Think about it… before humans ever started offering bird baths for feathered friends, they got along just fine with shallow pools of water and puddles.
Freezing temperatures likely created some problems as the shallows froze over, making it more difficult for birds to find water. The concept of eating snow for water seems logical- but if you’re a bird it’s pretty much half baked!
The reason being is that it takes energy to convert the snow to liquid. This energy requires calories and it’s the calories birds spend all day consuming in cold weather. From dawn until dusk, most of the resident backyard birds will be at feeders and foraging for enough calories to make through another night. Calories provide the energy to keep warm, although nature has provided other mechanisms for that too!
You know when puffed up, big fat birds are hanging around feeders and they resemble little fluff balls? Feathers are fluffed as a way to trap heat beneath them close to the birds’ body. It’s one of the main reasons for late summer/fall molt when they shed old and tattered feathers. New feathers are sturdy, sometimes even brighter and more effective at keeping the bird warm.
So by offering shallow open water in winter, you help birds conserve energy. And since ground bathing comes more naturally, heated ground baths absolutely rock for winter! Easy to add a heater to an existing bath, or go for one with concealed heater- meant for year-round use.
Birds will flock to it in frigid weather as the design resembles those natural shallow pools and puddles. It helps create a perfect winter habitat along with feeders and shelter, and once weather warms up, simply tuck the cord underneath the bath!
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 🙂
Bold colors in the landscape can be lovely, be it flowers, statuary, or even a vibrant birdbath. But some gardens may better lend themselves to a more natural style, maybe a soothing zen-like appearance. These results are best achieved when using materials found in nature to create the space.
These most unusual teak bird baths fit the bill perfectly when more quiet surroundings are desired. Available in small or large, they may be placed directly on the ground, deck or patio, or raised using a nice planter or iron stand. Birds do tend to bathe more naturally at ground level, but you can bet that fresh water is always welcome at any level.
Teak you say? Yes! It’s one of the most dense and durable woods available. You know that fine teak patio furniture (that costs a fortune) it’s made for outside and to withstand the elements. Made from reclaimed teak, these bird baths are sanded and polished to further protect them over the years. They’re beautiful in the landscape and no two baths are exactly the same. The generous thickness of the bowl and texture offers birds good footing and lots of perching spots too.
Although some of these bird baths are 5 to 7 inches tall, we recommend a water depth of just 2 to 3 inches for bird’s safety… especially this time of year when lots of babies start fledging the nest!
In all shapes and sizes, all colors and materials, no longer are birdbaths relegated to the mundane, heavy concrete pedestal types. Handcrafted by artists who have a passion for birds, today’s baths are sure to entice some new feathered friends to your place and look great while doing so! Many have matching planters or urns, and when placed in close proximity, they create a unique focal point in any landscape, or garden, porch, deck, or patio!
Fresh water is the best way to do it, you can really attract birds with nary a feeder or birdhouse. Use a native, flowering plant in the pot and you’ve got a food source!
Deck baths are quite popular for those with small yards… or no yards at all. You can catch some fantastic views of unassuming birds from inside your home too. Hanging baths offer birds protection should ground predators lurk around your home (cats).
The set shown above is light-weight & durable, and hand crafted from 60% recycled materials. The organic shape and textured design are cool enough to display them inside as decorative accent pieces… but the birds really won’t appreciate that at all!
Hand painted birdbaths serve as functional art for the garden, and this Goldfinch bath and planter are no exception. Crafted from fine clay, they may be a bit heavier than some of the recycled materials, or poly-stone resin baths, but nowhere near the weight of concrete.
Some folks wonder “what’s the best birdbath to get?” It is by far, the one you will maintain! Fresh water is a must, and it’s the only thing you have to do… keep it clean! So think about what will be easiest for you, because the birds will use and enjoy any fresh water source you provide!
Wait… no deeper than 2-3 inches, it’s the optimal depth for birds to bathe and wade safely. If the bowl is deeper, just don’t fill it to the top. A large rock may be placed in the center for birds to land and perch as well.
Elements found in the natural world are sometimes those that create a most unique setting or focal point in the landscape. Trends even point toward man-made items using recycled materials which create a finished piece that imitates nature herself. Most common in textile design, it’s spreading to all sorts of products these days.
Of these two unique bird baths, one is wood, and one is handcrafted using 60% recycled materials. Can you tell which is which? Actually, it’s pretty amazing stuff!
The first bath is teak, and you may think: Teak? Yes, because of the durable properties, and denseness of the wood, it makes for a really cool bird bath (no pun intended). Birds bathe naturally at ground level, and this beauty, complete with non-toxic sealant, provides an excellent water source to entice feathered friends. It’s simply gorgeous in the landscape, and durable just like that high-end teak furniture we all dream of having!
Now this is the bird bath that’s hand made using mostly recycled materials, but you’d absolutely swear it was cut from a huge old tree! The shape, texture, and color all say this is a piece of tree… but it’s not!
Any ground bath may be placed on a deck for great close up views of your birds. An old tree stump is ideal for placing one too. A plant stand, or even an interesting planter all make perfect choices for supporting a ground bath.
By the way, fresh water really is the best way to attract more birds, especially with the terrible heat and drought that’s plagued most of the country this summer. Just keep water fresh… and the birds will come!
Water has got to be the most effective way to attract more birds… and wildlife in general. If you think outside the box with bird baths, there’s really so much more out there than just your standard pedestals or hanging models. Bird baths come in all shapes and sizes, and ground bird baths will attract way more than just birds.
Here in the Southeast we’re experiencing the usual summer drought, with unusually high temperatures. Mid-June actually feels like August… it’s just brutal 🙁 I feel for anyone in the landscaping business or nurseries as their season was cut extremely short this year. Most pastures are looking like the outback-brown and crunchy.
Our yard features two leaf misters that emit a gentle spray for most of the day. This butterfly puddler is set below one of the misters and allows water to collect and “puddle”. All plants grow full and lush around the misters too. Seems this little guy has found cooling refuge from the extreme heat and beating sun. Butterflies, hummingbirds, frogs, lizards and so many others will frequent these kinds of shallow ground baths. Birds tend to bathe naturally at ground level, so it’s a most popular spot for them too.
When considering bird baths for your yard… next time think outside the box!