Can I Water My Hanging Plant With A Bird Nesting Inside

Over the years, we've received numerous stories about doves and other birds nesting in hanging plants. You can read a few here, Doves Nesting in Hanging Plants.

While it's heartwarming to witness the beauty of nature up close, it also raises the question: How do you water a hanging plant without disturbing the nesting bird?

Let's explore some gentle and respectful methods gardeners can employ to care for both their plants and the feathered inhabitants sharing their space.

dove egg inside a hanging plant basket

Observation and Timing

Before approaching the hanging plant, take a moment to observe the nesting bird from a distance.

This step is crucial for assessing the bird's behavior and ensuring it's safe to proceed. If the bird appears agitated or defensive, wait until it's calm or foraging away from the nest.

Timing is key - choose moments when the parent bird is away from the nest, such as when it's searching for food, to minimize disruption.

Approach with Caution

Approach the hanging plant slowly and quietly to avoid startling the bird.

Make gentle movements and refrain from making sudden noises that could disturb the nesting bird.

Remember, the goal is to minimize stress and ensure the bird feels safe in its environment.

Watering Techniques

When watering the hanging plant, opt for techniques that minimize disturbance to the nesting bird.

Consider using a watering can with a narrow spout or a spray bottle for precise watering. Direct the water toward the base of the plant, taking care to avoid the nest and the immediate area around it.

This helps prevent water from dripping onto the bird or its nest, reducing the risk of discomfort or displacement.

Minimize Disturbance

Keep the watering process brief to minimize disruption to the nesting bird's routine.

While it's essential to provide water for your plants, it's equally important to respect the needs of the bird and its young.

Be efficient in your watering efforts and avoid lingering near the nest unnecessarily.

Monitor Behavior

Pay close attention to the nesting bird's behavior while watering the plant.

If the bird shows signs of distress or becomes agitated, pause and allow the bird to settle before continuing.

Your presence may temporarily disrupt the bird's activities, but by being attentive and responsive, you can help minimize stress.

Provide Alternative Water Sources

Consider offering alternative water sources nearby, such as a bird bath or shallow dish filled with fresh water.

These alternatives can attract the parent bird away from the nest temporarily, providing an opportunity to water the hanging plant with minimal disturbance.

When The Birds Leave

When the baby birds leave the nest, you can remove the nesting material and enjoy your plant.

Some birds like Mourning Doves may start a new nest. If you don't want this to happen, you may want to move the plant or place sticks in the soil to prevent them from re-nesting.

Many birds, when successful at raising young, will return to the same nest site from year to year.

If you like having them but don't want to deal with the watering problem, try placing fake flowers and greenery in a planter and place that one in the same location where they've nested before.

Remember, patience and respect are key as you navigate this delicate balance between gardening and wildlife conservation.

birds and blooms magazine cover pioneer woman magazine cover people-magazine cover first for women magazine cover
Birds and Blooms Pioneer Woman People Magazine First For Women