Keep Those Birds Coming: Why You Need a Bird Bath in Your Yard

by | Oct 13, 2020

Are you thinking about adding a bird bath to your garden? Bird baths attract many types of birds, including songbirds that blanket your garden in harmonious chirps. However, bath areas for birds do more than beautify your garden.

They also help birds survive. At a time when birds are losing more of their habitat, bird baths are important now more than ever.

This article will explain how bird births can help more birds survive. Let’s explore. 

Why Do Birds Need Bird Baths?

Bird baths allow birds to bathe and drink. Like all animals, birds need water to survive.

In most cases, birds get water through their food, especially birds that consume insects regularly. However, some birds need more water than others.

  • Example: Smaller birds need to drink water two times a day.

Additionally, all birds lose water when they defecate. Therefore, they need regular access to water to stay hydrated. Many birds get their water from ponds or creeks. However, water supplies can be hard to come by in certain areas of the country.

In polluted regions, they may drink from dirty water sources that will jeopardize their health. By providing a bird bath, you’ll give birds access to clean drinking/bathing water. 

Why Do Birds Bathe?

Birds bathe to clean their feathers. They must wash their feathers to eradicate dirt and parasites. Additionally, bathing helps them preen more often. Bird preening keeps their feathers clean.

Many birds have a preen gland that covers their feathers in a waterproof, oily substance. A bird bath is an additional aid that helps them maintain their feathers. 

Moreover, birds bathe to stay cool, especially during the summer. They can lower their body heat when their skin contacts cool water.

You may notice birds fluffing their feathers and spreading their wings when bathing. Most likely, they’re trying to cool down. Birds need to stay cool as mammals do.

Birds often pant like dogs do but not to the same extent. Their version of panting entails breathing open-mouthed to expel heat from their bodies.

With that, panting isn’t enough at times, and there is no substitute for water. Cool water will help them dissipate the heat within their bodies.

Birds Need a Helping Hand

Due to increased deforestation and urbanization, birds are losing more of their habitat. In certain parts of the nation, many builders around the nation are tearing down forests to build more neighborhoods and commercial centers. 

A loss of their habitat means they’re exposed to heat during the summer. As humans encroach on their habitat, they lose access to shelter and water. The reduction in forests can also disrupt their migration patterns

Worst of all, insect-eating birds have a harder time finding prey as pesticides reduce the insect population. Since many birds get their get water from insect prey, fewer insects mean less water consumption. A bird bath can help them access as they find new ways to adapt.   

  • Note: You can also add a bird feeder and bird house if you want to create a new home for them. Be aware, however, that not all birds eat birdseed. However, most types of birds will visit your bird bath. 

You may also notice the same birds coming to your bath daily. 

How to Attract Birds

Overall, some great birdbath accessories include:

  • Water Dripper: A water dripper allows you to mitigate water flow to a slow drop. It also helps you ward off evaporation during the hotter months.
  • Water Agitator: Water agitators keep the waters moving. Birds enjoy moving water.
  • Bird Bath Heater: Heated bird baths prevent the water from freezing during the winter. It may also attract birds who otherwise don’t visit bird baths. 

All of these accessories will help you attract more birds. You can also make your yard more bird-friendly with a larger bird bath. Large baths allow more birds to congregate.

However, larger bird baths require additional maintenance.  

Another way to attract birds is through a bubbling birdbath. The bubbling sound lets birds know that water is in the vicinity. You can also add a fountain so they can hear the rushing water.

For deeper bird baths, you can add rocks at the bottom. Rocks allow birds to stand as they’re bathing or drinking.

Additionally, place the bird bath in a shaded area. Shaded areas will keep the water cooler. You can place it near bushes or trees.

Birds are always on the lookout for predators. A bird bath closer to bushy or woody areas will make them feel safer.  

When it comes to water levels, it depends on what type of birds you want to attract. Use shallow water if you want to attract smaller birds.

Conversely, you can attract small and large birds by creating a shallow end. To create a shallow area, add more rocks. From there, add fewer rocks in another area for larger birds. 

In terms of the best bird bath material, plastic is one of the strongest options because it doesn’t freeze during the winter. On the other hand, a concrete birdbath can crack in cold weather. 

The Ecological Impact of a Bird Bath

A bird bath allows you to create a natural habitat for birds. Birds need water to wash dirt and parasites away from their feathers. Access to water also helps them survive, especially during hot temperatures. 

In addition to bird baths, you can add a feeder and bird house to accommodate more birds. More importantly, you’ll play a vital role in helping birds survive as they cope with habitat loss. 

Are you looking for other ways to beautify your garden? Click here to learn how to decorate your yard. 

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