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A Few Tips on Buying a Bird Bath
The dog days of summer are here and there’s not much that’s more refreshing than a cool drink of water and a cooling dip in the pool, and it’s sure no different for our feathered friends. Could a bird bath be what’s needed to provide that cool drink and cooling dip? When given a choice between drinking and splashing around in a puddle filled with muddy water (when water"s available) or a bird bath filled with clean fresh water, which would you pick?
If you have thoughts of attracting birds, or you already have a feeder and are actively attracting them, a bird bath is an important addition to your yard. The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of bath you want to buy. Ideally you want to pick a bath that’s not more than 2 inches deep. I personally feel a flat bottom bath about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep works best allowing birds to drink and bath safely. Bathing is important for the removal of parasites, and cleaning dirt and grim which is important for feather maintenance. Bathing also allows birds that could overheat in summer a chance to cool.
The most popular types of baths currently on the market are;
· Pedestal: These are the most common baths on the market and are usually considered traditional baths. Though they may be common, they range in all sizes and shapes, and are made using a variety of materials such as plastic, cast stone, copper, and can be found in very modest style to beautiful sculptures.
· Hanging: This style is versatile and can be hung just about anywhere in the yard. It is probably the best choice for small yards and no yards. It can be hung from an apartment balcony or from a favorite tree.
· Heated: There are two kinds of heated baths, electric and solar powered.In northern climates where ponds, rivers, streams and lakes freeze over in the winter, a bird's most available water source is often snow. But it takes energy to melt snow. Birds need to drink and, if possible, bathe even in the winter. Dirty feathers lose much of their insulating properties, so a clean bird is a warm bird. If you live in areas where winters are extremely cold and you worry about birds bathing and then being unable to fly off in sub-zero weather when the water freezes on them, you can modify the birdbath to allow them to drink but not bathe. Cover the top of your birdbath with a piece of plastic-coated quarter- or half-inch hardware cloth. Or lace twigs or small branches across the top. Either method will allow the birds to stay dry while they drink through the openings.
· Deck Mounted: Like the hanging type, deck mounted baths are great for homes with small or no yards. Deck mounted baths can be set on a deck rail, or mounted outside a window allowing you to enjoy bird right from your house. Many deck mounted baths are also heated. The power cord is easily stored to make this bath a year round favorite.
· Fountain: One of the best ways to attract birds to your bird bath is the sound of running water, and one of the easiest ways to get the sound of running water is choosing a bird bath that doubles as a fountain. Not only will it attract birds, but the gentle and soothing sound of water running and the attractiveness of a fountain will add to any garden or yard. Fountain pumps can be powered by solar power technology or electricity.
Regardless of what style bath you choose, remember, once you put a bird bath into your garden it is your responsibility to keep it clean and filled with fresh water.
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