Providing A Reliable Source of Water

A reliable known source for birds can make a difference in the amount of visitors you have to your feeders. Birds need water for two reasons: drinking and preening. Water helps keep a bird's body cool both from the inside and outside. Water baths can also remove dust, loose feathers, parasites and other debris from a bird's plumage.

If you have or are considering a bird bath for your backyard visitors here are some tips:

Shallow is Better:
Keep a level of water in your bird bath to a maximum of 2” in the centre of the bird bath
* perfect atmosphere for songbirds to wade in and splash about
* If a bird bath basin is deep, place a layer of pea gravel or flat stones on the bottom offering a choice of height to accomodate various sizes of visiting birds

Good Footing:
pea gravel or flat stones offer a good footing to bathing birds; also reduces their feeling of vulnerability

Positioning the Bird Bath:
ensure it is easy to access for cleaning purposes
* consider birds need cover nearby where they can approach the birdbath or retreat to in case of perceived approaching danger

birds use the opportunity to cool off in a bird bath. Keeping the water out of direct sunlight will ensure the water temperature is kept cooler

Staging / Preening Perch
a stick adjacent to the basin will provide a landing spot for bird’s staging an approach to the bird bath
* do not place the stick across the bird bath as it may then become a pooping perch

birds love a clean bird bath
* be on the watch for leaves, feathers, sticks and insects that might accumulate
* change water every day or two
* empty and clean your bird bath with a disinfectant at least once to twice a month. Ensure all disinfectant is rinsed away before refilling
* use a stiff bristle brush for cleaning
* clean immediately if green algae begins forming

Add Motion
creating moving water by adding a commercial dripper or sprayer in a bird bath adds sparkles and becomes an attention grabber for backyard visitors
* one plus to moving water is it prevents mosquitoes from reproducing as they require still water

CAUTION NOTE: It is not recommended adding glycerin to water to act as an antifreeze. Glycerin is a low-level toxin and has a sweet taste. Ingesting large amounts elevates the blood sugar level of a bird which can be harmful or fatal.