The Dangers Of Bird Baths
Although a bird bath can be an essential source of water for birds it can also be dangerous and you could be inadvertently harming the birds you are trying to care for.
These tips will ensure your bird bath is a safe place for the birds in your garden to drink and bath.
Bird baths can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and stagnant water can harbor insects that can transmit diseases between birds so it is essential that bird baths are cleaned regularly. Also clean any areas nearby where birds may wait before visiting the bird bath. You can use a mild bleach solution but make sure it is thoroughly rinsed before allowing birds to return to the bird bath.
Do not use any chemicals to clean your bird bath and always use fresh, clean water as even a small concentration of pesticides can kill birds. If you paint your bird bath ensure the paint is non-toxic and the bird bath is properly sealed.
It is important to site your bird bath so predators such as cats or larger birds cannot easily ambush it. Birds are at their most vulnerable when drinking and eating. Try placing your bird bath high up and position it near some trees or bushes that birds can retreat to if they feel threatened.
Small birds can drown in a bird bath that is too deep so either choose a shallow bird bath that is less than 5 cm deep or add some rocks or gravel at the bottom of the bath which birds can perch on as they drink or bathe. You could also put sticks across the top of the bird bath so that birds can drink but will discourage them from getting in the water. Make sure other deep water sources such as water butts are covered over.
Once birds have started to rely on your bird bath it is important that you keep supplying them with fresh water. Lack or water in the summer can lead to dehydration and in the winter birds will use a lot of precious energy melting snow and ice for drinking.
If you aren’t attracting any birds to your bird bath then it may be situated in the wrong place. Try moving it near to feeders or you could try placing a number of different sources of water around your garden.