It’s no secret, we all need water to survive. While you certainly have a few natural water sources around your yard or neighborhood, having a dedicated bird bath directly in your yard has a variety of benefits for our feathered friends.
When it comes to choosing a bird bath, the options can vary quite widely. From concrete baths to plastic baths, to artisanal baths, heated baths and so much more.
What style or size of bath you choose to include in your yard does not affect the birds nearly as much as how you choose to take care of the bath itself.
Here is where it can get a little bit tricky. When it comes to placing your bird bath in your yard, it’s important to choose a place that is great for the birds rather than strictly for viewing. We typically will place our baths around large trees and other areas that provide good cover. What this does is allows birds to slip down into the bath from the cover of the trees or shrubs and have a quick bath and a drink without exposing themselves too much.
Obviously, a placement such as this does come with a sizeable investment on your part. As debris and leaf litter falls into the bath, we always must be diligent in cleaning it out and adding fresh water to avoid contamination.
Benefits of Bird Baths During the Summer Months
As the spring migration season begins to cool off, our birds that put on some miles this year are often in dire need of repair and maintenance. Just the same as we would check and change the oil in our cars after a long road trip, our birds need a place to repair their feathers after their long flight.
Just the same as debris and dust can affect the performance of a fan, any tiny particles on birds wing feathers affect their ability to fly efficiently. Having to use more energy than they normally would, leaves them susceptible to infection and in some cases, death.
Additionally, a well-placed bird bath gives you viewing opportunities you might not otherwise have. For many bird species that are not seed-eaters, you will never get them to your feeders but they can and will visit your bird baths. Countless times we have spotted scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings and a variety of flycatchers at or around our bird baths, giving us a whole other level of birding fun!