Birds and other garden wildlife need access to water for drinking and bathing all year round. Dry summer months and during frosty winter spells are two obvious times when liquid water can be in short supply.
Bird baths and shallow sided water dishes are available or you can easily make your own. Position the bird bath or drinking dish so that birds and wildlife has a clear view all round to keep an eye out for predators. Drinking and bathing water should be changed daily and surfaces washed thoroughly on a regular basis to avoid the accidental transmission of disease and parasites.
Bird baths should be large enough for birds to spread their wings for a thorough wash but shallow enough to allow them to stand in the middle. Generally speaking 5-8cm of water is ideal.
Bird baths should also have a rough internal surface so that any birds or animals using them can get a purchase on the base to allow easy ingress and exit. Drinking bowls on the other hand should be smooth to prevent the buildup of algae and detritus.
We’re now all used to putting food out for garden birds throughout the year but water is still often overlooked, however it’s every bit as important, if not more so, that feeding. Whether it’s a broken pot, a kitchen saucer, purpose made bird bath or luxurious wildlife pond, let’s help our wildlife and make sure a refreshing drink is always available when it’s needed.