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May 23, 2015

Do-it-yourself birdbath from Audubon couldn't be simpler

A Pine Siskin is about to bathe in a birdbath which was removed from its pedestal and laid flat on the ground in a flower bed, in our garden.
Here's an incredibly simple way to create a birthbath from Monico Russo and Audubon.   Birds rely on water for drinking, grooming,and staying cool.   But during hot summers and extended droughts, water can be hard to find.   By adding a simple birdbath to your yard (you can make one from a cake pan!), you can help birds now and into the future as climate change makes summers in many areas hotter and longer.
1. One shallow pan, such as an old cake pan, not more than 2 inches  (5 cms) deep.   Or use a flower pot tray: the flat, shallow tray or pan that's used under a flower pot so it won't drip when watered.   This should also be less than 2 inches (5 cms) deep.
2. A few large pebbles or a flat rock.
1. Choose a good site to place the bath.   The ground should be level.   There should be some evergreens or other shrubs nearby.   Pick a site where you can easily watch the birds from a window.
2. Set the pan or tray down and fill it with water.   Be sure the water is only about an inch (2.5 cms) to an inch-and-a-half (3.8 cms) deep.
3. Toss in a few large pebbles or a flat stone.   These will give the birds confidence to enter the water because it will help them to judge how deep the water is.
That's it.   Pretty simple, right?
 Goldfinches are particularly fond of this elevated birdbath which is just 2 or 3 metres from their favourite feeding perches.
This birdbath is a little too deep for the smaller birds to bathe in but they do drink from it.The larger birds, such as robins, bathe in it regularly.
 Several species of birds use the same birdbaths in our garden and it is a common site to see mixed species at the same time, such as the Northern Cardinal and House Finch above. 
An American Robin gets its money's worth at this birdbath.   It's not unusual to have two or three robins waiting their turn to use this birdbath.
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