Bird Baths

Bird Baths are Back

Josh Moses
At Hoselink we’re all about reliable gardening tools, but beyond getting the basics right we highly encourage you to add water elements to your outdoor space to increase its sense of relaxation and beauty. One of those water elements is the time-honoured bird bath. This simple water feature, which you can buy or build yourself, provides a beautiful service to the wildlife we live amongst and elevates our relationship with nature even further.

The benefits of bird baths

You can bird watch

Birds are fascinating creatures, and the more birds you attract to your bird bath, the more you’ll be amazed by the different varieties and colors on offer. Relax out on your balcony or in your garden, close your eyes, and listen to the birds’ songs. Bird watching is a hobby enjoyed by many around the world, and installing a birdbath might be a great introduction to it.

Bird bath up close

Learn something new and teach the kids

The next time you see them in your garden, bring your laptop or tablet out with you, have the kids sit down and give them a rundown of the different bird species that inhabit your area. Study the birds playing in your bird bath, and then see if you can find them online with a bit of research. Birdbaths are a hotspot to learn about the unique and wonderful habits of birds and introduce you to their daily routines.

Protect your garden

Bird baths attract not only birds, but also beneficial insects, such as bees and wasps. Although they can be quite unnerving while following you around, these insects, along with the birds, eat the other insects that tend to feed on your plants, fruit trees and vegetables. Attracting birds, beneficial insects and other natural forms of pest control helps reduce the need for harmful pesticide intervention.

Bird bath with view

Aerate your soil

As birds search for the insects, they like to feed on, such as ants, moths, beetles and worms, they kick up your soil with their beaks and feet. This action helps to keep your soil aerated, which is essential for the health of your plants. In fact, plants can die just as easily in moist soil that doesn’t have enough air pockets, compared to drier soil that does. One to remember when building your bird bath!

Tips to get the most out of your bird bath

Location matters

Birds like to be under some form of cover when stagnant so that they feel protected and secure. If possible, place your bird bath near shrubs, trees, or under a pergola cover. You'll also want to keep your bird bath away from direct sunlight so that the water doesn’t heat up and discourage the birds. An undercover spot can also reduce the evaporation rate of the water so that it lasts longer.

If your water sits at a cooler average temperature, algae won’t grow as aggressively and pesky insects won’t be as likely to lay eggs in the water. If putting your bird bath under full cover 24/7 isn’t an option, ensure it gets some cover from mid to late afternoon, which is the hottest part of the day in summer.

Bird bath in garden

Pick the right size and style

You might be thinking of a small-sized birdbath that’s on the cute and decorative side, but it might not be the best for attracting birds. We recommend a bigger bird bath with a wider bowl that provides more room for multiple birds to mingle together.

The same goes for bird baths with more depth. While a deeper bird bath means more water can sit inside the bowl, a shallower option (just an inch or two) tends to work best as the birds can linger, lounge and sip with ease. If you do happen to have a deeper bird bath, try adding some rocks or other fixtures that can sit around the bowl, giving the birds more options to land and perch on.

Keep your water fresh

The most important thing to remember is to regularly replenish your bath’s water as a part of your watering/gardening routine. Believe us, the birds will thank you for it.

If you’re using a Hoselink Oscillating sprinkler, or 9-Pattern Sprinkler on your lawn or garden, you can reposition your bird bath to take advantage of the spray for an automatic refill. With a drip watering approach, position the end of the drip line to refill your bird bath each time you water. However, using a standard hose or Retractable Hose Reel will prove to be the easiest and fastest way to top up your bird bath.

Bird bath featuring single bird

Clean your bird bath regularly

Ensuring that the birds around you have fresh, clean water is one thing, but it’s also critical to make sure the bath itself is kept clean too. Just give it a good scrub every week, breaking up any moss, algae or other grime that’s built up along the bath. While that should be enough on a week-to-week basis, we advise you to give a deeper clean using a stronger cleaning mixture every couple of months, guaranteeing that the bath will always be pristine.

Provide additional features

Almost all bird bath owners who manage to attract a vast number of birds will tell you that one of the best tricks to use is to incorporate a moving water feature in your bird bath, which can be achieved in many ways. If you’re lucky enough to reside in an area with a stream or moving water within your own property, position your bird bath nearby, or consider working a fountain or small pond into your current setup.

See if you can find any water movement devices from your local gardening or hardware store. Adding a dripper not only adds that interactive element to your bath, but also doubles up as a way to slowly replenish your bath. You can buy drippers that connect to a spigot, or simply use a bag with a hole or watering can that can hang from above and attract local birds with each splash.

Water features in bird baths

Protect them from your pets

Cats and dogs are some of the worst enemies of your visiting feathered friends. You don’t want to invite them over to your backyard just to have them tormented by your own pets!

The feathers of these little beauties tend to absorb much of the water they bathe in, meaning they get heavier and slower the longer they’re in your bath. This can make them more susceptible to your cats and dogs, who might see them as easy prey or as toys. To avoid this disaster, position your bird bath well away from where your pets can reach them, or in a spot that can adequately conceal them.

Keep in mind that placing your bird bath near a tree would allow the birds to simply fly up should a cat or dog make a run for them. It’ll make the birds feel at home and safe, and act as a nearby escape route.

However, avoid placing the bowl directly underneath any branches, as your bath will most likely be hit with leaves and other debris.

Cat running in backyard


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