We continue our series on making our gardens great for wildlife.
Water is really important at this time of the year. You may think that because we live in a wet place there is lots of water for birds available, but of course it is also really cold – especially this year – and birds will find puddles frozen and they cannot drink seawater so anything you put out for them is a huge plus.
The best thing to put out is a birdbath. Here are the important characteristics of a birdbath. It is so simple you will have one up in not time at all.
- Shallow enough for birds to bathe in.
- Clean water – rainwater is best, but if not, you can fill it from the garden tap.
- Finally, not frozen. To defrost your birdbath, pour hot water into it every morning. DO NOT ON ANY ACCOUNT PUT IN ANTIFREEZE OR SALT. you can also float stick in the bath. This helps to keep the water moving and not get frozen, so they say. I just put the kettle on and do it as part of the morning ritual as I make coffee.
That’s it, sooooo easy.
You can use any contained or create a small pond using pond liner. My first birdbath was the old baby bath which was no longer used for the boys when they outgrew it. You can fill it with stones to decrease its depth. I also use old bowls, dishes, etc, as long as it is large enough for a bird to have a splash in.
Often people have birdbaths which are placed a little higher in a predator (cat) proof place, so the birds can have a peaceful bath.
Clean the bird bath regularly.
Enjoy watching your feathered friends enjoy themselves.