Birds Gardening

Stones in a Birdbath Help Attract Birds

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Stones in a birdbath give your feathered friends a choice of bathing depths.

Some commercial birdbaths look visually stunning, but when you install them, birds avoid them.

Quite often the cause is just that they are either too deep for small birds or the bottom is too slippery for them to feel at ease. To correct the problem, simply put pebbles or stones on the bottom, or even just a rock with a sloping top, so that at least one section is shallower than the rest or even exposed, offering a variety of depths. That way each bird can choose a depth at which it feels comfortable.

More Tips

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Admittedly, starlings aren’t everyone’s favorite birds, but watching them bathe is a lot of fun!

Here are a few other tips on how to make your birdbath both popular with birds and safe for them to use:

  • You can place a bird bath directly on the ground if the spot is out in the open, but if there are shrubs or plants nearby where predators (especially cats) can hide, birds will hesitate to use it. In such spots, it’s better to put it on a pedestal;
  • For the same reason, in some locations, a birdbath hanging from a tree will be the safest;
  • Change the water every day or two to prevent the growth of harmful microbes.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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