What ever the weather it is extremely important to provide a supply of clean water for Wild Birds visiting your garden, whilst Wild Birds have no sweat glands and therefore do not need to drink as often as we do, they do need to drink at least twice a day to remain hydrated, and more often during hot weather. Wild Birds also need to bathe regularly to enable them to preen and keep their feathers in good condition, during extremely hot weather Wild Birds will also bathe to cool down, if possible it is a good idea to provide more than one drinking and bathing area in your garden. According to the RSPB many people provide food for birds and do not think about them needing water, many assume because they can fly they can easily find a pond or a stream nearby, but remember during prolonged dry periods these water sources can dry up, or equally in very cold weather freeze up, so providing a regular clean water supply would be gratefully received by your feathered friends. Equally it is just as important to provide an escape route from any deep water containers you may have in your garden, this can simply be a floating piece of wood, fledglings are like young children, they are inquisitive and need to learn of dangers, many fledglings die each year by drowning in deep water vessels but just taking some simple measures will save many lives.
Bird baths are not only a great source of clean water for wild birds to bathe in as the name would suggest, they are also likely to be used as a local watering hole by your garden birds. There are many different variations of bird bath available on the market, many of which are made from a wide range of differing materials. We have a wide range of bird baths available here at Brinvale including the Glazed Ceramic ones seen below:
This is a choice to make based on personal preference more than anything, and you will still be treated to the entertainment of your birds frolicking in the water regardless of the bird bath you choose.
The water version of bird feeders, water drinkers dispense water gradually as it is drunk by the birds. Because the water does not sit still for long it makes it much less likely to become stagnant, and keeps the drinking water cleaner for longer. Water drinkers are usually a fairly inexpensive way to provide water to birds, but you will not be giving them a chance to cool off by bathing.
If you want to provide water for your garden birds but don’t want to burn a hole in your wallet there are plenty of items in and around your garden that they will happily bathe in and drink from. Anything shallow with a wide base such as a plant pot tray will provide an ideal makeshift bird bath when filled with clean water, however if your chosen container is quite deep enusre you put in a sloping stone or floating piece of wood to provide an escape route should small fledglings fall in.