Providing a source of safe, clean water is a simple but effective way to help local native birds year-round.
Like us, birds need water to survive – and many backyard species need fresh water to drink and bathe in. Providing a source of safe, clean water is a great way to help local native birds – especially in times of extreme heat.
Whether it’s an inner city balcony, a suburban backyard or a rural garden, adding a water source to your home is a simple but effective way that you can help local native birds and wildlife year-round.
You don’t need to buy a fancy bird bath, either – everyday household items are also a great option.
You can use:
Try to avoid metal, as this can overheat in hot weather.
Different species prefer different depths of water, so try a variety of shapes and sizes to see what water sources work best for the birds in your backyard.
Birds are using this water to drink and bathe in, so it will need to be replaced daily to avoid the spread of disease (and mozzies!)
by cleaning and scrubbing your bird bath regularly. You can clean and disinfect containers in your dishwasher, or by soaking them in a bleach solution (one cup of domestic-strength bleach to four litres of water). Rinse thoroughly and leave it in the sun to dry.
by placing the water source in shade, away from direct sunlight.
by placing water sources close to trees and shrubs, so birds can have an escape route and a safe place to hide and keep watch. Add a perch, such as rocks, a brick or branch to the water (especially if the bath is smooth or deep). If a bird or other animal falls in, it can climb out safely.
or indoors, where they can’t reach the water source or the birds using it.
Conservation starts in your backyard. The plants that we choose for our gardens can provide most, sometimes even all, of the food, shelter and nesting resources that urban birds require. So when you are deliberating over which plants to add your garden, it’s useful to consider the following.
Putting water out for birds is an easy way to help the wildlife around you during hot weather.