The Deal with Stones in Your Birdbath
You hear it all the time… or maybe not? Adding a large rock or stones to your birdbath helps birds. It’s absolutely true, especially for juveniles venturing out into the world after springs’ nesting season.
Shallow, shallow, shallow is best, with a maximum depth of 2-3 inches. If your bowl is deeper – just don’t fill it all the way. While adult birds tend to maneuver with more agility, babies can easily drown in your birdbath if the water is too deep.
A recent post on this topic (on a social network) was shared far and wide because it was a good story. The person saw the bathing bird in distress, and slowly walked over with a stick, but the bird didn’t fly away – it remained in the bath struggling. When she gently extended the stick over the bath, the bird hopped right on it. After placing the stick to the ground, the bird hopped off… but could not fly. She immediately thought of a wildlife re-habber and called, but the bird eventually took flight.
Drowning indeed he was, the water being too deep, with the sides of the bath too tall and steep for escape. The little guy was lucky someone was watching! Wet feathers can’t fly, this is why he hopped under the brush instead of flying to a nearby branch. It illustrates exactly why folks are always saying to put rocks or stones in your birdbath.
Baths with a gentle slope or walk-in sides are easiest on birds because they imitate shallow pools or puddles found in nature. Texture is always helpful too, as it allows tiny feet the ability to grip.
The stones can be anything from colorful decorative ones, to a large natural rock, river rock, lava rock, or simply stones from the garden. Anything that allows birds to “hop up onto” will be used and appreciated by feathered friends. For better footing, landing and perching spots… and maybe even to save a life!
The Neighbor’s Cat and Ground Bird Baths
The Rocky Mountain ground bath with dripper is pretty cool, birds actually sit and wait for it to start in the morning… but it no longer sits on the ground due to man-made predators 🙁
One of the oldest and most intense arguments… cats vs. birds and there’s basically two sides; birders and the people they refer to as “cat crazies”- those who let their cats roam because they believe it’s good for them. Ferals who roam are a problem for birds (but that stems from human ignorance too). Still, there are birders who are responsible cat owners and keep their feline friends indoors. We fit this category – four cats, whose outdoor time consists of a screened porch, and they’re pretty happy with the arrangement.
The neighbor “rescues” cats from the shelter, but they stay outdoors for the most part, which drives me bonkers! At times it’s infuriating, heated words have been exchanged on several occasions. The husband says “just shoot the cat”, but truth be told, I’d rather shoot the wife because it’s not the cats’ fault! Suggesting the cat sport a collar with a bell worked, but it really doesn’t help the birds too much.
A couple of cool ground bird baths are always in use around our yard, but they’re not on the ground anymore! This stinks because birds tend to bathe more naturally at this level. Enter tree stumps, large planters, small tables, and anything else that will add height to the bird baths. An excuse to add yet another, hanging style too.
The dripper birdbath now sits atop of a large planter, the big wood textured bird bath will look good on a tree stump, and the birds will definitely adjust in a day or two at most. Would’ve much rather kept things status quo, but it’s really not fair to the birds. Their lives needn’t be compromised due to the neighbor’s stupidity! And hey… one more hanging bath to maintain won’t make a big difference in the scheme of things… especially since we’re already known in the neighborhood as the crazy bird people 🙂
Unique Birdbath & Planter Set Creates a Mini-Oasis
Songbirds can be attracted to the smallest of spaces… with the right stuff! Elements found in nature are always best for birds; plantings that produce a food source and fresh water, they just can’t be beat when it comes to helping wild birds thrive.
Our hand made birdbath & planter lets you combine those elements in a stunning fashion. Whether your yard is monstrous or miniscule, you can create a one-stop oasis by planting for the birds and offering a fresh water source in one. Equally suited for deck, patio, or balcony, it’s ingenious!
Nectar producing flowers like petunias, lantana, salvia, and impatience work perfectly in the generous planter bowl, and it’s very likely that hummingbirds and butterflies will frequent these flowers for a quick meal.
The bath itself is glazed inside which helps water stay cooler. Adding a few river rocks or decorative stone makes the pool even more inviting by offering easy spots to land and perch, especially for fledgelings and juveniles during spring. Adding them will also help trap sediments at the bottom of the bowl. But when temperatures really start to heat up, water should be changed every other day. Because that’s the trick… if you keep it fresh – they will come!
In brilliant blue, green or turquoise, this bath and planter set packs a big punch for a small space. Beautiful glazed pottery, colorful annuals, and vibrant birds of spring and summer! What gardener could ask for more?
Another birdbath set worth mentioning features a bee skep, although strictly decorative. The bath is actually hand painted, and the large pottery skep makes for unique garden sculpture.
Now, about that special Mother’s Day gift – there’s no way you forgot mom?