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Birds and water

(61 Posts)
Sunnysideup Tue 09-Aug-22 12:53:12

So….have put a bowl of water out for the birds. I thought in this weather they would like to have a nice cool bath. I’ve been watching diligently for two days and not a single bird has visited! Have I done something wrong?

Sunnysideup Wed 10-Aug-22 09:58:16

Ah right, so I thought that a washing up bowl would be ok because my sister is using the same and she has better luck! I’ve just found another plastic bowl that can be collapsed down so I’ll try that and also see if I’ve got a shallow plant dish as well. Thanks again.

lixy Wed 10-Aug-22 10:30:33

Birds in general tend to hide away in August as they develop their new feathers, so early morning and evening are the best times to spot them.

Pigeons are a pain in our bird bath too - an oily film and a hearty dollop of poo left as a thank you. Luckily our bird bath isn't very big so doesn't take a minute to wash and refill.

We have bird flu locally so need to be extra scrupulous about cleaning every day anyway, and feeders have been put away for now.

I also have several shallow trays around the garden filled with stones and water for insects. The little birds like these in the evening too.

Alioop Thu 11-Aug-22 12:19:54

I've a shallow bowl out, but I'm still waiting on the birds too. I put some bowls out at the top of my drive for passing dogs. I don't know why some take dogs out in the middle of the day in this heat anyway. I'll keep my fingers crossed for the birds arriving.

SynchroSwimmer Thu 11-Aug-22 12:25:38

I remember Bill Oddie in 1983 suggesting if we do one thing, just put some water out for the birds - have been happily following his advice since with lovely results…

Chuffed that I had a homing pigeon staying with me the past 10 days, got blown off course and she finally made it home to her owner 2 days ago. Only 5 months old, born this year, how amazing ?

SynchroSwimmer Thu 11-Aug-22 12:26:53

The other pic was to show birds at the birdbath…though the bath is hardly visible…

Alioop Thu 11-Aug-22 12:28:27

What lovely pics SynchroSwimmer

Shinamae Thu 11-Aug-22 12:29:59

I have many sparrows use my birdbath sometimes as many as five will be in there flapping about and occasionally I will get a blackbird in there as well. I make sure I change the water daily

J52 Thu 11-Aug-22 12:30:39

I have put a larger, shallow 50cms plant saucer on top of my bird bath. The birds come early in the morning, 7 am for a splash. 15 this morning. It’s located near a hedge, so that they can take cover if spooked.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 11-Aug-22 12:35:44

We have several shallow bowls dotted around the garden, they have been there for years, always topped up. We have a bird bath, also been there for years, always topped up with clean water.

I haven’t seen one bird use any of them this summer, hedgehogs come out at night though and have a snuffle around. So hopefully some wild life is getting the benefit.

Gabrielle56 Thu 11-Aug-22 13:17:53

Birds are a funny lot with water! If it's a new water station , they're dead suspicious and will watch to see if it stays and is filled, keep at it! Mine will bath in the tiniest little water to t and drink ,nearly toppling into a large sunken container, they're hilarious to watch. I'm sure your little bride will venture soon?????

Gabrielle56 Thu 11-Aug-22 13:18:41

#little birds!!! Edit tool please!!

Gabrielle56 Thu 11-Aug-22 13:22:10


I have many sparrows use my birdbath sometimes as many as five will be in there flapping about and occasionally I will get a blackbird in there as well. I make sure I change the water daily

I wouldn't bother changing the water why?! Birds drink and bathe in puddles canals rivers etc and the chemicals in tap water will probably do more harm than bit of grubbiness in the bath! Rainwater saved is best but I wouldn't advise changing with tap water!

Kate1949 Thu 11-Aug-22 13:24:10

There is a large crow sitting in our bird bath as we speak. Cooling off.

Nicolenet Thu 11-Aug-22 13:25:53

Maybe put a few stones if the water bowl is too deep for little birds to access easily.

Treetops05 Thu 11-Aug-22 13:55:08

It might depend on the depth, some birds are scared of deep water in a steep sided bowl...perhaps a shallow dish? Also, birds take a while to get used to new things- our new replacement bird feeder was ignored for 5 days...

Ethelwashere1 Thu 11-Aug-22 14:07:23

I sat in the garden today by my pond and watched baby blackbirds bathing. They loved it as it’s in shade. They watched me with heads on their side and chirped as I sat very still. Lovely it’s a priveledge to see wildlife

Foxyferret Thu 11-Aug-22 14:25:56

I have 3 birdbaths, two on pedestals and one on the ground no deeper than about 2 to 3 inches. They are all used so I clean and refill on a daily basis.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 11-Aug-22 14:27:42

I have an old fruit bowl with a stone in the middle and a twig poised as a ladder so mice and other small animals can climb out if they fall in.

The water level sinks daily, and here the heat wave has only just started, so someone must be drinking or bathing in the water.

I have deliberately placed it away from the house, as I know the hedgehogs are shy.

Bijou Thu 11-Aug-22 14:37:01

I have several bird baths but the favourite is a large one sunk into the ground under some shrubs.
Don’t have so many birds nowadays. Live in the middle of an estate where many gardens are gravelled.
I think there should be a ban on artificial lawns.

Glenco Thu 11-Aug-22 14:55:56

It's great that so many people are thinking of the birds while it's hot, but please don't forget the bees. They need water too, just a small dish filled with stones so they can land and drink, placed near a flower garden.

Scottiebear Thu 11-Aug-22 16:40:58

Does take a little while for birds to find and use bird baths. I have 2 in my garden and also put several bowls on grass in garden as we have hedgehog. The birds love their baths. They are a joy to watch.

pinkjj27 Thu 11-Aug-22 16:48:11

As long as it’s clean and your clean your dish regularly, and as long as it’s in a safe place away from Predators then I doubt you have done anything wrong. It takes birds a while to trust a feeding, bathing, resting place but they will. Once they have established that it is a safe reliable stop then please keep supplying the water.
I have a few water baths, birds don’t always bathe in them they drink and poo in them as well but I just keep them clean and allow them to meet their needs in any way they choose. The pound shop sell a pet cleaning spray for £1 and it seem to do the job well. Enjoy the birds in your garden

Juliet27 Thu 11-Aug-22 17:31:04

I wouldn't bother changing the water why?! Birds drink and bathe in puddles canals rivers etc and the chemicals in tap water will probably do more harm than bit of grubbiness in the bath!
Changing the water is more for health reasons. It may lessen the chance of spreading it should a bird have a disease.

Hetty58 Thu 11-Aug-22 18:14:03

I have three, well used bird baths in the back garden - and yes, I change the water twice daily. It's not wasted, though, as it waters the plants.

The birds 'hide' in the hedge during the hottest part of the day, so are busy at dawn and dusk.

This year, I've recycled a large old casserole dish to provide water at the front gate too - as, strangely, we've seen deer and rabbits about in the street. They must be seeking food and water as the nearby fields are dry.

Desdemona Thu 11-Aug-22 20:14:16

Not many birds apart from a few local woodpigeons, but a lot of wasps are drinking from my birdbath.