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The Bird-Bath Wonderland for Winged Wildlife

One thing I love about being in the garden this time of year is watching the ensemble of songbirds and other winged wildlife. And one of the things that winged wildlife loves about being in any summer garden is the added attraction of a water source.

Birds Love Water

Birds need water to drink and bathe, and the magnetic attraction is even more powerful during the hotter days of summer. One of the easiest ways to provide that water source is to add a bird bath. It’s not only a great way to offer water, but watching birds bathe is quite entertaining as they swiftly dunk their heads in the water while splashing their wings to soak their backs.

An added bonus is that you can turn any birdbath into a water source for butterflies, dragonflies and other winged wildlife with just a few simple tweaks. But I’ll reveal those tips at the end.

We have four birdbaths set up in different areas of our gardens–we’ll, it’s five if you count the fountain. But there’s always room for more and I found plenty of options at my local K-Mart as well as K-Mart’s online store. You’ll find a variety of materials and styles, from glass, to stone, to rustic or old world and even contemporary. I especially like the dragonfly embellished glass birdbath for its colorful whimsy.

Choosing the Best Bird-Baths

Offering multiple birdbaths in different sizes, locations, and at varying heights will always attract a wider variety of birds to your yard–even birds that you may not have seen before. For example, you might include a bath at ground level (mourning doves especially are drawn to this height), one or two baths that sit on a pedestal or stand of some sort, and a bath that hangs from a tree branch or shepherd’s hook. And a diameter of 20 inches or more will be roomy enough to accommodate a bevy of birds.

The best location in which to place your birdbath will vary. Most songbirds prefer a sunny open area within 10 to 20 feet of shrubs or trees, however a location underneath the canopy of a tree will offer protection from hungry hawks should they be hovering overhead. Just make sure the location is in an area you go to often so you can keep the bath clean and filled with water. Of course you also want a good view in which to enjoy the show.

One last thing — I did promise to reveal a few tips to make any birdbath more appealing to a variety of winged wildlife. All you need to do is create shallow pools of water within the birdbath by adding a few large pebbles or river stones. Not only will birds come visit, but you may discover hummingbirds and butterflies at their “customized” watering hole as well. And placing a few partially submerged rocks or branches will serve as perching platforms for butterflies, dragonflies and other beneficial insects.

So what is your birdbath of choice and what winged wildlife does it attract? - Kris Wetherbee

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  1. Excellent ! I'm considering getting a multi-level larger bath, for the squirrels are also regular visitors to my birdbath :) Thanks, Kris !

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