Installing a birdbath in your backyard helps resident bird species as well as those migrating between their summer and winter homes. And with more people becoming interested in bird watching and photography, adding a birdbath can help you catch up on this growing trend. However, you need to ensure that your birdbath is an inviting oasis and not a water hazard. So keep reading to find out what you need to know before installing a birdbath in your backyard.
1. Pick the Right Birdbath Style
While a tall birdbath with a slick, ceramic gaze might look pretty, it may not be attractive to the birds. According to Watching Backyard Birds magazine, installing a birdbath with a smooth basin is too slippery for your feathered friends. Also, since birds tend to bathe in natural pools at ground level, taller birdbaths are not as welcoming. So, choose a stone or concrete option with a basin about three feet above the ground or lower.
2. Make Sure Your Birdbath is Near Cover
Pick a shady spot in your yard near the cover of shrubs or a small tree. That way, if a predator appears, bathing birds will be able to quickly flee to safety. You also need to ensure that the birdbath receives minimal direct sunlight. Otherwise, the water can become too hot during the summer.
3. Add Rocks to the Bottom of Your Birdbath
Take care of the little guys since smaller birds tend to avoid bathing in deep water. To ensure that chickadees, wrens, and other small birds can enjoy your birdbath, add some rocks to the bottom of the basin. Group a few smooth stones to create a shallow section, or add gravel for a better foothold when installing your birdbath.
4. Add a Water Pump to Your Birdbath
Birds appreciate moving water. Think about it: Would you rather drink from a moving stream or a stagnant puddle? Adding a water pump to your birdbath deters the growth of algae and discourages mosquitoes from setting up shop.
There are a variety of pumps available, ranging from electric motors to solar-powered fountains that float on the water’s surface. As long as you choose one that keeps the water moving without causing too much disturbance, the birds should be satisfied. So, be sure to have a water pump on hand before installing your birdbath.
5. Clean Your Birdbath Often
A dirty birdbath is unhealthy for birds. So, clean the basin at least once a week to remove dirt, leaves, insects, droppings, feathers and algae. According to Bird Watcher’s Digest, you can use an abrasive kitchen cleaner and a brush with stiff bristles to scrub the basin. If necessary, use a capful of bleach diluted in a bucket of water. Rinse the basin thoroughly to remove any residue of your cleaning products.
A safe, clean birdbath that offers rest and refreshment to even the smallest birds. Installing a birdbath is a great addition to your yard. Although setting up and maintaining a birdbath requires a little hard work, it will become a valuable fixture for your family and the birds in the long run.