With summer here and temperatures on the rise, who isn’t looking for ways to cool themselves down? Flocking to (or even daydreaming of) swimming pools and the beach, with a refreshing drink at hand, is probably the logical thing to do. But what would the closest equivalent be, that would help cool our feathered friends in this heat? The answer is simple: a bird bath.
Providing a bird bath for garden birds is a kind and considerate act, especially important during summer when access to water is vital. It’s easy to make and you don’t need to consider yourself a master at DIY to make it – just follow our simple instructions.
What you need:
- A large terracotta plant pot (or more if you would like to make a tall bird bath)
- A large terracotta plant saucer, ideally with a rough surface and as wide as possible
- A few small stones
- Strong glue
- Acrylic colours
- Turn the plant pot upside-down, so that the base of the pot is on top. If you would like to make the base taller, use more than one pot, and stack one on top of the other upside-down. Important tip: if you choose to do a taller bird bath, try stacking the pots first without using glue, to decide on the height. Clean and dry the surfaces where you will apply the glue and then glue the pots together.
- Decorate the outside of the pot(s) with your favourite colours, patterns, drawings. This can be as simple or intricate as you like and you can dedicate as little or much time as you wish. Avoid colouring the top (the base of the pot), as that part won’t be visible with the finished bird bath.
- Clean and dry the surfaces that you will glue together: the base of the pot (as it is upside-down) and the bottom of the saucer. Put glue on the base of the pot and press the saucer down on it to make the basin. Don’t colour the inside of the saucer, as this could be harmful to the birds that use the bird bath.
- Once the colours have dried and the glue has set, your creation is ready!
Let’s prepare your bird bath for its feathered visitors. Put the bird bath in a level, open spot so that cats can’t creep up on it (aim for at least two meters from where a predator could be hiding). Birds will use the bird bath only if they feel safe. It would be good if there are some bushes or trees not too far away, so that if birds feel threatened they can hide in them. Put the bird bath where you can easily see it without getting too close, or at a spot that is visible from a window in your home. Now place the small stones in the basin, which will help birds not to slip if the surface of the saucer is smooth, and add fresh water (about five cm depth is ideal). Make sure to keep the bird bath clean and top it up with fresh water regularly.
Birds can be so fascinating to watch and this out-of-the-ordinary entertainment proposition can help us do just that, guaranteeing beautiful moments of wildlife observation, right outside our doorstep. Now that your bird bath is ready to welcome its first feathered visitors, prepare yourself with a refreshing drink in one hand and our bird guide ‘What’s that bird?’ in the other – just in case you need some help to identify the bird species that will visit you. We certainly hope you will forget all about your TV and tablet once you set up the bird bath, unless you use the latter to capture what you see and share with us and your friends! We would love to see a photo of your wonderful bird bath (with or without feathered visitors) in your garden. You can share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org