Don’t have a birdbath? You probably should. Birds use them for drinking water as well as bathing to stay clean and cool. Plus, birds that won’t visit a feeder will visit a birdbath, so it can draw a wider variety of birds to your yard. Here are some tips for making the most of a birdbath:
- Birdbaths should be shallow rather than deep. A good rule of thumb is no more than 3 inches deep. A graduated edge is good, too, so birds can ease their way in to a level that’s comfortable for them.
- Avoid an overly slick surface for the bowl. Just like you in the bathtub, birds don’t want to feel like they might slip. Textured concrete is preferable to smooth glass. Also, be sure the birdbath is stable – birds will probably avoid it if it’s wobbly.
- Keep the water moving when possible. This is much more attractive to birds, and also helps keep the water cleaner. (Mosquitoes won’t lay on moving water, and algae is slower to grow.)
- Birds like cooler water in the summer, so don’t be afraid to place your birdbath in the shade of a tree. In fact, this may encourage birds to use it, as they have an easy place to escape to if they feel threatened. However, avoid placing it too near shrubbery or heavy overgrowth where predators such as neighborhood cats can hide.
- Keep the water fresh. In warmer climates and seasons, this may mean emptying the bowl and refilling it daily. Rain water is preferable to that from the tap – here’s another use for that rain barrel! Every so often, you’ll want to clean out the birdbath completely. Click here for tips on that chore from BirdsandBlooms.com.
What tips do you have for drawing birds to a birdbath? Any tips that Southeastern gardeners might especially benefit from? Drop by the comments below and give us your two cents!
Every Thursday, the Working for the Weekend segment highlights a project or job for Southeastern gardeners to tackle in the weekend ahead. Know of a project you’d like to see featured here, or a garden chore you’d like some help with? Make your suggestions in the comments section below.