Bird feeders can be a great way to attract birds to your yard, but another effective way is to provide birds with a source of water. Water sources can include fountains or bird baths. Birds are attracted to the water to drink, bathe, preen their feathers and socialize. Set up the right type, and you can attract birds to your yard all year-round.
Birds are attracted to moving water. Although bird baths with pumps and with fountains are great ways to attract birds with moving water, these things are generally not necessary if you change the water of simple often enough. Small, battery operated pumps can do the job and are inexpensive. If you would prefer not to have to change the batteries, more elaborate electric and even solar options can also be purchased.
Many bird baths are constructed of plastic. They are lightweight, durable, are able to weather the cold season, are not too expensive and can be purchased in a wide variety of styles and designs. With the variety of plastic models available, you are sure to find one that will fit well in your garden or yard. Metal ones are also a great choice, but should be brought indoors in colder winter months when debris and even the birds feet can freeze to the surface of the bird bath.
Basins should be no more that about two inches deep and slope gradually from the outer edges to the center. Bird baths of this depth will prevent the birds from possibly drowning.
Another advantage of bird baths of this depth is that they encourage birds to bathe and splash, rather than just for drinking. For basins deeper than two inches, stones or seashells can be placed inside to make it more shallow. The texture of these natural objects will also encourage birds to grab on to them with their feet.
Be sure to place your bath near trees and branches in the birds become frightened and need a quick escape route. However, do not leave them so close to trees, leaves and bird feeders that debris is constantly falling into the water. It should be located in an area that receives some shade during the day in order to discourage algae growth and so that the water does not get too hot. The bird bath placement should also discourage predators, such as cats and raccoons, from capturing the birds.