birdbath - Knowledgebase Question

Sloansville, Ne
Question by plstory
February 16, 2010
I inherited a metal birdbath. Each year it gets a burnt red looking substance in the water on the bottom. I at first thought it was off of a tree but I am not sure if it is out of the metal. Any ideas on what it may be or if I can put anything on the bird bath that would seal it but not hurt the birds? Thanks for any help you can give. Pam

Answer from NGA
February 16, 2010


I can't tell from your description whether the metal is rusting or if you are getting an algae bloom in the water. Most algae are green but there are reddish colored algaes, as well. Until you can determine the source, the easiest solution is to dump the water out, wipe the birdbath dry and then fill it with fresh water. You should do this regularly anyway, just to make sure the birds have clean water for drinking and bathing. The algae is easy to treat - just dump the water out and wipe it off the surface of the birdbath. Rust will be more difficult to contend with. There are waterproof sealers available but I don't know whether or not they are safe for the birds. You may need to check with your local Audubon chapter or even a local veteranarian. Wish I had the expertise to help. Good luck with your birdbath.

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