Bird Baths In Summer
Although it is important to use bird baths all year round, in summer it can be critical as many natural sources of water may have dried up. Birds need water not only for drinking but also for bathing and to help them keep cool.
Although there may be periods of wet during summer months these can be sporadic and once the sun’s out again any ground surface water can quickly evaporate leaving birds vulnerable to drought.
Offering a regular supply of water to the birds in your garden will help them learn it is a reliable source for them to come to bathe and drink.
Choose a larger bird bath if possible which will accommodate more thirsty visitors. A deeper bird bath won’t dry out as quickly but put a few stones in the bottom for smaller birds to perch on so they can access the water easily and safely. You could also arrange a few twigs across the top, again to give them somewhere to perch.
Don’t place your bird bath in direct sunlight. Not only will the water evaporate more quickly but during the middle of the day the water can get extremely hot making it uncomfortable for birds.
A shadier spot will ensure the water stays cool and is less likely to attract insects and will help prevent the rapid build up of algae and bacteria.
Top up your bird bath regularly so that it remains full. Once birds have started to rely on it you don’t want suddenly withdraw their water. You could try adding a large block of ice to the bird bath each morning which as it melts will provide fresh, clean water throughout the day even if you aren’t on hand to refill it.
Summer thunderstorms can bring high winds so choose a sturdy bird bath, such as one made from stone to stop it tipping over in strong gusts. Place your bird bath in a sheltered spot to prevent the risk.
Birds are attracted to moving water so choose a bird bath with a fountain. Many bird baths with fountains are solar powered so not only will you save money but it is kind to the environment. Moving water also helps minimize the growth of algae and prevents insects breeding.
Rinse your bird bath daily and give it a thorough clean once a week. Do not use any chemical cleaners that are harmful to birds. You can use a mild bleach solution or alternatively it is possible to buy special bird bath cleaners.
Even the tiniest amount of chemical treatments, fertilizers or pesticides can be harmful to birds so if you are using them in your garden ensure that no splashes get in your bird bath.
A bird bath is an essential part of a bird friendly garden and although you can make one from a dish or an upturned dustbin lid there are also a wide variety available to buy online.