Keepings Your Birdbaths Safe for Birds

It seems odd to say that yes, birdbaths can be unsafe for birds if not properly maintained.  Luckily, there are three things to look for to make sure birds are safe in your birdbath. 

  1. The Bath: When choosing a birdbath, there are three things to look for: depth, a lip, and  washable surface. Depth is crucial to choosing a birdbath. If the bath is too deep or the  slope is too steep, birds can drown. Look for a bath that is around 1-2”. If you already  have a birdbath and notice it may be too deep or steep, add bricks or rocks to even the  surface and fix the slope. Birds don’t actually bathe so much as they splash themselves  with water. They need more of a deep puddle than a bath. There also needs to be a lip  or a ledge where the birds can stand to drink without getting wet. A lip allows the bird to  clench on with its feet. Lastly, stay away from traditional concrete as they foster algae  growth and often crack due to temperature changes. Look for a smooth, washable  surface that lowers the risk of bacteria growth. 
  2. The Location: Place the birdbath in a shadowed area away from bird feeders and  shrubs. Keeping the birdbath out of the sun slows down evaporation and algae growth,  as well as keeps the water cooler. Because birds are often predatory, keeping the  birdbath away from the bird feeder prevents possible altercations. Along bird feeders,  keep the bath away from thick shrubs and plants where cats may hide.  
  3. The Water: Do your best to keep the water fresh, ideally replacing it every day. Not only  is it better for the birds, it prevents algae growth as well as the spread of disease  between birds.  

Keeping your birdbaths safe is essential to ensuring the birds that have made your backyard  their home, keep coming back. Cultivating a bird friendly environment that is safe and useful will  increase the chance new birds will come as well.