Birdbaths are a great addition to your yard, because they're beneficial for both you and the wildlife you attract.
Birds and other wildlife have a reliable water source, while you get a front-row view of all the beautiful nature that surrounds you. The birdbath bowl itself comes in various colors, shapes, and materials, so you can choose one that's perfect for you.
If you don't have a birdbath and are looking into getting one, here are 7 ways that birdbaths can encourage wildlife in your garden.
Birdbaths offer a clean source of water for birds and other small animals to bathe and drink from. Squirrels or chipmunks will most likely want in on your birdbath as well, because clean, fresh water is essential to all your backyard friends.
Like humans, birds, and other creatures need clean water, because it helps their bodies function the right way. Although animals can drink from the outdoors, they still need a readily available clean water source free of chemicals, debris, and pollution.
Remember to clean your birdbath often! By making sure the water is always free of dirt and gunk, you can ensure that animals see your birdbath as a reliable source of clean water. Providing all your garden visitors with a large birdbath bowl will undoubtedly encourage them to return time and time again.
For wild animals, a routine is essential. They go about their day-to-day lives based on the day they had before. If an animal finds a reliable water source, they'll most likely come back day in and day out.
You want to be their reliable source of water! You'll get to learn about the specific species you encounter and may even start to recognize the same creatures visiting you day after day!
The key to getting your birdbath the traffic it deserves is making sure you keep it consistently clean and in a safe area. With that in mind, you should have no problem attracting wildlife to your birdbath.
If you don't decide to invest in a heated birdbath in the winter months, it can also double as a feeder. However, be deliberate about which materials you choose. A metal bird bath bowl will likely cool or heat up to the air temperature around it, which could make it less appealing to your backyard friends.
You may even draw in some unexpected wildlife! Birds and even deer may find your birdbath/feeder a reliable food source for difficult winter months. Or, if you're simply having difficulty keeping your birdbath clean, a feeder still ensures you attract wildlife without having to change it as frequently.
Whether you're going out of town or busy for a few days, a feeder ensures that your backyard friends will still get to enjoy your birdbath without being left with dirty water.
The location of your birdbath within your landscape is key. If you place your birdbath in a spot on the edge of your garden or yard or under the protection of trees, you give birds and other wildlife a much more appealing place to hang out. Thoughtful placement of your birdbath offers fresh water to shyer animals that may not feel comfortable coming out to the middle of your yard or garden for the water that you offer.
To be even more hospitable, opt for a bird bath bowl with a textured surface to allow the birds' traction when they step inside. Smooth surface birdbath bowls, if too deep and slippery, can make it hard for birds to get out of the bath. Textured and ramped rims and objects like stones and twigs placed within the basin and touching at least one edge can also ease entering and exiting the bath, make birds’ escape to nearby shelter more feasible, and avoid accidental entrapment and drowning of other wildlife.
Not only does a birdbath provide fresh water to the animals that use it, but it also helps to create a healthy habitat. A healthy habitat is one that has the right balance of natural flora and fauna.
Native plant life coupled with a source of water can help you attract insects, while insects can help you attract birds and amphibians. The water you provide in your birdbath will attract not only birds but also other animals that contribute to your garden's health and biodiversity!
A birdbath bowl at ground level, without the elevated stand or pedestal in your yard, can be beneficial for the creatures that may not be able to easily reach or climb up to your existing birdbath. Reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals may find a ground level bird bath helpful for meeting their own water needs.
As you open up your yard or garden to new animals, be cautious and considerate. While various wildlife species are essential and often fun to watch, you must be aware of the animals you attract when you place birdbaths in your yard, cognizant of wildlife diseases in your particular area, and potential adverse pet and human interactions with wildlife.
There are many ways you can enhance the effects of a bird feeder you already own and love. For one, moving water attracts different types of birds, like hummingbirds. Placing a dripper over your birdbath or near it will notify birds in the area that there is moving water, which they'll be able to locate from the sound.
Misters are also great additions to any birdbath, because they keep birds cool from above as well. These are especially great in warmer months when the water warms and evaporates quickly. They allow birds or small animals like squirrels to relax in the water without getting soaked.
Attracting birds and other creatures with your birdbath bowl can be exciting! However, this also comes with the responsibility of keeping it clean for your garden visitors. Ensure you're checking in on it every day, so it stays clean and free of garbage, debris, and feces.
Having a birdbath bowl in your garden or yard is rewarding for you and the animals you invite. Be mindful of the wildlife you attract to your yard and treat them with respect. Report observations of disease to your local or state wildlife agency and follow their guidance and recommendations to protect the wildlife populations in your area. If you do this, you can be sure to have a meaningful and beneficial relationship with the wildlife in your landscape.