If you want to bring more birds to your backyard, you need to provide them with three basic necessities: a food supply, a place where they can take shelter, and a water source. Out of all of these, water is arguably the most important. Not only do birds need water to drink but they also use it for preening. Adding a birdbath to your yard is one of the best ways to draw in more birds.
If you are getting ready to purchase a bird bath, or if you’re looking for inspiration from the top 25 bird baths, or if you already own one, the tips below will help you get the most out of it so that you can experience the joys of backyard birding throughout the year.
Add Movement To The Water
Stagnant water tends to smell unpleasant and is usually home to contaminants like algae and bacteria, which can drive birds away. Adding a mister or waterfall will usually make the birdbath more attractive to birds, resulting in more visitors to your backyard. It also will help keep mosquitoes at bay, which is good news since mosquitoes often carry infections that can harm birds. The best way to avoid problems is by keeping the water in the birdbath moving.
Regularly Clean The Birdbath
Cleaning the birdbath on a regular basis is essential if you want to keep algae and bacteria in check. To clean the birdbath, take a small brush or sponge and scrub out the entire bowl. Pay particular attention to any spots where dirt has accumulated. Avoid using cleaning products in the birdbath unless they are specifically labeled as being safe for birds. Plain water should be more than adequate for cleaning. The key is to stay on top of it so that you can catch any algae, mold, or other contaminants before they get too bad.
Change The Water Frequently
If your birdbath has standing water, you should change the water on a regular basis. Mosquito larvae spend approximately 14 days incubating in standing water. Emptying out the birdbath and putting in clean water on a weekly basis is a good way to avoid problems. If the water is contaminated, it could make birds sick. Avoid the temptation to leave the water in there, even if it is rainwater. Instead, take a few minutes to dump it out and replace it with fresh, clean water.
Consider Buying A Heated Birdbath
If you want to use the birdbath during the winter, look for a heated model. If the birdbath is not heated, the water will simply freeze. Installing a heated birdbath gives birds a place where they can drink and clean themselves even when the weather is extremely cold.
Choose The Right Location
The location that you choose for the birdbath can have a big impact on how frequently it gets used. Don’t just choose a random spot in your backyard. Instead, think about which areas the birds prefer. Try to find a relatively hidden location where birds can’t be attacked by predators from above. At the same time, you should also avoid placing it close to dense underbrush to keep cats from stalking the birds while they bathe.