Birds need water in all seasons. They need it to bathe and keep their feathers in tip-top condition for good insulation during the bitter winter nights. They need it to drink, too.
Seed-eating birds in particular need water, as their main food source is very dry. Insect-eaters need more water in the winter because they do not eat as many juicy caterpillars.
Use a shallow dish or an upturned dustbin lid sunk into the ground. A small rock in the middle will help the birds reach the water easily. Clean it often, as a layer of algae, dead leaves and bird droppings soon builds up.
Site your birdbath carefully; birds need clear visibility, nearby bushes for cover and perches on which to sit and preen.
A pond provides water for birds, but make sure that it has at least one shallow side – it will attract plenty of other wildlife to your garden, too.
Remember to break the ice on your birdbath in harsh weather.
A variety of birdbaths are available from our mail order catalogue, on-line shop and at RSPB shops.
It is important to replenish your birdbath regularly with fresh, clean water.