What's your favorite birdbath?

catherinet(5 IN)June 26, 2007

I bought a very tacky, cheap birdbath at Menards last week, but it was exactly what I've been looking for.........something that drips. I have a mister, but it requires that I leave my hose on all day, which I don't want to do.

My little stocktank ponds just don't seem to be very bird-friendly, so I've been trying to figure out a good bath for them. I've tried all different kinds. I think the major flaw in most of them is that they are too deep. I've tried putting stones/rocks in the middle of them, but they just don't attract the birds.

The favorite around here used to be a low spot in our drive! But we got it regraded and that low spot is gone!

Here's a pic of the tacky birdbath I got. But no one has come to it yet. It might need a better spot. You can't see, but water drips out of holes in that little umbrella-type top thing.

Plus, the little fountain pump hidden under that dome could easily burn out if the water gets very low......which it does quite often on dry hot days.

What's your favorite birdbath and why?

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This one - see link. I use it year round. It's shallow and easy to clean. The base is surrounded by a flowering shrub which hides the stand. I change the water every day in summer and 2 times per week (or so) in winter. I've had it about 4 years and so far no problems (knock on wood). Every day I see lots of birds bathing, mostly Mockingbirds and Robins who love to bathe. Other birds I see drink only.

I have two other bird baths: one is all blue glass from Wal-mart (on a stand) that is deep, so no bathing, but plenty of drinking. The Grackles drop their food in it. I empty and rinse it every day and take it inside for winter. The other is an old pretty base with a base relief of St. Frances with a moss green ceramic dish that is shallow. This one is used for bathing and drinking. Lately a cat (or something) has been knocking it over to get a drink.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Nest Heated Birdbath

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 7:30PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

This is my favourite bird bath we have at Camp Nappy:

It is also a fountain and the hummers whizz through it and get a shower. LOL! This one and an ordinary large terracotta saucer that is on the ground are the second most popular water sources. The most popular bird bath is the wildlife pond.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 6:48AM
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The base and bowl of mine look exactly like yours, Catherine, but instead of the smaller bowl, I have the little girl holding an umbrella. She's similar to Chicka's, but the umbrella on mine is raised higher.

I found the same problem with having to refill it at least 3 times a day when the weather was hot, so I just use it now as a bird feeder. It was fairly cheap at the time ($60), and my longish, shallow creek provides the birds plenty of room for drinking and bathing.

If I didn't have that, I'm not sure which birdbath and or fountain I'd choose, there are SO many to choose from!


    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 12:38PM
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How about a photo of your wildlife pond C3D - I don't believe I've ever seen it before. I was thinking of putting something in that would be more friendly to the birds than my straight sided (no beach or slope) formal pond that I have. I could get some great ideas. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 3:04PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Oh I love that one with the lady with the umbrella! I suppose if I was creative enough, I would bury a big bucket in the ground and put the pump in there and run the tubing up from there, so it could hold alot more water.
Don't you think the pump would burn up if the water got low? I'm sure it isn't made with any kind of a low water shut-off. I think I might also put mine on a timers so it shuts off at dusk and comes on at dawn. That would probably save on water/electricity too.
I've often been tempted to make the milk-jug-hanging-on-a-pole dripper, over a regular birdbath, but haven't gotten around to it. Anyone use that?
It would be great to have a little beach that's always wet, for birds and butterflies. I have a saucer birdbath that I used to fill with gravel/rocks and keep wet, but no one was attracted to it. Still, everyones favorite spot seems to be puddles in the driveway!
So many times when I'm out watering the plants in the backyard, hummers come around and beg me to put the sprayer on "mist" and let them run through it. I just know they would love a mister.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 4:18PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

How can I put this nicely?!?!? Well, CRAP! LOL! the only photo of our wildlife pond I have uploaded in Photobucket was taken in about the year 2000. The pond actually extends farther to the back / toward and beyond the Olive tree than this photo represents. There is the chunk of wood to the back, quite a few stones bridging the pond and more open water beyond.

Photobucket and I are having problems for the last month or so. They upgraded their site and now are incompatible with my ISP. I can no longer add more pictures to Photobucket unless we figure out how to get around this issue or we change ISP.

The pond has since been upgraded and much nicer. It has since then also recently been Daisied and the water level has dropped 6-8 inches. We need to patch the Daisied areas or asphalt the whole thing. I am NOT taking it all apart and moving a half ton + of stones again! LOL. (sort of.)

