Add a Birdbath to Your Cottage Garden AND Attract Birds

There’s nothing better than feeling like you are lending nature a hand.

Adding a birdbath to your cottage garden is one thing.

Attracting birds to said birdbath in your very own cottage garden and watching them bathe and play is CRAZY FUN!

It will take a little effort on your part but the reward is FABULOUS!

There are two reasons you might want a birdbath in your cottage garden.

  1. To attract birds and be entertained for Days. On. End. (You will become obsessed with watching them. I promise.)
  2. To add charm solely. (I get it. You are busy and you just don’t have time. NONE. No judgment. A birdbath will deliver all the charm even minus the birds.)

(For my favorite deas on how to make your cottage garden charming, see my blog HERE.)

Both of these reasons might be true. Both can be true. I’ll show you how to do it.

Continue reading below if you want a bird bath to attract birds. A birdbath is charming, but to add birds? BLISS!

If you are simply wanting to add a birdbath for decorative purposes, or if you want tips on how to make it birdbath beautiful, see my blog HERE.

How to Add a Birdbath to Your Garden that Attracts Birds

The biggest factors that you need to consider when adding a birdbath to your garden to attract birds are:

1. Location of the birdbath,

2. Cleanliness of the Water,

3. Depth of the Water,

4. Height of the Birdbath,

5. Color of the Birdbath, and

6. Surface of the Birdbath

Location: Where to place my birdbath to attract birds?

This is the biggest decision and affects whether birds will visit you or not. Let’s go through some variables.

1. Should I place my bird bath in the sun or the shade?

Place your bird bath in the shade so the water will stay at a cooler temperature and evaporation will be slowed.

In the winter months, you may decide to move your bird bath to a location in the sun to prevent the water from freezing.

2. Should I put my bird bath near a tree?

You want your birdbath to be in the shade and NEAR a tree, but not actually under the tree.

The shade helps keep the water at a lower temperature and slows evaporation.

A nearby tree gives a quick escape for a bird in danger.

But if your bird bath is under the tree, it will catch all the pollen and leaves from the tree and will make the bird bath water dirty.

Plus your birds may feel vulnerable to predators right under the tree when they are bathing.

3. How close to the house can I put my bird bath?

Don’t place your bird bath any closer than 25’ if you are wanting to attract birds.

This prevents them from flying into the glass of any windows in your home.

4. Where should I NOT place my birdbath?

For the best chance of attracting birds to your birdbath consistently, avoid placing your birdbath near lots of activity. Choose a calm, serene spot for your bird bath.

Also, to increase your odds of having bird visitors, avoid placing your birdbath under a tree where birds might not feel safe or out in the direct sun where the water will get too warm.

Clean Water: The Best Way to Attract Birds to Your Birdbath

Add a Birdbath to Your Cottage Garden AND Attract Birds

Eastern Bluebird bathing furiously in a birdbath.

Even if you find the perfect location for your bird bath, the birds simply will not come to dirty water.

Think of your bird visitors as pets..but they are the easiest pets ever!

All you have to do is give them clean water!

And they’re so beautiful and entertaining, they’re worth it.

It isn’t that hard if you establish a routine.

I have some strategy tips below.

Strategy for keeping birdbath water clean:

1. Change out the water in your bird bath every 2-4 days.

Every other morning, when you water your flower containers, dump the water out of your bird bath and refill it.

Make this a habit.

Or one of the easiest ways to keep the water clean is to put your hose on jet spray, flush out the old water and replace it with new.

The pressure from the jet also helps loosen any dirt or algae that might be on the bottom of the bird bath.

If you forget one morning, no worries.

Most people recommend changing it out every 2-4 days.

If you get on an “every other day schedule”, your bird bath water will be nice and fresh for your visiting birds.

2. Once a month, clean your bird bath with a water/vinegar mix.

Store a bottle of vinegar and a mixing container with your gardening supplies.

Fill your mixing container with water then add a dose of vinegar to about a 9 parts water to 1 part vinegar ratio.

I use a metal wire bristle to clean my concrete birdbath.

Keep your cleaning brush of choice with your gardening supplies.

Let it dry in the sun and then refill it with water.

If you do it every month, it will only take a few minutes…and it’s time spent outside in your garden so it’s a win!

