An important resource for bird wildlife and the soul: Set out a bird bath

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For several years we set up a bird bath in our backyard. In Oklahoma we have a variety of birds including Cardinals, Doves, Bluejays, Chickadees, etc. It was so peaceful to watch the birds bathing and drinking. They especially enjoyed cooling off on a hot Oklahoma summer day!

Alas, we adopted two abandoned neighborhood cats who are excellent hunters so no more bird bath (or feeders) in our yard.

Yet if you have the means and an opportunity to do so, I would highly recommend including a bird bath in your yard. You can enjoy the bird sightings (and sounds) from your patio,ย  and interact with wildlife while providing a much needed water resource for birds!

There are many resources available on the web on how to set up a bird bath. Some basics:

The lower a bird bath is to the ground, the more likely birds are to use it. Keep the bird bath in some shade, if possible, so water stays cool during sunny days. Birds also like to to hop up to a tree branch so they can “preen” and clean after a bath.

Water in the bird bath should be shallow (around two inches) so they can splash around safely and wade in it. Most important: Keep the bath water clean and fresh by changing the water every day or two.

Here’s a few other tips:

Happy bird watching!

DCG

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DrE
Admin
DrE
2 years ago

Thank you, DCG, for the tips.

I am surprised by this: “The lower a bird bath is to the ground, the more likely birds are to use it.” I’d have thought birds would feel safer if the bird bath were higher — away from predators.

Brian
Brian
2 years ago
Reply to  DrE

I thought the same thing when my wife hung the feeders but she said if there to high only a few of the birds would eat out of them. She puts out suet blocks as well for them. Sometimes I think she feeds them better than us lol.

Gracie Storvika
Gracie Storvika
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Now I am wondering if my bird feeder is to high. I have it attached to one of the T posts to the clothes lines, which would make it about 5.5 feet high. Should I try to lower it, and if so, by how much?

Gracie Storvika
Gracie Storvika
2 years ago
Reply to  DCG

Thank you, I’ll just leave it where it is.

Brian
Brian
2 years ago

The videos are so cool. My wife has wild bird feeders and we have about 180 acres of woods behind our house so we get all kinds of wild birds.
I told her when the seed is gone they sit and watch us if I can get some pics or videos she has take will post here if that is ok Doc. She also has a lot of humming bird feeders as well those guys are vicious when it comes to their food.

truckjunkie
truckjunkie
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian

That made me laugh,the birds staring at you. We put hummingbird feeders out in frontof the living room picture window,and when the food or water gets low,the hummingbirds hover at the window,glaring at us (well,they LOOK like they’re glaring…) until we fix it.

Last edited 2 years ago by truckjunkie
Jen
Jen
2 years ago

I live in the same state as the writer of this article. Right now we are all frozen up in this state. I have been passionate about wild birds and other wildlife for years. Birdbaths/water are the number one attraction for birds, more so than feeders. They donโ€™t have to be expensive.

Jackie Puppet
Jackie Puppet
2 years ago

I can remember my dog drinking out of my parents’ birdbath โ˜บ

A couple months ago, a black hen came into my life. One day, I was looking outside, and saw what I though was a black cat in front, trying to sneak up on the squirrels & birds I feed. I went out to chase it away, and was really surprised to see a black hen, which I’ve named “Henrietta”. While not common to see a chicken on the loose, I know living in a majority latino neighborhood, it’s not impossible either. A neighbor said that someone raises chickens a block away, but Henrietta wasn’t one of them. She sleeps in the next-door neighbor’s evergreens which is next to my house. I’d build a coop for it, and put it under my porch where she hangs out a lot, but I know that cats & other predators also lurk nearby at night.

She likes the sunflower seeds I feed her everyday, and sometimes she’ll be right in front of my door when I go out to work; she also recognizes my car when I get back & follow me up the porch, so she can wait for me to feed her some more.

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DrE
Admin
DrE
2 years ago
Reply to  Jackie Puppet

What a delightful story! Henrietta clearly has adopted you as her pet. LOL

Jackie Puppet
Jackie Puppet
2 years ago
Reply to  DrE

๐Ÿ˜„ I told her that in exchange for me feeding her, I’d like for her to lay a dozen eggs per month – but she hasn’t laid a single solitary egg for me yet! She also hasn’t let me pet her…

Jackie Puppet
Jackie Puppet
2 years ago

Henrietta

Henrietta porch.jpg
Calgirl
Calgirl
2 years ago
Reply to  Jackie Puppet

Jackie…is Henrietta an English Game Hen? She looks a little large for this, but I can’t tell from the photo b/c there is no scale. They are small birds, usually about half the size of other “standard-sized” laying hens. I had 3 once….prolific layers of small eggs…and very friendly. I miss mine and want a new batch of them when the time is right.

Jackie Puppet
Jackie Puppet
2 years ago
Reply to  Calgirl

I don’t know – I’d guess not. I base thi only on having eaten Cornish Game Hens before, and I know they’re smaller than chickens. Henrietta’s a full-sized chicken, but what “breed”, I’m not certain.

Hope this pic is a little better in terms of scale.

black chicken.jpg
Jackie Puppet
Jackie Puppet
2 years ago
Reply to  Jackie Puppet

one more in her “bed”

Black chicken in tree (2).jpg
Calgirl
Calgirl
2 years ago
Reply to  Jackie Puppet

Henrietta does look way larger than an English game hen by your added photos. If she is a “she” you might observe her for a day and see where she might be “nesting” outside of her tree roost. You might find eggs all over the place if she is a layer. Most of my hens laid inside the hen-house in their nests….but I’ve had some that laid eggs anywhere they wanted to out in the hen yard. Henrietta is a “free-range” chicken, so she could have eggs all over your neighborhood!

Calgirl
Calgirl
2 years ago

Don’t forget that your bird-baths will also service the bees! My bees visit my garden water fountain every day all day long. They use gallons of water every day that needs to be replenished. They are so used to me doing this in the recirculating water fountain that they allow me to walk among them without protection. They are my “garden bees.” They pollinate my fruit and vegetable plantings…We need to provide for them, too. And yes, I provide a large dishpan of water on the ground near edge of my back porch, to which birds flock to wash, drink and revel in, very near their feeders. I don’t really know why they like this arrangement, other than I feel they see the reflection of sunlight on the lower bodies of water and are naturally attracted to it, as tho’ it were a pond or such.