Where To Place A Bird Bath?

Where To Place A Bird Bath?

Providing a safe watering hole for our wild garden birds is a wonderful thing to do. It not only helps sustain life but also gives us the chance to observe our feathered friends as they drink, wash, preen and, in the summer, use the water to keep cool. Watching them fluff up their feathers and dip and dive in the water is a truly magical spectacle and one I never seem to tire of.

As you know, we design and sell copper bird baths and I am often asked “Where is the best place to put a bird bath?” To be honest, a bird bath can be placed almost anywhere! But there are a few things that you might want to consider whilst looking for the perfect spot in your garden.

First and foremost, you need to make sure the position of the bird bath allows for clear visibility so birds can see any approaching predators – think cats! Having an elevated bird bath like one of our TORI, FLORA or GELDA bird baths gives the birds a height advantage which can be very useful for spotting any predators who might wish to ambush them.

Willow Hanging Bird Bath

Willow Hanging Bird Bath

It’s also a good idea to try and put your bird bath quite close to a tree or a bush whilst also keeping visibility in mind. The foliage and branches of plants and shrubs provide a perch on which the birds can stand and survey the scene before taking the plunge! Birds are quite flighty when it comes to drinking and washing and the branches will also provide a refuge should they get a little nervous and wish to flit in and out to a less exposed place whilst they are bathing. The close proximity of the branches allows them the opportunity to fly to the shelter and reassess the situation before returning to finish what they started. You might even want to look at our SOPHIE or WILLOW bird baths which have been specifically designed to hang from small trees and provide birds, dragonflies and other wildlife with a wonderful watering hole.

The other consideration is the season. In the summer it’s best to put a bird bath in a partially shady part of the garden. The shade will help to keep the water cooler and fresher when it’s very warm and sunny. Just like us, when it’s hot birds love bathing in cooler water! In the winter when the temperature drops into single figures and below you may want to move your bird bath and position it in a spot that gets a bit more sunshine. This can help warm the water and any winter sunshine might even help melt the water should it become frozen. Please do use any anti-freeze of any sort as this is poisonous for birds.

It might also be an idea to think about how you are going to refill the bird bath and therefore consider placing it within reach of a hose or maybe you could position it somewhere you pass by quite regularly so you can keep an easy eye on the water level.

Whilst keeping these points in mind I would say that you should always put a bird bath somewhere where you can see it! This way you’ll have front row seats for watching the enormous amount of splashing that goes on when a bird really starts to bathe or take quiet enjoyment watching them take a quick drink.

As you can imagine we have a few dotted around our garden and they are ALL visible from our house and all are used in one way or another. The ones in the flower beds a little distance from the house are used for bathing and drinking but the one outside my kitchen window and close to my ELIZABETH Bird Feeder Tree is always busy as a place to drink. Lots of wild birds such as finches mainly eat seeds which have no moisture content (unlike bugs and berries) so it’s imperative they have access to drinking water.

Wildlife love moving water so you could think about putting a solar panel fountain pump in your bird bath. I love the one I bought and it fits all my VERDIGRIS bird baths. The baby birds love it and I can’t tell you how many sparrows it attracts during the summer months. AISITIN SolarFountain Pump.

A little bit about hygiene: Because the water in a bird bath is not refreshed or renewed by natural running water it is really imperative that you clean any bird bath you have in your garden. I clean mine every couple of weeks and more often in the summer. I remove the dirty water and then I use some copper wire wool to scrub off any bits before rinsing them and then spraying them with an avian-safe disinfectant. I then wipe this off and sometimes I rewax the copper before refilling the bird bath with fresh water. In the summer I do this even more frequently, sometimes every day depending on the heat and how many visitors it has. Disease and viruses spread quickly so it is really important to do this regularly and to make sure the water is free from bird poo, leaves and dirt. If you see sludge or green algae this is another indicator that it’s time for a clean. Copper is a natural algae prohibitor which is useful.

This regular cleaning is a great reason to keep a bird bath in reach of a garden hose! However, our bird baths are easily moved so you can pick them up and take them to the water source and give them a good clean before reinserting them back into the ground either where they came from or into a new spot. If the hose can’t reach my bird bath, then I use a watering can or a jug.

If you want to read a little more about why birds need to bathe and how they preen their feathers have a look at the Garden Birds website: Bathing, Preening & Bird Baths.

I hope these few words on where to place a bird bath have been useful but please contact me if you have any questions or want to know more about any of our bird baths.

Flora x

I am a trained chef, a wife and a mum to four amazing boys (some of whom are now actually men)! I have been lucky enough to live in Cornwall, London, New York, Melbourne and Hong Kong before settling in Hampshire.