A backyard birdbath will attract many more species of birds than a bird feeder. While birds do get some moisture from the food they eat, almost all birds need to drink water every day. Many birds will also use the birdbath to clean their feathers and get to rid of dust and parasites. After splashing around in the water, a bird will typically hop out and find a sunny place to fluff and dry it’s feathers. It may then preen by coating each feather with a protective oil from a gland at the base of it’s tail.

Which Backyard Birdbath to Buy

An old-fashioned concrete bowl on a pedestal will add beauty to your backyard, but it is susceptible to algae growth. It is also in danger of freezing and cracking during very cold winter months. Look for an easy to clean bowl with a slightly rough bottom so that visiting birds won’t lose their footing. Consider a birdbath made of strong plastic or resin that won’t freeze or break. Also, make sure the bowl is not too deep. Birds like shallow puddles and the depth at the center of your birdbath should be less than 3 inches.

Where to put Your Backyard Birdbath

Place your backyard birdbath in the shade where the water will evaporate more slowly and stay clean longer. Visiting birds will feel safer when they can jump up into the branches of a overhanging tree if startled while bathing or drinking. It should be reachable with a hose for easier cleaning. And make sure your birdbath is in a location where you can see it, too!

Maintaining Your Backyard Birdbath

bird bathBirds will fly a good distance to visit a well-maintained birdbath, so always keep your backyard birdbath full of fresh, clean water. It should be cleaned every day to retard the build up of algae. Daily cleaning will also prevent eggs laid in the water by mosquitoes from hatching.

If you live in part of the country where there are freezing temperatures, you should get a heated birdbath or buy a heater for your backyard birdbath. This will keep the birds from having to expend the energy to melt snow or ice to drink.

Circulating water is better for birds, so you might think about adding a solar powered fountain to your birdbath. Another option is a homemade dripper made by punching a small hole in the bottom of an old bucket or plastic container and hanging it over the birdbath.

A well maintained backyard birdbath not only improves your backyard habitat, but provides daily entertainment.