Having a birdbath in your backyard is a surefire way to attract more birds. Plus, it will help you attract a greater variety of species at the same time.
Programs like the Habitat Network and the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat emphasize the importance of offering water as part of your birdscaping plan, but what if you’re just getting started? What should you know first? Take a look at these tips and tricks to get your birdbath started off right:
1. The Right Location Really Does Matter
Birds like cover—it makes them feel protected and secure. So if you can place your birdbath near shrubs, trees, or other cover, there’s a greater chance they will use it. In addition, it’s best to keep your birdbath out of direct sunlight so the water doesn’t get too hot and undesirable.
Finally, be sure to pick a spot where you can see it. You want to be able to see and enjoy the birds that stop by, so put it in an area that you will see regularly.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Go BIG
You might come across a small birdbath that is oh-so-cute and decorative, but that’s not necessarily the best for attracting birds. Definitely look for a bigger birdbath with a wider bowl on the top, which provides ample room for multiple feathered friends to stop by all at once. You could also do two or three birdbaths in a single area, which is a really pretty way to landscape as well as a great way to attract more birds.
3. Give Your Birds Perching Spots
Some birdbaths are deep, which isn’t really appealing to songbirds. Just an inch or two works best. If you happen to have a deeper birdbath, you can make it more appealing by adding in a few rocks in the middle or along the edges. This will give birds a place to land so they can splash and preen themselves in the water.
4. Keep Your Water Fresh
The single best thing you can do to attract birds with your current bath is to keep the water fresh. Include refreshing the water in your birdbath to your regular yard routine or watering routine. It’s such a simple thing, but it will truly make your space a lot more appealing to birds.
5. Clean Your Birdbath Regularly
Refreshing the water in your birdbath is a good way to ensure your birds have clean water, but it’s also imperative to clean the bath itself. Cleaning doesn’t have to be long or involved. Just give it a good scrub on a weekly basis, breaking up any algae or other material that may have collected.
Fresh water and a good brush scrubbing every week is really all you need to keep your birdbath clean. But every now and then—a few weeks to a couple of months—use a simple cleaning mixture with your scrub and be sure to rinse well after to keep your birdbath pristine. By having a clean birdbath, you will greatly increase your chances of appealing to birds!
See also: How to Clean Your Bird Feeders
6. Add Movement to Make Your Birdbath Even More Enticing
Every successful backyard birdwatcher with a birdbath will tell you that one of the secrets of attracting birds is to offer moving water. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Maybe you’re lucky enough to live in an area with a stream or moving water right in your own backyard. Perhaps you have added a water feature to your yard like a big fountain or a small pond.
For those of us who aren’t as lucky, look for water movement devices or mini solar fountains to try. During colder months, it’s a good idea to add a heater as well. Yes, winter is still a good time to use a birdbath to attract birds—and by adding a heater and something to move the water, you’re almost guaranteed to attract unique visitors.
7. Try Putting Out Birdbaths During Migration Times for Increased Activity
Birdbaths are good year-round—especially during migration season, which offers the chance for unique or rare visitors. Not all birds come to backyards for seed or suet, but they will all stop by for water. You might even be able to lure birds like tanagers, warblers, and buntings to your yard, particularly at the peak of migration season when there’s a lot of movement occurring.
Birdbaths will absolutely increase the bird activity in your backyard. So go out and get one to put alongside your feeders and houses. It’s a great step for making your yard even more appealing to birds throughout the year.