Watching birds can be a fun and educational pastime to do with your family and friends, and it's an easy thing to do right from the comfort of your home. Setting up bird feeders, bird houses, and bird baths are the best ways to attract birds to your yard. Birds go to any place they feel safe and where their needs are provided for. Bird bath fountains are especially helpful for enticing birds to spend time at your home. Here is some helpful insight to capture the attention of your feathered friends and encourage them to visit your home.
What Are Bird Bath Fountains?
Bird bath fountains are similar to bird baths but have a pump that circulates water so it moves, sprays, splashes, or dribbles. Bird bath fountains are available in electric, battery-operated, or solar-powered styles. Battery-operated and solar-powered bird bath fountains allow you to place it anywhere in your yard without the need for a plug-in. Fountains are also available in many different colors, sizes, and materials to accommodate any outdoor décor style.
Do Fountains Attract Birds?
Birds are attracted to moving water, and therefore are attracted to fountains. The sounds of flowing or dripping water help birds to notice the fountain. After they scan the area for danger and are comfortable with their surroundings, birds will begin to perch on the sides, drink from the bowls, and bathe in the cool water flowing down the sides of the fountain.
What is the Best Location for a Bird Bath Fountain?
Although birds are attracted to moving water, simply having a fountain in your yard isn't enough to entice birds to spend time at your home. However, there are some things you can do to create the perfect bird haven for your feathered friends.
Keep it in the Shade
Keeping your bird bath fountain shaded will keep the water cool on hot days and keep the water from evaporating quickly. Birds use bird baths to cool off on hot days, so maintaining a comfortable water temperature invites the birds to come back.
Low to the Ground
Birds generally look for water that is close to the ground, like streams or ponds, so keeping your water source on the ground is sure to catch a bird's eye. However, if you have pets or predators in your yard, keeping the water elevated just out of your cat's reach is best. Birds don't land where they feel unsafe, so keep anything that would cause harm away from your bird bath fountain and feeders.
Include a Perching Spot
An essential for any bird attractant is a place for them to rest and survey the area. Set up your bird bath fountain near trees, branches, or shepherd hooks to provide birds with a place to fly away from predators and rest before and after bathing and drinking. You can also add sticks or rocks to the bird bath to give a place for birds to perch in the bath itself.
Near a Food Source
Having a bird feeder in your yard in addition to a bird bath fountain increases the odds of birds visiting your home. Keep the feeder close enough to the fountain that it will be noticed, but not so close that seeds and bird droppings fall into the water. Keeping the water clean is vital and encourages birds to return.
Make it Convenient for You
Since keeping the bird bath fountain clean is so important, it's helpful to keep the bath somewhere you can see easily and get to with little effort. This makes refilling and cleaning the fountain easy. On warmer days, expect to fill the fountain more frequently, and when it's windy or you notice the water is messy, remove debris and freshen the water often.
Tips for Drawing Birds to Your Bird Bath Fountain
Once you have your bird bath fountain set up, it may (and probably will) take awhile for birds to come. It will take some time for birds to realize the fountain is there and become familiar with the surrounding area. All you can do is keep the bath ready for your flying guests and be patient.
Keep it Clean
Not only does regular cleaning keep your bird bath fountain free of algae and bacteria, but it also attracts more birds and keeps them coming back to your yard. Birds splash and bathe in the water, leaving behind feathers, feces, and dirt. Dirty water attracts mosquitoes and other disease-infested insects to the bath, which can cause birds to become sick. To avoid this, regularly scrub the fountain with an abrasive cleaning solution and bristle brush to remove mosquito eggs, algae, and other debris.
Bird baths and fountains should be very shallow. According to World Birds, you should keep 0.5" to 1" of water around the edges of a bird bath and no more than 2" in the center. If you purchased a deeper bird bath fountain, you can make it easier for birds to use by adding small rocks or pea gravel to the bottom. This makes the bowl shallower and allows birds to stand and shake their feathers in the water easily.
Birds look for water that is close to the ground, so placing a bowl of water on the ground may sound like the best way to attract birds, but this only works if there are no predators or dangers to the birds. If you have an outdoor pet, select a bird bath fountain that is elevated to keep them out of the bird's way. It is also a good idea to have nearby perching options for the birds to fly to if they feel attacked or afraid.
Solar vs. Electric
There are many types of bird bath fountains to choose from. They vary in shape, size, color, style, and power source. When selecting the right fountain for your outdoor space, consider where you want to put it and determine what power source will work the best for you. Electric fountains are easy to set up, but require electricity (and a plug in) to power the pump. Whereas, solar fountains can be placed anywhere in the yard that has direct sunlight for at least 8 hours a day.
If you live in a cold climate or experience cold winters, you may want to consider choosing a fountain that has a heating element that can keep the water from freezing in harsh temperatures. Keeping the water warm will also keep the birds from freezing as they fly away from your bath.
Keeping your bird bath out all year round, especially during migration seasons, will allow you to watch several kinds of birds in your yard. As birds fly from place to place, they look for safe places with food and water. Keep an eye out for migrating birds as you watch from your living room or kitchen window.
Now that you know a bit more about how to attract birds to your yard, get out your bird watching book so you can learn about each kind of bird that comes to cool off in your bird bath fountain. Remember, be patient with the birds and they will come to you soon! Check out this article to learn about the best ways to attract birds with feeders.