Despite what the weather might be telling us, at least here in the Ottawa area, the official start to the fall season kicks off tomorrow. As the summer-like weather continues, we must be mindful that despite the unseasonable sunshine and warm temperatures, our feathered friends are very much preparing for their long voyage south.
As many of us are undoubtedly enjoying the warm weather, we too are preparing for fall as we organize our yards, garages and in our cases, bird feeders and all the accessories that come with them.
One such area that might require some attention this year, in particular, is our bird baths. With the warm weather continuing, you might have noticed more activity than previously in the year. While this has much to do with migration, it also has to do with the fact that it has been quite dry here for the past month or so, as opposed to the rather damp summer we have had otherwise.
If you are venturing out into your backyard, here are a few tips to give your bird baths the fall tune-up they need and your birds deserve.
There are no “official” rules to the birding game, but there are certainly a few recommendations. One such recommendation is to shy away from placing both feeders and bird baths beneath trees.
The reason why is two-fold, for one, feeders positioned beneath trees and other structures give easy access to your feed to other visitors such as squirrels, raccoons and the like. While many of us are ok with some “variety” at our feeders, there are some who like to reserve the seed for the birds.
Additionally, the shade and leaf litter that can gather in a birdbath located beneath a tree can mean terrible things for your bird bath. In addition to the obvious dirt and grime that can build up, dirty bird baths can also be breeding grounds for bacteria and disease transmission so be sure to always keep them clean throughout the fall season.
Cleaning Bird Baths
The process is pretty straightforward, just ensure you are being “gentle” with any cleaning solutions you might be using. We will use some bleach in the event of really dirty baths, but only a capful and we are always careful to thoroughly rinse out the bath afterward ensuring no cleaners or other harmful chemicals are left behind.