Here is the 2000 site:

It is about 3000 gallons and dug around and between the roots of an ancient lilac, mimosa and Russian Olive tree. Some areas are very shallow 1-3 inches deep and other areas drop to a depth of 4 ft.. The roots of the surrounding established plants (as well as the swelling and pain of my elbows during the three day dig) dictated the dimensions and depth of the pond.

The improved site has drift wood, stones and a willow limb in the pond. This offers an added safety feature if someone should fall in, they can easily get to a stone or limb so they will not drown.

The Black-capped Chickadees, Grackles, Blue Jays, Carolina Wrens, Starlings, Robins are seen splashing in the shallow end of the pond frequently. Squirrels, chipmunk and bunnies have a swig too. The immediate area is alive with salamanders and toads.

The only problem with the fountain is that after a few of the larger birds have a bath, more water needs to be added. The pump for the fountain is hidden in the base of the little girl statue. It has on occasion run dry but is still going strong for at least 5 years. The pump seems to be a good one. Don't think there is an automatic shutoff for the thing we have. We add water and it start to dribble water from the top of the umbrella again. :-) The umbrella can be raised higher but there is more splash and the rate of water loss is greater. That's why it is set lower. We are lazy here at Camp Nappy, dontchaknow?

We have a mister from Wild Birds Unlimited going near that little palm in the background. The hose is connected to the mister and not the fountain. It is mainly for the hummers but many species love to just have a quickie shower to cool off like our House Sparrows, Chickadee, Downy WPs, Nuthatch and the Starlings.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 5:15PM
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Thanks C3D - very natural and I can see why the wildlife enjoys it so much. Great description on how it goes deeper into the woods. Good size gallonage too. I'm surprised you don't get deer in there. I've found Grackles lately constantly want water and with the heat today many of the birds are walking around with their beaks wide open. I've been spraying the hose, filling the feeders, and keeping the baths filled and clean. No mister here though.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 5:27PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

The backyard has a 4 ft. chain link fence around it. The closest wooded area we have is about 2-3 miles away but on rare occasion we have deer in the front yard. They go down to the beach / Lake Erie all the time.

When the temperature goes over 90°F we just turn on the lawn sprinkler to let the birds cool off if they need to. Lots of additional customers that way too. Mourning Doves sit under the sprinkler with one wing raised up to cool off even faster.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 5:47PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Gorgeous pond C3D, I can't iamgine how you could have improved on that!

My pond is not bird friendly (built before my birding interests) but there are a few areas along the stream where the birds (and critters) will go for a drink. I have a heated birdbath that attaches to the deck top rail. The good thing is that it is easy to tilt and dump to clean, the bad thing is it is too close to the house for many of the birds. I do keep large saucers of water for them.
I do have plans to make a small pond just for the birds and would love to have a mister setup in it.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 10:15PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

See if you like any of these!

Here is a link that might be useful: Nice bird baths

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 11:00PM
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Some of those are really pretty. I tend to go for the slimline, classic styles with shallow basins and smooth finishes. Its the champagne taste and beer income which plagues me! I wish we had a local store with so much choice. The shipping on those would be steep.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 7:58AM
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Not sure if they have Big Lots back east, but sometimes, you can find really cool, cheaper-than-normal stuff there. I haven't been in a long time, though, mainly because I keep spending extra money on plants. :D

I tried a mister set-up (hose attachment) for Red the dog back in the day, and he didn't appreciate it (hmmm, must have been the chow side of this retriever/chow personality...), but I've always wanted one for the birds!

It was hilarious the other day, watching the hummers trying to land in the current of the stream. One male was actually leaning upstream while bathing and drinking! LOL!!! How humiliating! I really need to get something else going for the little darlings. :D


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 11:58AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Thanks Jean. The pond was made larger. The area in the front of the photo was expanded ... lots. There are now several islands of stone and drift wood and a huge willow limb spans the whole thing. All these were added as added safety features in case a bird or bunny or whoever were to fall in. There are enough islands that they should easily be able to get to safety.

The expanded area is more of a shallows area. Maybe 1-3 inches deep and that is where most of the bird splashing and drinking takes place.

Now if only we could convince Daisy that the chunk 'o drift wood does not need to be rescued! LOL


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 8:34PM
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