Bird Baths – The Pros & Cons
If you want to feed the birds at home, then you need to make your garden a warm and inviting place that the birds will want to visit. Adding a birdbath can be a great way to do this, but there are some pros & cons to having a birdbath that you should be aware of before you make any decisions.
What Is a Bird Bath?
A birdbath is a small shallow basin that is filled with water and left out in your garden. It can help provide birds with water to drink and to bathe in and this can attract a lot of birds to your garden, it can, however, cause some problems and you need to make sure that you have thought of all the pros and cons.
The Pros of Getting a Bird Bath?
Bird Baths Can Attract More Birds To Your Garden
Birds will be looking to land somewhere where there is water. If your garden has water then a bird is more likely to want to stay and feed there.
This is great if you are a home birdwatcher or enjoy feeding the birds as it means more birds will visit your garden. Birds will be attracted to any kind of water feature like a pond or fountain, but if you don’t have one of these then a birdbath is a great alternative way to attract birds and give them water.
They Are A Safe Way For Birds To Get Water
Birds need water to survive. They get thirsty and exhausted just like any other creature and they must have access to good clean drinking water. This is especially important in summer when birds can overheat and need to drink water to keep cool.
You can leave water for birds in any sort of dish that is shallow enough for them to stand, but deep enough to wade in. a large bowl or dish can be left on the ground for birds to bathe but this can leave them open to the ground predators.
Birdbaths are elevated meaning the bird can get to the water and not have to be on alert for a cat or fox that might be waiting on the ground nearby.
Keeping Clean Can Help Birds Survive
Birds need to do something called preening, this is when they use oil from something called their preen gland to coat their feathers. This oil coating will help keep their feathers strong enough to fly and more importantly keep them waterproof so they can still fly even if it rains.
The Cons of Getting a Bird Bath?
You Need to Keep Filling Your Bird Bath Up
Birdbaths need to be constantly filled with water. You need to be able to keep an eye on the birdbath a make sure that the water levels aren’t getting too low.
Constantly refilling the birdbath can be a chore especially if you struggle to carry heavy items and you can’t be filling and carrying a basin once a day. You can fill the birdbath with a garden hose, but in high temperatures, in summer there may be a hosepipe ban and then you might not be able to fill your birdbath.
They Can Leave Birds Open To Predators
Although a birdbath can keep your garden birds safe from ground predators they might still be at risk of attack. There are other predators like birds of prey who might be able to swoop down and take birds from the birdbath, especially if the birdbath is in an uncovered area that the birds of prey can easily get to.
They Can House Disease and Make Birds Ill
Birdbaths can end up spreading disease like avian flu and making birds very ill. If birds are constantly washing in your birdbath then the water can quickly become contaminated with dirt, bacteria and faeces which can become a breeding ground for germs that will make the bird in your garden very sick.
Some avian diseases are spread very quickly and if just one sick bird uses your birdbath, then every other bird that uses it can catch the illness. Remember to regularly clean your birdbath to stop the spread of diseases and make sure to always wear gloves and keep safe when you are doing so.