I’m going, to be honest. My concrete birdbath bowl and pedestal are two different pieces. The bowl simply rests on the pedestal. When it’s time to clean, this is what I do:

  • I remove the birdbath bowl from the pedestal and set it on level ground in the sun.
  • I get my hose sprayer turned on with a bottle of vinegar and a wire brush on hand.
  • I simply pour the vinegar directly into the birdbath and immediately pour water out of my hose on top of it.
  • After scrubbing it clean, I rinse the bowl thoroughly with my water hose and leave it where it sits to dry in the sun.
  • An hour later or so, I return to replace the birdbath bowl onto the pedestal.
  • I refill it with fresh water.
  • I wait for my thankful birds.

Supplies to keep on hand for cleaning your bird bath:

  • Vinegar
  • Mixing Container (if you don’t want to pour vinegar in directly)
  • Cleaning Brush

3. Consider getting a fountain for your bird bath or purchasing one that has a fountain included.

Add a fountain to your birdbath or perhaps buy one with the fountain included.

The movement of the water will draw the birds’ attention and will help you attract them.

It also helps keep the water clean and is a great deterrent from mosquitos.

Make sure you keep it filled with fresh water and clean the fountain once a month.

4. Drop a copper penny or two from before 1982 into the bird bath.

Drop a penny in your birdbath.

Earlier pennies are 95 percent copper and should help slow down algae growth in your bird bath.

If you keep your bird bath water clean, mosquitos will never be a problem.

It takes 7 days for a mosquito to progress from an egg to an adult.

That’s enough motivation to be sure to change the water every 5 days at a minimum!

Ideal Depth of Water for Attracting Birds to your Birdbath

Birds like the water to be no more than 2’ deep.

You can add some pebbles or some flat stones to the bottom of the bird bath so that it never gets too deep for them.

Best Height of the Birdbath for Attracting Birds

The best height for a birdbath is as low to the ground as possible while still maintaining a safe space for your birds to bathe.

Your goal with the bird bath is to mimic a mud puddle. That’s where the birds go naturally.

So a shorter birdbath can often be advantageous when trying to attract birds.

However, if you get the location right, and you are keeping the water clean, the birds should find your bird bath, regardless of the height.

Best Color of Your Birdbath for Attracting Birds

Natural-colored birdbaths are the best color for attracting birds.

The more natural the color, the better your odds are at getting the birds to use your bird bath.

I love brightly colored bird baths, but they aren’t your best bet when attracting birds.

If you want a colorful bird bath, go for it!

Make the purchase understanding that it could simply be a decorative item in your garden – which is a win too.

Ideal Surface of Your Birdbath for Attracting Birds

If the surface of the bird bath is slick, the birds will be less likely to feel secure in it.

Simply add a few flat stones or maybe some pebbles to the bottom of your bird bath if you think yours might be too slick.

This will give them a roughened surface to land on.

Wrap It Up

If this guideline leaves you overwhelmed, just put your birdbath out. Fill it with water. And wait.

Your birds haven’t read this blog. (Surprise.) They don’t know the rules!

They might surprise you and choose your birdbath as their favorite spot!

You can do it!! Seeing birds in your birdbath is SOOOO rewarding!

But if you aren’t into all of that but still want a birdbath in your cottage garden solely for decorative purposes, see my blog HERE.

Still not seeing birds in your birdbath? See my checklist HERE.

 

Tracy Crosland, owner of Hey Honeysuckle

Written by Tracy Crosland

I was born and raised in small town, Tennessee. As an adult, I found myself thrown into the construction business, building new homes in our little town. My son has now taken over the business, which means I do what I want - a lot of playing in my cottage flower garden (zone 7). I hope you feel the love in my garden and in my blogs and that we can be friends.

For more about me, click HERE.

I want to know more about you!

Follow me at all the sites below. (And when you do, please say “hello.” I’d love to hear from you!)

 

My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden

My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden
(IN A WEEKEND!)

Cottage gardens make me happy!
I want you to be happy too…so this one’s on me.

  • Learn to create your first cottage garden with step-by-step instructions
  • A checklist to keep you on track
  • Images to inspire
  • Increase the value of your home by thousands
  • Explode your happiness quotient
  • Oh, yeah. It’s free! Free happiness.

I want to be happy! Give me the guide!

 

My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden

My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden

Cottage gardens make me happy!
I want you to be happy too…so this one’s on me.

  • Learn to create your first cottage garden with step-by-step instructions
  • A checklist to keep you on track
  • Images to inspire
  • Increase the value of your home by thousands
  • Explode your happiness quotient
  • Oh, yeah. It’s free! Free happiness.