Having birdbaths (or bird baths) can liven up your garden or backyard by naturally drawing our feathered friends in for daily visits. If you like birds in your garden, than do consider bird baths, because birds generally have this habit of remembering which are their favorite places to get a nice shower, and will return time and again to these “watering holes” which double up as “socializing spas” for them.
Bird baths can turn out to be just as powerful a magnet as bird feeders in attracting birds to a garden. During times of hot weather or droughts, birds are strongly attracted to shallow pools of clean water, which birdbaths provide. If you want to take up birdwatching as a hobby, then having birdbaths will complement your hobby just nicely! Birdwatching can then be undertaken from the comfort of your window sill.
What are the characteristics of a good birdbath?
- A pool of very shallow water.
- Gradually deepening in depth, towards the middle.
- Stocked with cool, clean, clear water even during the hottest of days.
- Firm standing on the ground, and does not topple over, even during storms.
- Does not breed mosquitoes.
- Out of reach of predators like cats.
- Situated with a good view of the surroundings, and near an overhanging tree branch so birds can quickly take flight there should danger threaten.
As a kid, whenever someone mentioned “birdbath” to me, I used to imagine birds visiting a bird bath complete with towels and scrub brush, just like in the Walt Disney cartoons. They’d be whistling and having fun bathing in the bird baths. Of course, these are just amusing kid fantasies, but it’s true; your kid will love having bird baths just as much as the birds themselves!
Bird baths have been around for a long time, and feature in many classical style gardens. Usually, the birdbaths in these gardens are heavy and have intricate carvings on them. Victorian style birdbaths usually have a price matching their weight, but then again, that is because these bird baths require high levels of craftsmanship and special molds to manufacture. Also, they are meant to last for generations.
You can find bird baths in shops that stock garden and outdoor supplies. Shops that stock garden decor will usually have varying types of birdbaths for sale. The good bird baths are rather heavy, and are probably much heavier than they look upon initial inspection. If you have decided on one, get someone brawny to help you with the lifting; most stores do help you get bird baths to your car, but they won’t be able to help you once you get home.
There are also contemporary designed bird baths these days. They are cheaper (under $100) and designed mostly with practicality and functionality in mind. Usually, they are solar powered and double up as garden fountains. One feature they have, is all year round heating. If you don’t want an expensive and heavy birdbath, then consider the modern range solar powered birdbaths.
Remember for whom the birdbath is for…
At the end of the day, consider how a birdbath appeals to your feathered friends – through their eyes, of course! If you were a bird, would you like visiting that particular birdbath? Why would that birdbath appeal to you? Birdbaths not only attract birds, but are known to draw dragonflies, damselflies, raccoons, squirrels, etc. As long as the birds love it, your birdbath is a success…never mind if you made it yourself, or got it from the garden supplier for 50 bucks.
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