5 Reasons to Set Up an Outdoor Bird Bath 5 Reasons to Set Up an Outdoor Bird Bath
Outdoor bird baths are a simple and cost effective way to bring nature closer. The relationship between people and birds can be a mutually beneficial one if a few accommodations are made. Begin with a bird bath as a low cost, highly effective way to restore habitat, provide interest, utilize natural pest control, and maybe even lower your blood pressure.
1. Enjoyment and Relaxation
New hobbies such as bird watching have shown to lower blood pressure, significantly ease depression, and provide new communities of friends to people feeling isolated. As silly as it may seem, the enjoyment and relaxation which comes from watching the birds which flock to the feeder can provide health benefits to the household residents.
2. Habitat Restoration
Many migratory birds have had habitats destroyed as urban development sprawls. By placing a bird bath in the backyard, birds have places to not only drink and bathe, but to rest along the migration path. Allowing the bird bath to remain in a well lit, open area will attract many birds and provide them with water all year round. This small addition to the yard can have far reaching effects at helping keep bird populations intact.
Birds are not the only ones who use the bird bath. Many species of butterfly also drink from the small, calm pools of water and can benefit from year round supplies.
3. Low Maintenance
Most bird bathes require almost no maintenance. When it rains, not only will the bird bath be full of water but will constantly be flushed so no cleaning is necessary. In the summer, if the bird bath is in full sun most bacteria will be killed by the solar light. Filling the bath and occasionally taking debris out of it are about the only two maintenance tasks. If algae builds up, a quick scrub down with distilled white vinegar will quickly kill visible algae and prevent its return without harmful chemicals.
4. Garden Pest Control
Birds mainly feed on large numbers of insects and other unattractive bugs. Having birds flock to your yard can create a significant downturn in the number of slugs, mosquitoes, gnats, and caterpillars which feed on growing plants. Being aerial feeders, the ability of many birds to clean small bugs, flying ants, termites, and small spiders from the air is incredible. In example, swallows are estimated to eat over 1000 insect daily. Many birds also feed on larval insects before they hatch.
5. Science Projects and Outdoor Education
Having birds around can bring science directly to the backyard for many kids. Especially to children who live in the city, the abundance of wildlife which begin to appear when water is present creates whole new areas of interest. The Great Backyard Bird Count happens every year and encourages people of all ages to pay attention and report how many and different types of bird seen in their yards. Secondly, an appreciation for other creature's needs can teach empathy, the interdependence of nature, and respect for the environment in ways that often cannot be learned from books.