Installing a bird bath in your yard for the very first time will take you a long time to attract birds to it. Add a lot of patience and skillfulness to it as well. Take the Jays, for example; they are among the easiest ones to attract to bird baths, but they too are shy during the initial visitation.
Thus, I will share my best tips on how to attract birds to your bird bath fast! Now, the main key is patience. Follow these tips and be consistent.
1. Tempt with moving water
Birds cannot resist the sound and sight of water. If you want to attract more of them to your bird bath, you know you have to do so with dripping water.
For this purpose, you can use a sprayer or a commercial dripper or simply recycle a plastic container or bucket. Since birds love moving water, fountains would make a great addition for you.
Any cool fountain or a water pump would work well. Solar fountains are the perfect choice because they eliminate the necessity of bothersome extension cords.
The best solar fountains are lightweight, easy to move ones. You may consider a SOONHUA Solar Panel Water Floating Fountain Kit, Ankway Solar Bird Bath Fountain, and a Free Standing 1.4W Bird Bath Fountain Pump.
2. Create a private 'hot tub'
Bird baths are a hotspot for birds all year-round. Keeping bird baths ice-free is essential but as critical as made out to be. Birds are created with physiological mechanisms through which they can conserve water through dripping icicles and snow too.
The simplest way to provide water is in a plastic bowl daily. Manufacturers now offer thermostatically controlled heated bird baths.
You can also find immersion heaters easily. While most heaters automatically plug off when the water dries up, it is still ideal for plugging in heaters with ground-fault interrupted circuits to prevent electric shocks.
You must also avoid antifreeze at all times since it is poisonous for all birds and animals. Glycerin is harmful as it saturates feathers, causing hypothermia. When purchasing a new bird bath, you must verify that it is the best value for the price, is thermostat controlled and style keeping your space in mind.
3. The right location is the key
Since birds typically find water from nature, they prefer baths placed at the ground. However, this makes them vulnerable to predators, like cats, lurking close by.
If you have a pet cat, you must ensure that it is away from your birds. However, for the other threats, you must keep a fairly wide space between your bird bath and the nearest shrubbery so that birds have ample opportunity to escape in case of predators.
Birds use your water not only for cleaning themselves up but also for staying cool, so you must place your birth bath in a shady and cool place. Trees nearby also offer branches for them to preen on.
Keep your bird bath in a partially or completely shady area of your yard so that the water remains fresh, clean, and cool, and the birds remain safe from potential predator attacks.
4. Choose the right material
While the traditional concrete bird baths work pleasantly well for almost all backyards, there are some even better alternatives now available with more advantages.
While concrete bird baths are absolutely beautiful, they can crack when frozen and are difficult to clean.
As already mentioned above, birds prefer a bird bath at the ground level, but this is not always possible for several reasons. So, the better option in such a situation is a plastic bird bath.
It is easy to clean and does not break when the water freezes in winters. My personal vote is the plastic bird bath available on Amazon. It comes with preheating and can be clamped or screwed to your deck.
5. Encourage perching
Birds need perching spots. Certain bird baths are deep and not suited to the minute size of songbirds. For them, an inch or two is ideal.
So if you have purchased a deeper bird bath, you can add in a few rocks in the middle of the edges to give the birds a landing place to preen and splash. You should also add in stones or branches so that birds can safely drink without getting wet in freezing temperatures.
Some rocks at the bottom to provide a platform for the birds to stand on when bathing. To provide a better footing, line your bath basin with large stones or pea gravel to make birds feel less vulnerable.
Most bath basins are lined with glazed ceramic, which appeals to the eye but is very slippery. It is best to check the surface for slipperiness first. Add gravel stones to make it safer to use if needed. Even bird feeders work as a great perching platform.
6. Keep the depth reasonable
Aim for a reasonable depth in your bird bath. Look at it as a shallow bowl, which is what the standard bird bath is.
Maintain around 0.5 to a 1-inch depth at the edges and 2 inches maximum in the middle. You must also keep the bird bath low and shallow to the ground.
The best bird bath comes with maximum of 2 inches depth and not more in the middle of the bath basin.
