Building a Bird Bath
Building a bird bath rather than buying one can be a fun weekend project. You can also customize the size, shape and purpose to fit your yard or garden.
Birdbaths can be as simple as an old pie pan or clay saucer on a pole, or they can be elaborate, decorative sculptures. It’s up to you.
Things You Can Use to Create a Bird Bath
- Pie pans or plates
- Clay saucers or pots
- Logs with depressions cut into them for water
- Wooden buckets
- Plastic tubs
- Flower pot
Chicken wire and cement also make a good option. Make a depression in a box of sand. Line it with chicken wire then pour in quick setting cement to cover the wire. Shape it—remember to wear rubber gloves to avoid burns from the cement. Remove when cement dries. You can color the cement, add rocks to the edges before it dries and be as creative as you want
Birds aren’t nearly as picky about the birdbath as they are about where it is located. Birds, in general, don’t like full shade or full sun. They also tend to be nervous about hawks and predators who might dive out of the sky and get them. So, make sure your birdbath isn’t fully exposed to the sky. They don’t like birdbaths with a lot of brush, vegetation or ground cover around it—cats and ground predators might jump out and get them.
It may take some time, but find a location that’s partially exposed to the sun with very low vegetation nearby and a tree or shrub within a short hop or flight if they need to flee from danger, or if they simply want to hang out and check out the bird bath. If you can’t dedicate a garden hose or water source to keeping the bath full, then try to place it near the edge or drip line of a tree or brush that can shed water into the bath.
You may be excited about the birdbath, but be patient. It will take your feathered friends a week or two to get used to it and feel confident the bath won’t hurt them
Tips for Building the Perfect Birdbath
Birds like water in motion, so add a hose system, water pump or dripping system. Not only will it be irresistible to the birds, it will help keep the bath clean
Birds bathe in winter as well. If you’re going to have a year round birdbath avoid metal baths that will freeze to bird’s feet and feathers. Use a submersible heater to keep water from freezing, but use a model with a thermostat to keep water warm, but not hot.
Keep your birdbath clean. Change the water daily in hot weather and every other day in warm weather. Scrub your birdbath with a mix of one part bleach and nine parts water to eliminate algae and scumminess.