Blue tit juveniles bathing in garden bird bath

Build a bird bath

Having some water in your garden can provide a ‘stage’ for birds to entertain you as they drink and bathe. Install a watery oasis, sit back and enjoy the show!

Birdbaths give our feathered friends a safe and reliable source of fresh water in cold and hot weather.

Blackbirds and starlings will often take a dip, while woodpigeons may just sit in the water to cool off.

Bathing helps birds keep their feathers in tip-top condition. You may even notice bumblebees flying down for a refreshing drink!

You can install a birdbath at any time of year, but summer is a particularly critical time when water can be scarce for birds.

If you prefer, you can still complete this Wild Challenge activity using a ready-made birdbath.

Did you know: Birds that aren't interested in food may still visit gardens where a good bath is available. Increase your chances of a bird-rich garden by building a birdbath today.


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What you will need

A bird bath is bound to be a splash-hit with your feathered friends and is relatively easy to build! You'll require:

  • A shallow, watertight bowl, such as an upturned dustbin lid or large circular plant tray. The perfect birdbath will have very shallow sloping sides, a maximum depth of only 10cm or so and be as wide as possible - ideally more than 30cm across.
  • Some stones or gravel
  • Bricks to raise the bowl up if it doesn't have a base
  • Rain or tap water

Step-by-step guide

  1. Lay out four bricks on a piece of open lawn or border, where the birds will have a good all-round view and can dart into cover provided by bushes or trees if they need to. If you have cats or they visit your garden, make sure there is nowhere they can hide within pouncing distance.
  2. Put your bowl on top of the bricks. Make sure it's stable.
  3. Is the birdbath slippery inside? If it is, the birds might slip into the water. Put some pebbles or rocks in the water to give them a better grip.
  4. Fill your birdbath with water. You'll need to keep it well topped-up in summer and ice-free in winter. In frosty weather, you should never use salt or de-icer. Pour in warm (not hot) water, or gently knock the ice out and replace it with fresh tap water.
  5. Sit back and enjoy!
  6. Don't forget to tell us when you have completed the activity! When you mark the activity as complete, you will be asked to upload a photo of your birdbath or a bit of artwork.

Completing the activity

Use the 'Mark as complete' button at the top of this page to tell us you've completed your activity. You'll need to show us what you did by uploading a photo of your bird bath, either complete or your family making it or some images of birds using it. You can send us some artwork instead if you wish.

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