Birdbath

So, you’ve kept vegetable beds clear of nasty weed killing agents, and have made the green space honeybee friendly – but have you tended to your birdbath lately? A garden birdbath is a simple-to-add, easy-to-maintain backyard component that benefits produce, birds, and other beneficial critters.

Your garden provides the cheapest therapy ever. The trusty organic produce provider keeps you nourished (your summer salads are full of leafy greens and fresh veggies) and mentally sane (when stressed, walk through the lush landscape: water, weed, repeat.) Your produce-heavy oasis also is a peaceful sanctuary for wild creatures, too.

Benefits of garden birdbaths

Birdbaths provide feathered friends with drinking and grooming water. After birds finish their cleansing ritual, they take flight and hunt for breakfast. While birds hunt for scrumptious worms, insects, seeds, and flowers, they also:

  • Aerate soil
  • Groom dead plant material
  • Keep plants healthy by consuming pests

Birdbath water also gives beneficial insects (think wasps: they like to munch on cabbage worms and other garden foes) a cool place to chill out and hydrate.

Don’t have a garden birdbath?

Don’t sweat it. Anything – and we mean anything – can be used as a birdbath. Shallow, waterproof pans work. So do large plant saucers.

In the Mother Earth News article “Birdbaths Are Good for the Garden,” Nan K. Chase touts the benefits of shallow concrete birdbaths:

“In my 25 years or so of watching birds at my birdbath, I have come to think that birds favor a plain concrete bowl, especially one with a very shallow pitch rather than a deep pool. The shallow pitch lets smaller birds wade in, where they can stand up and clean their feathers instead of having to jump in.”

Good to know!

Just be certain to support your birdbath on a pedestal (a few bricks, etc.) with a level base.

Birdbath maintenance

  • Help birds easily spot predators by weeding around the birdbath.
  • Empty birdbath water daily.

For more birdbath maintenance tips, click here.

Resources:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-community/backyard-wildlife-zmaz86sozgoe.aspx

http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-community/make-your-garden-a-bird-habitat.aspx

Image: JohnONolan