Sunday, 18 December 2016

Taking care of your bird bath

this bird bath broke!
This one was stolen in Ottawa.
It broke my heart.

I've had some trials and tribulations keeping water available for my birds (and my other friends)!

My late parents gave us a beautiful one for a wedding present in 2002. It was stolen in June, 2004. I've had a plastic one, but it doesn't quite cut it.

You can buy shallow birdbaths, which have heaters built in, but I like the bigger one. I have the heater in the bottom, as well as a small water pump that circulates the water. Since we are anticipating -20 C. this week, we need something sturdy and deep. In summer I clean the heater well, and put it away.

syphon works well
I went with this large birdbath. The larger it is, the more water, and the cooler it stays in summer.
scrub brush
It does tend to grow both algae and mosquito larvae in summer. Not only do you have to refresh the water, you have to scrub and clean the container out. I use the old water to water the plants, then refill it with clean water.

I've used a plastic tube as a syphon, but you can buy gas syphons, which you must only use for the bird bath.

Also, scrub brushes are excellent. A long handle can be awkward, I like this kind.
You don't scrape your knuckles on the cement sides!

The heater failed, one year, and the entire bowl cracked. If I'd been vigilant, I would have spotted it earlier. In fact, this fall, the heater cord became unplugged, and it was beginning to freeze. I spotted it in time, as it didn't entirely freeze overnight.

heater and water pump

It's important to clean it regularly in summer, too

A robin (it overwintered), and a mourning dove.
The heater failed.
3-pronged extensions chords,
wrapped well with duct tape
Robin having a bird bath
Love the different birds at the bird bath!
I'd spotted the deer sucking up some water at the birdbath. The heater works well. I clean it regularly, thankfully!
Good thing I added water to the bird bath yesterday. Today I need to add more.


Anvilcloud said...

You certainly keep on top of things and help the critters.

Nancy Chan said...

Beautiful bird bath. Because of your kind consideration, the birds and other friends can have fresh water from the bird bath. I like your videos showing how the different birds and the deer enjoying the bird bath.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh but Jenn, your dedication to providing this goodies brings such dividends to your window view!!! YAM xx

Ontario Wanderer said...

Nice work. We feed but do not water the birds. The deer just wonder through our yard at night but not during the day.

Red said...

That's dedication and testing. It's funny the deer don't knock it over.

Cat Lover said...

Wonderful videos. We've never used a heated birdbath but it is something I will look into. Your sure do get much use. In Nova Scotis we regularly had deer in our backyard and at the feeders. So beautiful!

Debbie said...

Good tips, I always try to keep up with mine!! Water is as important to the birds as food!!

William Kendall said...

The birds- and the deer- certainly appreciate that!

Kay said...

I remember reading in Illinois that birds really need water in winter when bird baths often freeze up. You are wonderful to help your wild friends.