (US-minted) pennies after that date are mostly zinc, which are toxic.
- Copper pipes, copper fittings or copper joints.
- Coils of copper wire bound together to create a large coil.
If you decide to add copper to your bird bath, make sure your pieces of copper are not small, such as in making coils of wire. Birds may be attracted to the shine of the copper and carry them away and may cause a choking hazard. Do not add copper to fish tanks or any other marine wildlife. Marine wildlife have a much greater sensitivity to levels of copper in the water. It is important to know that copper will not completely eliminate algae and bacteria growth in a bird bath. So when adding copper to your bird bath and even bird baths made out of copper, all bird baths must be cleaned regularly to keep clean.