How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds

Provide Fresh Water for Birds Tips for a Reliable Water Source to Attract Birds #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators

8 Tips for Providing a Water Source Attract Birds to Garden #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators

Attract Birds to Your Garden DIY Birdbaths Tips #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators

How to provide a reliable water source for birds can be easily accomplished. With a little effort on your part, of course. In this post, we are going to show you how easy it can be to create a water source for birds.  

How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds Bird Resting #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators
How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds – Bird Resting

Four Components to Attracting Birds to the Garden

As you may already know, there are four components to attracting birds or wildlife for that matter, to any garden. Beginning with a variety of food sources for birds that are available throughout the year. In most typical gardens, there is an abundance of native plants, insects, earthworms, seeds, berries for birds to eat. These are readily available over the Spring season and into the Summer. However, food becomes more scarce in the Fall and in some areas even non-existent over the Winter months.

Second to food sources, is water. Birds not only need water to drink but to bath with. Bathing is necessary for birds. Providing a clean source of continuous water for birds is a must to attract birds to the garden. If you consistently provide fresh clean water, birds will frequent your garden. The third component is to provide a habitat for birds. A place where birds can seek refuge from inclement weather as well as predators. These habitats are vital for survival of birds along with many other wildlife species.      

Create a Habitat for Birds #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators
Create a Habitat for Birds

Equally important and the fourth component is to provide a habitat for nesting and not to mention the safest place possible to raise their offspring. Without a proper nesting habitat, the survival success of the next generation of birds is at risk. 


How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds  

The second key point to attracting birds to your garden is to provide a reliable source of clean water. As mentioned earlier, clean water is necessary for birds to drink but to also bath in the water. Garden plants attract birds but not all birds eat seeds. Adding a clean water source in your garden will attract other non-seed eating birds. 

How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds Eastern Yellow Robin #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators
How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds – Eastern Yellow Robin

Attracting both seed eating and non-seed eating birds with a reliable clean water source, increases the variety of birds to your garden. And with a wider variety of birds, your yard becomes a more valuable habitat for wildlife. Along with an increase in bird sightings, you’ll most likely see an increase in butterflies, bees, toads, frogs, and more. The opportunity to increase the number of birds and varieties to the garden can be accomplished and maintained with fresh, clean water.     


Reliable Water Source – Traditional Bird Bath or a DIY Birdbath

I’m sure you’ve noticed birds bathing and drinking water from puddles after a rainstorm. Or maybe even notice that they’ll drink rainwater that has remains on a leaf or flower after a rain shower. Birds prefer shallow pools of water or slow streaming water sources. Likewise, the best bird baths have a gentle slope that allows birds to carefully wade into the water or puddle. 

Williamsburg Birdbath #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators
Williamsburg Birdbath

There are many bird baths available at home improvement or decorator stores. For example, this Williamsburg Birdbath is elevated and shallow to hold a small shallow amount of water. The depth of the bowl is a mere 2 inches deep. A perfect depth for drinking and bathing without becoming too risky for birds to use. The edges of the bowl are smooth, not jagged. Smooth edged bowls allow birds to stand on the edge without injuring themselves. A smooth edged, shallow bowl is ideal for birds to make their way into for a nice bath. As an alternative, you can achieve the same results by making your own bird bath. 

How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds with a DIY Birdbath 

How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds DIY Birdbath Using a Plant Saucer with Large Stone #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators
How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds – DIY Birdbath Using a Plant Saucer with Large Stone

As you can see, this is one alternative to making your own birdbath. The birdbath above is simple and more importantly, just as effective as a traditional birdbath. And above all, so easy to assemble. For this birdbath, the supplies you’ll need are:

5 to 7 pavers, slate, or flagstone pieces 
1 clean flower pot saucer or shallow dish
large stone or several medium size stones
Fresh, clean water

In order to stack these stones, both sides need to be flat. Otherwise, the structure is unstable and could topple over.  

Step 1. Place a single piece of slate or flagstone on a level ground. If the ground is not level, use a trowel to level the ground surface.  
Step 2. Then stack another piece on top of the first piece of stone. This DIY birdbath has seven pieces of stacked stone. In this instance, the stone not only serves as support for the bird bath dish but also provides a resting place for the birds.
Step 3. On top of the irregular stone pieces, place a saucer from a flower pot.
Step 4. Add a large stone in the center of the saucer. 
Step 5. Fill the saucer with fresh, clean water.

