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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?

crazyH Thu 11-Aug-22 20:20:58

Can’t wait to see some sparrows drinking from my large shallow plant saucer

Yoginimeisje Fri 12-Aug-22 07:30:33

Yes I love watching the birds have a drink from my bird bath, it has a fountain which keeps the water moving, I have a saucer underneath for hedgehogs too. I'm getting another large tree trunk planter today, which I'm going to use for some more water and intend making a small pond. Didn't know about putting stones in, so will do that when I get my tree trunk watering hole. So thanks for that advise.

I have 2 squirrels come every morning to pinch the bird food, they never drink from the water fountain though [?] or I've never seen them drink. They are so funny with their antics!

TwinLolly Fri 12-Aug-22 08:19:58

We have a large but shallow ceramic flowerpot dish which works wonders. We have put in a graduating rock at the side so the birds can inch their way into the water if necessary, but at least have an idea of how deep the water is.

Needless to say, they sit up to their bellies in the water. Up to 6 sparrows/bluetits bathe at a time or 5 and a blackbird.

At the moment it is the youngsters that are learning to bathe and some stand on the edge and try to wash by dipping their heads into the water, until an adult or older bird gets into the water and shows them how it is done.

Witzend Fri 12-Aug-22 11:01:33

I think they need to be already used to it, OP. We have 3 shallow bird baths (two on the ground) year round, plus a fountain. All very well used daily - the bird baths often need topping up in the afternoon because of all the splashing.
We feed the birds too (a lot!) so there are always plenty about.

Sunnysideup Fri 12-Aug-22 12:25:46

These two shallow dishes have been out now since Tuesday pm but still haven’t seen any visitors. However, I’m not about all day watching so maybe I’ve missed them. However, reading your comments has been an education and I’ve really enjoyed learning about the complexities of birds and water! Thank you again.

Pedwards Fri 12-Aug-22 13:20:09

Like other GN posters, I have several around (good for insects ie bees and butterflies too) and have just bought another for my front garden. I agree, it can take some time for new things to be trusted and used. I’m eager to attract wildlife to my garden, I feed the birds and plant for bees and butterflies. Someone else recomended using some stones for insects to bathe. Other tips are using glazed saucers and dishes so that they can be washed to avoid the build up of algae and disease (like bird flu), water should be changed daily and pots and feeders cleaned weekly and not to use plastic or metal as it can affect the water and might be toxic for wildlife.
Birds appreciate fresh water in the winter too, for a bath so that they can fluff up their feathers to help them keep warm.

Washerwoman Fri 12-Aug-22 15:49:10

We have two birdbath and last year made a wildlife pond at the end of the garden and they are in constant use.The birds definitely have feeding and siesta times we have noticed.It's all quiet now but in a couple of hours they will be back to feed and splash about.I particularly love the starlings in the morning. About 12 in and out of the bath have a great time.

Washerwoman Fri 12-Aug-22 15:51:30

Ps I put a couple of large stones in each bath for insects to land on and drink with less risk of drowning.The bees use them all the time.

Shizam Fri 12-Aug-22 22:36:08

Yes washing up bowl is too deep and slippery to get out of. Suggest shallow terracotta plant saucers. Been doing it for a few years. Bees, cats, foxes, many birds all love them. And as for the wood pigeons that use it as a toilet/bidet, seems to be a common problem. Cheeky beggars!

Shandy3 Sat 13-Aug-22 20:12:06

Birds don't like it too deep if it is they won't use it, they need to be able to settle on an edge to drink then assess the depth before venturing in. Washing up bowls mean they need to hop in to drink if the water is low and won't hop in if the water us too high,