Where would we be without a refreshing drink and a good shower (or bath, if that’s more your style), especially when the weather is scorchio? It would make life rather uncomfortable wouldn’t it? Now spare a thought for our feather friends. Imagine how tough it must be for birds in the heat of summer. They may still have chicks in the nest and territories to hold onto, so they can’t go wandering large distances looking for a suitable pool. Ideally, they need a reliable supply close at hand.
But drinking and bathing is a risky business if you’re a bird. When drinking, they have to bend down to sip, so they have to lower their guard each time they do. But it’s when they’re actually bathing that they are at most risk – their feathers are sodden with the water, and the sound of the splashing pricks up the ears of any nearby predator. Nevertheless, they have to do it, otherwise their feathers get dirty and dishevelled. Every bird needs its flying apparatus to be in tip-top condition, so making sure your water supply is in a safe place is really important.
Providing the perfect birdbath can be one of the best things you can do for wildlife in the garden, and one of the most rewarding, too. To see a stream of bathing beauties drop by to quench their thirst or for a full-on splash-about is great fun.
What birds really want from a birdbath is something that is like a wide, shallow puddle. That way, they won’t get out of their depth, there’s plenty of space to flap about, and every chance to do it in the company of others, which is always safer.