There are plenty of benefits to having wild birds regularly visit your backyard. At a high level, these benefits include the following:
- Birds eat mosquitoes, spiders, aphids, and other insects, serving as a natural form of pest control (in contrast to the use of harsh chemical pesticides).
- Some bird species will also eat the seeds of weeds, helping you to have a healthy lawn.
- Birds can be great pollinators, which assists you in having a beautiful flower garden.
- Health benefits have been observed when people live by nature, which can include a green lawn and colorful blooms.
- Your family can observe birds right from home, an up-close and convenient form of bird watching.
- You’ll be playing a role in wildlife conservation in a simple and straightforward way.
Now, to determine how to get birds to use bird baths, it makes sense to first consider why they are attracted to them. Here are four key reasons:
- Birds seek fresh, clean drinking water.
- As the name implies, they also use bird baths to bathe.
- When they can bathe and rid themselves of the fleas, ticks, mites, and so forth, this helps the birds to stay healthy.
- Birds enjoy cooling off in bird baths.
Using those insights, here is more information about how to get birds to use bird baths on your property.
Where to Place a Bird Bath for Best Results
Optimal spots can vary, based on the climate where you live. If you live where temperatures are warmer, the birds will seek ways to cool themselves down. So, placing the baths in shady (or at least partially shady) spots can help to attract them. This will also help to keep the drinking water cooler for them. If, however, you live where birds might seek warmth, then placing the bath in a sunny spot can appeal to them and can help to prevent the water from freezing.
With a heavier bath, such as one made of concrete, it can be difficult to move when temperatures change. So, it can be especially important to pick the right spot, temperature-wise, the first time with this bird bath. It would be easier to move a lighter bath when adjusting for weather changes, but they need to be placed in areas where the bath would be protected from tipping in strong winds.
Not surprisingly, birds will be more inclined to use a bird bath if they feel safe doing so. So, if you place the bath near bushes or trees that provide them with some cover, this will help to protect them from natural predators and, recognizing this, they will be more likely to use that bird bath. That said, you’ll also want to place the bath where it won’t always be filling up with falling leaves.
When considering where to place a bird bath, also look at the levelness of the ground and condition of soil. You’ll want to create a good foundation for the bath, clearing out weeds and other vegetation that can cause a less-than-stable location. You may also decide to lay down a foundation layer of soil in the spot to avoid having it sink unevenly into soil.
Finally, when deciding where to place a bird bath, make sure it’s where birds can easily see it and—if birdwatching is one of your goals—where you can observe the wild birds that use your bath.
Tips to Get Birds to Use Bird Baths
Besides locating it appropriately, make sure that it contains fresh water. If you’ve located the bath where you can use a hose to refill it, this can make it easier. That said, if the prime location is further away from a hose, simply use pitchers to refill the water, as needed. You may need to change the water every day or two, depending upon usage levels and what is in the water. Remove leaves, sticks, and feathers, and clean up any bird droppings.
When you regularly clean and refresh the water, this helps to prevent any algae growth and disrupts the ability of mosquitoes to use the water to breed. (Remember, when you create an atmosphere that attracts birds, they’ll snack on those mosquitoes, making it a win/win situation.)
Water should be about two inches deep in the center of the bath and anywhere from half an inch to an inch on the sloping sides. You can add sand or pebbles at the bottom to create depth variety and to give the birds somewhere to perch as they clean themselves.
Bird Baths at Decker Nursery
Here at Decker’s Nursery, we’re your one-stop-shop for all your backyard bird supplies. For help with choosing just the right bird bath for your needs and to get answers to your questions, stop by our garden center during open business hours, contact us online, or call us at (631) 261-1148.