Make your own birdbathFresh, clean water is sometimes hard for a bird to find, and a birdbath full of it will attract more species of birds than a feeder will.
By: Emily Jaakola, Pine Journal
There is nothing like watching the birds splash around a birdbath in a summer garden. Fresh, clean water is sometimes hard for a bird to find, and a birdbath full of it will attract more species of birds than a feeder will.
Joan Arney – a Carlton County Master Gardener – shares some tips on what makes a good birdbath.
A good birdbath:
A good birdbath should be no more than two to three inches deep in the center, and shallower toward the edges. This way, a bird can ease its way in.
Has a rough bottom
Birds can easily lose their footing in a glazed, slippery birdbath. Appropriate materials include ceramic, terra cotta or concrete.
Has sound and movement
The sound and movement of water is an invitation for birds of many species to check out a birdbath. It also helps keep insect larvae, such as mosquitoes, to a minimal level.
Is away from predators
Cats and other animals like to hide in bushes and other shrubbery. Keep the bath five to 10 feet away from such places.
Has an escape route
Birds can’t easily fly when wet, so position the bath under a branch, so the birds can hop onto it if necessary to escape a predator. Also, birds are more likely to come to the bath if it is in the shade of a tree, since they do not like to fly in the open.
Is within reach of a hose
This makes the birdbath easier to clean and refill. Birdbaths should be cleaned and refilled once a week. This can be done with a simple baking-soda scrub, or with a mixture of nine parts water and one part bleach.
A birdbath can also function in the winter months with the installation of a birdbath heater.
To make your own homemade rhubarb leaf birdbath, follow the instructions below:
1. On a sheet of plastic, pour a large pile of sand, forming a hill.
2. Choose a young rhubarb leaf that is in good shape, but not too large or the leaf may break. Lay the leaf upside down on the pile, so the back of the leaf faces up and the front of the leaf forms a cup over the sand.
3. Mix a material such as cement patch to a browniebatter consistency and cover the leaf. Make sure to not go too far past the edges of the leaf.
4. Cover this with plastic and let sit for two to three days.
5. Once dry and solid, uncover and turn right-side up. Peel off the leaf.
6. Seal the birdbath with Thomson’s Water Sealer. It can be stained or painted with watered-down acrylic paint.
7. Set on a bucket or vase outside.
This birdbath should be brought in for the winter and treated every few years.
For more information on how to make this birdbath, call Joan Arney at (218) 384-3406.