Tips to maintain a bird bath | Daily News

Tips to maintain a bird bath

Keep it Low. The standard birdbath on a pedestal may look good, but it’s not the best way to offer water to birds. Think about it: Most natural sources of water that birds use are on or near the ground. It’s what they look for in nature. You can use the birdbath pedestal for something else—like your bright pink-mirrored lawn globe, or that sasquatch figurine you’ve been meaning to deploy. Place the bath basin on the ground or raised up on a cinder block, but keep it within a foot or so of the ground.

Keep it Shallow. Birds don’t bathe in deep water. Keep the level in your birdbath to about two inches or less. This is perfect for songbirds to wade into and splash around. If your bath basin is deep, place a layer of pea gravel or some large, flat stones in the bottom to offer birds a choice of water levels.

Well Situated. Siting your birdbath is also important. You need to be able to see it from wherever you will be spending much of your time: the living room or kitchen window, the deck or patio. And it needs to be handy to get to for cleaning and refilling.

Cover Nearby. Just as you need the bath to be where you can see it, the birds need to have some protective cover nearby (but not too close). This will give the birds a place from which they can approach the bath, and a place to flee to should danger approach.

Shady. You can keep your bird bath water temperature cooler by placing the bath in a shady spot in your yard. A bath placed out in the open in direct sunlight will have heated water, which will also cause the bath water to evaporate more quickly.

Keep It Clean. Plan to scrub out your bath basin with a stiff-bristled brush and use an abrasive cleaner on hard-to-remove algae. Truly filthy baths may require some treatment with bleach-water (a capful of bleach in a bucket of water should do the job). Rinse well and refill with clean water. Our birds always go nuts when the birdbath is freshly clean.

Keep It Open. Water is just as vital in cold weather. If you want to keep a supply of drinking water open for birds,

- Bird Watcher’s Digeste.


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