Baths and Hot Tubs"
essentials of Song Birds are Food,
Water and Habitat.
Water is discussed here.
Bird Baths are put in back yards for two
they provide essential water for Song Birds,
and they provide enjoyment for Bird Watchers.
As far as the Birds are concerned, a puddle
of water would suffice.
However, Cardinals have been known to fly
across a Creek from their Nest,
to a natural Spring
for their fresh drinking water.
Your own Bird Bath can be as simple as a shallow Bowl under a
Downspout, or as elaborate as a back yard Pond with a Fountain powered
by an electric Pump, complete with a mobile Water Wheel, Peacocks,
Parrots and caged Canaries.
Whatever your design, once the Birds become accustomed to your source,
you should keep it supplied with fresh water. If you allow it to become
stagnant it will attract mosquitoes. There are large Tablets available
from Garden Centers to kill Mosquitoes in small Ponds.
Some Song Birds prefer to eat and drink at ground level, but
if your back yard is frequented by Cats or other predatory Creatures,
then it may be wise to keep them elevated. Of course, you always have
the option of both low and high Bird Baths.
Like Bird Feeders, Bird Baths should be located in an area with a quick
escape route in case Hawks wander by your Oasis. A thick Hedge of
Shrubs like Flowering Dogwood, Service Berry, Cranberry
Viburnum, and Cotoneaster can serve the dual role of shelter and food.
This Bluebird family
was attracted by the overhead "Drip, drip, drip".
Water movement is especially attractive to Song birds. You can
create this attraction with Pumps or by Gravity. A simple concave rock
Water Jug suspended above it can create an attracting drip. An elevated
Rain Barrel can feed several lines of Drip Tubing to create drips. A
Pond or Stream which is higher than the Bird Bath location can also
serve this purpose.
Weekly scrubbing of Bird Baths will help to control Algae and
certain diseases. Three ounces of Chlorine Laundry Bleach in a quart of
hot Water will help sanitize surfaces. They can be scrubbed with a
stiff Brush or submerged to soak overnight. Rinse them thoroughly after
this treatment, and allow them to dry.
Certain Song Bird Medications have directions to add them to Bird Bath
water. Unless the Directions tell you otherwise, give your Bird bath
the above treatment prior to using such Medications.
Bird Baths which are black will absorb any Winter Sunshine that's
cushion of Styrofoam Insulation may help keep water from freezing.
Partially covering a Bird Bath will expose it to less cooling air. A
black Brick heated indoors and laid in the Bird Bath may also be
helpful. A location in a protected Southern exposure should also be