MAINTAINING A BETTER BIRDBATH

Why Have a Birdbath?

If you like watching birds  at your backyard feeder, you’ll have even more fun watching them splash around in a birdbath there.  A good source of water is every bit as important to birds as a good source of food. And in the drought days of summer, water can be hard to come by for them.  So there are several things to keep in mind if you decide to set up a birdbath in your yard.

  1.  Change the water every other day.  No one wants to drink dirty, polluted water, including birds, but clean water is more important than just for taste. Dirty water can spread diseases to flocks of backyard birds and encourages gnat, mosquito and other pests that can infect humans and other animals.
  2. In addition to changing the water frequently, it is important to clean the birdbath once a week. This can be done by mixing 9 parts water with one part bleach, and scrub with a stiff brush. Then rinse several times before re-filling with fresh water.  Another, more eco-friendly method involves baking soda. Sprinkle, wet, and scrub; rinse and fill.
  3. Many birdbaths are actually too deep for small songbirds, so place a large stone in the water to make it easier for them to bathe.
  4. Keep the birdbath close to, but not under brush and feeders. Falling debris and seeds can muck up the water fast.
  5. Add a fountain feature to keep birds happy and the mosquitoes at bay. They don’t like to lay their eggs in running water.  Nobody wants mosquitoes anytime of the year, but they can be really bad news in the fall during flock migrations and an especially high risk time for diseases.
  6. Consider adding a heater for the winter so birds have access to clean water even in freezing temperatures.

Maintaining a fresh bath is a simple, essential way to keep birds hydrated, clean, and disease-free and you will enjoy watching them as they splash around in their backyard bath.

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