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Jul 16, 2016 4:59 AM CST

Anyone who's owned a bird bath...please give me some feedback/ideas. What do you use? What works? This is for a heavily wooded property...we saw our first hooded warbler yesterday and someone suggested that this species is shy but would enjoy a bird bath. We don't want anything fancy/decorative....we need something functional that birds will actually use. Do birds even really use bird baths?

Thanks for any/all input!
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jul 16, 2016 12:36 PM CST
Yes, birds do use baths, both for bathing and fresh water. They are drawn to running or bubbling water, but that isn't a deal breaker. Keep the water fairly shallow and/or add in submerged rocks to accommodate different sizes of birds. Any container will work. I have one which is a hammered copper dish that I wedge in the crook of a tree. It is perhaps 1.5" deep. I've seen a simple set up of a tomato cage with a plant saucer sitting in the top ring. Look around and see what you might have that would work, then experiment with placement. Birds like some sort of cover - a nearby shrub or tree - so they can quickly hide if threatened. Some folks add copper pennies to their baths for keep algae growth down. I position my bird friendly water sources near a hose bib and just dump and refill frequently. Good luck on your stewardship. And welcome to NGA.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

Jul 16, 2016 1:00 PM CST
Thanks so much for the advice Deb! I like the idea of something wedged in the fork of a tree...I'll start with that!
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
Jul 19, 2016 11:00 AM CST


Clean it out thoroughly periodically and completely empty it and rinse out very frequently to deter mosquitoes from using it to breed. In my area, there can be mosquito larva wiggling around within 3 days of putting out containers of water, not sure about how long it takes in other areas. During mosquito season I keep reminding myself about checking my wildlife water containers these days. Right now, my water containers put outside the fence usually go empty overnight. With temps very high here and no rain in a couple of weeks all the animals are thirsty.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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Jul 21, 2016 12:20 PM CST
I also put baths on the ground for other critters to enjoy too....seen the birds at them as well.
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.

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