When choosing a bird bath in order to provide water for the birds, the options are nearly endless for the bird watcher.
All the birds that normally visit your bird feeder will come to your bird bath. In addition, you'll attract many birds that don't neccessarly visit feeders.
Some of these include Robins, Thrushes, Vireos, Orioles and warblers.
A reliable source of fresh water is an essential ingredient in any bird watching program. No matter where in the country you live, water can be a scarce resource during winter and summer droughts.
If you are considering making a purchase there are several things to keep in mind: it should have a gradual non slippery slope and it should be no more than 3 inches deep.
Water that is too deep will not be used by many of the smaller birds. If it is deep, add a couple of inches of pebbles to reduce the depth.
This method allows the smaller birds a chance to use one that you may be attracted to and looks good in your yard.
The sound of running water attracts many birds. A bucket that has a tiny hole in the bottom, suspended above can add the sense of movement that birds seem to love.
A more attractive solution is a mist fountain or drip hose made for this use and water gardens. Hummingbirds prefer to fly through a spray of water and not landing. I've had hummingbirds fly through a garden hose while watering the garden.
Birds need water all year, including winter, which can be a time of drought for them.
By providing heated water in winter, you'll attract more birds than just with feeders.
Heaters/Deicers use very little electricity and are harmless to the birds. The purpose of the heater/De-icer is to keep the water just above freezing and not to actually warm the water.
How you present water is not as important as keeping the water fresh and clear. If using a garden pond, make sure no chemicals from lawn feeding and weeding run off and into your pond.
Never add chemicals to control algae or insects. Always be sure nothing you place water in is lead-lined, as lead can poison birds.
Where do you place your bird bath? Try to place it where you can easily see and watch the birds. If you can, try to place it near feeders so the birds can easily find it.
Add a natural perch like a tree branch close by if there is no natural source available.
Place a large stone in the center of it to give the birds another point of entry that is more natural. Safety is a prime consideration in locating the water source. A wet bird is slower to flight, and a much easier target for cats.
Locate things in the open as much as possible and away from shrubs where cats can hide. One that is two or three feet tall offers an added protection level for the birds. Higher up gives birds more sight line to see around them.
Many different types exist today with unique supports that make it possible to place anywhere you want.
Some of these hard to find types such as deck mounted, heated, and ground types can be found online. Why not relax and check a few out right now while you're considering the topic. Bird Baths
Whichever way you decide to add water to your bird watching program, whether in a fountain, pool, or a traditional bird bath, you'll find the birds love having water available, and you'll have more fun watching them use it.
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