It is also essential to put some sand or rocks in the middle of the bird bath so that the birds have a platform on which they can stand while cleaning themselves.
7. Keep the bath out during the 'rush hour'
In times of increased activity like the migration times, it is best to place your bird bath out. Since bird baths are high in preference all year round, especially when migration is at the peak, it is the best time to spot some rare and unique visitors.
Not all birds are attracted by suet and bird seeds, but they never refuse water. With water, you can even lure birds like buntings, warblers, and tanagers to your yard if you’re lucky.
The migration season is the peak time of bird movement, so this is when the finest guests may land at your place for water. Bird baths are guaranteed to increase the bird activity in your yard, place one alongside your houses and feeders to add even more appeal.
8. Keep your bird bath clean
Keeping your bird bath full at the peak of winters ensures more bird activity. However, to offer safe and hygienic bathing and drinking source, it is necessary to replace the water with a fresh offering every day or two.
Bathing birds almost always leave behind feathers and dirty droppings, making the water unsanitary for other birds.
Any neglect in cleaning regularly will cause algae to grow faster and more mosquito species to transmit viruses in bird baths. Nest vile viruses frequently contaminate bird baths with their eggs.
By regularly changing the water, you eliminate the possibility for the larvae to emerge or eggs to hatch. Keep the bath basin clean or feathers, leaves, insects, things, and other stuff with a stiff-bristled brush and some abrasive cleaners. Birds love a fresh and clean bird bath more than anything in the world.
9. Create a bird-friendly landscape
To create an ideal landscape for your birds, adorn your yard with plants that birds love. More than a dozen species love the bittersweet orange berries. This grows vigorously and offers seeds to hungry birds and ample shelter for them too.
American Cranberrybush Viburnum is also a great option for your birds. They have abundant tart red berries that provide the best food and moisture and shade to your little pets too.
Birds, which can attract the most songbirds for you, are Virginia creeper, aster, sunflowers, Aster, Black-eyed Susan, marigold, and some others.
10. Install nestboxes
It is important to install bird houses in your yard as well. This is because they offer refuge during winters to roosting birds and increase the possibility of birds nesting and staying there as spring approaches.
Any box, which you erect before February, has more chances of being occupied. Nest boxes are meant to provide a secure and comfortable environment for your friends. It keeps them safe from extreme weather and predators.
You must plan strategically, and the best options are trees, walls, and buildings, according to the area you have. By fixing a nest box to an artificial surface will save you from considering the growth of the tree.
The box in this way can last a good number of years for you. With a nest box, you not only provide a safe shelter for the vast number of species but also attract birds to nest, lay eggs and bring up a family right in your backyard! Don’t also forget to install a bird feeder camera.
11. Provide shelter (essential)
Cats are the worst enemies of your feathered friends. You don’t want to entice them to your backyard just to have them fall prey to the skulking beast around the bird bath.
Your little unsuspecting beauties tend to get heavier and slower as they bathe, which makes them easy prey for cats. To avoid this catastrophe, position your bird bath well away from the shrubbery or any object that could conceal a sneaky feline from your precious birds.
You must specifically maintain a space of 10 to 15 feet between the bath and any concealable spot. The ideal option is to place the bath near a tree so that the birds can simply flap up should a cat pounce upon them.
However, avoid placing the bowl under any branches, or else it will be flooded with seeds, leaves, and other debris of kinds. Keep an escape route close by to allow the birds to feel secure when bathing. A tree close by will make the birds feel at home and safe, but it shouldn’t be near enough to conceal a cat at the same time.
12. Keep your water fresh
The best thing you can do is to keep your bird bath clean and the water fresh. This is the finest way to attract a large number of feathered friends.
It is imperative to include a water cleaning and changing routine in your daily yard duties. The act is simple but goes a long way in making your space more appealing and special for the beautiful birds.
Like humans, birds, too, require clean and freshwater daily for bathing and drinking needs daily. Most birds drink water and bathe daily to clean off the parasites and plumages.
Providing fresh water daily ensures you have cleaned off the dirt from the previous bird activity and any risk of infection contaminating the water. Fresh water never fails to attract birds and will draw them in large numbers to your yard.