The large stone inside the birdbath bowl allows the birds to sit on the stone between drinking or bathing in the water. Another reason that I like this DIY birdbath is that during a rainstorm the pavers or slate pieces minimize soil or mulch erosion. As the bowl fills with water during a rainstorm, the water overflows onto the pavers slowing the water flow to reduce erosion. Pavers act as a buffer between the rainfall and the surrounding mulch and soil. 


DIY Birdbath Using a Flower Pot and Saucer

DIY Birdbath Plant Saucer supported by a Plant Container #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators
DIY Birdbath Plant Saucer supported by a Plant Container

This DIY Birdbath is even easier than the previous example. Supplies needed for this DIY birdbath are:

1 clean flower pot saucer or shallow dish
1 large flower pot (terracotta or heavy container)
large stone or several medium size stones
Fresh, clean water

Although plastic flower pots are less expensive they are not the best flower pot to use for this DIY birdbath. A plastic flower pot is too lightweight and may blow away on a windy day. Using a terracotta flower pot or any heavy flower pot works best.

Step 1. Place a medium sized flower pot on a level ground area upside down. In other words, the wider part of the flower pot goes down on the ground. You may have to use your trowel to level the ground if there is too much of an incline.
Step 2. Place a flower pot saucer on the flower pot.
Step 3. Add a few rocks or a large single stone. Note: this step is optional.
Step 4. Fill the saucer with fresh, clean water.

And you are done! So very easy that you can even have each of your kids build one in your garden.

Other Items that Can Be Used for a DIY Birdbath

There are many ways to build a birdbath using what you have on hand at home. Search your garage or shed for a wide, shallow dish. If the dish is dirty be sure to wash the dish with soapy water before you fill it with fresh water. Substitute a shallow baking dish, old skillet, or the lid from an old trash can for the birdbath bowl as long as it has been cleaned. Larger wider shallow bowls should have large stones or several stones to allow birds a place to stand without getting wet. This is especially important for birds to stay dry during the colder Winter months. And of course it is possible that the birdbath bowl may also attract bees and butterflies. The more the merrier, right?    

How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds Garden Birdbath with nearby Shrubs for Cover #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators
How to Provide a Reliable Water Source for Birds – Garden Birdbath with nearby Shrubs that Provide Cover

Place the birdbath in a shady garden area to keep water cooler and fresher. Select a garden site with shrubs or trees nearby. In the event of that a predator appears, the birds have a place to quickly seek cover. And nearby trees with branches allow the birds a place to preen after a bath. In the photo above, the large shrubs provide plenty of areas for birds and other wildlife to seek cover from predators.

Bird Eating Seeds #Wildlife #NativePlants #Gardening #AttractBirds #WaterSourceForBirds #WaterForWildlife #BeneficialForPollinators #GardeningForPollinators
Bird Eating Seeds

Additional Tips

It is important to keep cats faraway from areas where birds seek food or water. If you have a cat, keep them indoors as much as possible. For outdoor cats, always use a collar with bell that alerts wildlife that the cat is nearby.

Provide clean fresh water on a regular basis. Refill bird bath bowls every one to two days so that water is always its freshest. And wash the birdbath bowl weekly or sooner to prevent algae from growing on the bowl. Of course another important reason to keep water the freshest possible is that it prevents mosquitoes from breeding in the bowl.

If possible, place several birdbaths in your garden. The larger the garden area, the more birdbaths you’ll need. Place one in the very back of your home and another in the front and side yards. Offer birds several locations for drinking and bathing in a birdbath. You may notice different birds at each of the locations.

In Closing …. 

With a little bit of effort in providing clean water, you can attract birds to your garden. The rewards are immense and you’ll improve the wildlife value of your home. If there are other ways that you attract birds to your garden and wish to share those with us, please leave your ideas in the comments below. Meanwhile, happy birding!

You May Also Enjoy some of our other pollinator gardening related posts.   

How to Create a Wildlife Sanctuary with Native Plants 
Native Plants that Attract Birds
15 Bee Friendly Perennials to Make Your Garden Buzz 
Plants that Attract Hummingbirds 

And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. We always are ready to help you out. Thank you for dropping by.   


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