Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bird baths in the Garden

While working in the garden in this hot dry summer weather I like to keep plenty of water on hand for me, our dogs and my backyard birds.

Not all birds eat seeds, but all birds drink water. Birds need water to avoid dehydration and to maintain health. They are attracted to shallow dishes of water which provides them a place to drink and bathe. Bird baths are probably the best way to attract birds to your yard, even more so than bird feeders. Clean water is often the most difficult resource that birds must locate in order to survive. They use the water not only for drinking, but also for bathing which can cool their bodies during the heat of summer. Having water available is especially important in times of drought when birds may be stressed. If you can combine water, the appropriate wild bird food shrubs and trees, and maybe even nesting boxes, your opportunity to attract wild birds will be greatly enhanced.

Make sure to locate your bird bath where the birds can see around the area. Housecats and other predators can hide in nearby cover. Some of my birds like to bathe on a pedestal style bird bath, other like a ground level bird bath and still others will visit my fountains and pond. It is advisable to change the water in your bird bath everyday to provide fresh, clean water especially during hot summer months. Water that is exposed to direct sunlight may become stagnant and algae may grow. If you allow the water to sit for long periods of time, it will become less desirable for birds and will be much harder to clean.

Pedestal styles are the most common but there are also ground and hanging bird baths. Pededtals also provide a nice centerpiece for your garden. Solar bird bath use the suns energy to power a pump that can filter and keep the water moving. The dripping sound seems to attract birds. Grounded bird baths or bird ponds can be placed anywhere in your yard. Various modes are available and can add beauty to your garden as well as provide water for bathing and thinrsty birds.

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