Thursday, June 2, 2016

BIRDBATH WITH FLOWERS, INSPIRATION THURSDAY

Every Thursday, we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm.  

Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Birdbath and flowers, image via Pinterest
Something we don't have at the farm, a birdbath area.  We like this look because we have the river rocks to put around for a border, and some nice annuals would be pretty around the base.  We do have one that "Ma", the previous owner, left behind, and we need to get it set up.  It needs some cleaning but it would work, and this inspires me to get it going.

We would love to have a birdbath setup like this to add color and a focal point to a spot in the yard.  Question for you birders out there...where should a birdbath be placed?  Full sun?  Shade?  Partial shade?  It might look odd to just be in the middle of a big empty yard, so we were thinking of one (or more, we have the space!) tucked into a bushy corner.

Be inspired!

12 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i have mine both in a shady area and in the sun and the birds like both! you should buy some mosquito dunks though so you don't have a breeding ground. however, you sort of live in a mosquito breeding state right now so i guess it doesn't make a difference.

Anne in the kitchen said...

I have my birdbath in mostly shade and they love it. I don't bother with the mosquito dunks, I just skeet the water out with the hose every 2 days and fill the bath again.

littlegrebe said...

I'm in the UK so possibly sun v shade is not so important, but ours are near bushes, so the birds can check out if it looks safe and then dive for cover if they are worried! This is certainly important for feeders, and I think the birdbath being under an overhanging large bush makes them feel more secure.

ladyhawthorne said...

If it is in the sun it is not supposed to grow algae so fast. But near a tree is good so they can get to safety fast.

Colleen said...

First; clean your birdbath really well.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=707
Frequent cleaning helps prevent algae growth, disease transmission, and pesky mosquitoes from using it as a breeding ground. It also keeps your birdbath free of unsightly feathers, droppings, stains, organic buildup, and more.
You're Finished in a Few Minutes - Even Seconds
One way to keep birdbaths impeccable is by doing a thorough cleaning by hand. First, remove all of the existing water. Do not add harsh chemicals such as bleach to kill the algae. This will also harm the birds. Clean out your birdbath with a small scrub brush. For soiled birdbaths, use a mild detergent or birdbath cleaner along with your scrub brush. Make sure to hose out the bath bowl thoroughly afterwards, as birds are extremely sensitive to detergents. Then refill your bath with a fresh supply of clean water.

A simple method of keeping your birdbaths clean and safe between cleanings is to add Microbe-Lift Birdbath Clear. This all-natural additive takes advantage of bio-enzymatic activity to keep water free of organic debris that can cloud the water. It also keeps the bowl free of stains, mineral deposits, and scum.

It is a good idea to change the water in the birdbath on a daily basis. Simply hose out the old and refill the bowl. Since birds are drinking and bathing in the same water source, it is important you keep a fresh supply. It is especially important to keep an eye on the water level in the summer when evaporation causes the supply to decline faster.

http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-to-clean-a-bird-bath/

Where you place your birdbath is very important. It may look nice in a certain spot but few birds may not take to it's location.
Don't place a birdbath that may be surrounded by tough, drought-tolerant plants that have few pests even tho it may look nice there, it isn't the best location.

Instead place your birdbath by several pest-plagued shrub roses, under a lemon tree that also had its share of aphids, scale and whiteflies.

Once the birds show up to bathe, they will stick around and eat whatever bugs they can find, cleaning up the lemon and the roses. Birds can be valuable allies in the gardener's battle against bugs and weeds. That alone is reason to get them to stop at your garden.

Tips from bird experts of which I have taken to heart.

The bath should be easily seen from the sky, so birds flying overhead can spot it.
Mount it about 3 feet high, which is usually the case if your birdbath comes with a pedestal. If you must keep a birdbath on the ground, it should be at least 6 feet away from places where cats could lurk.
Put it in a sunny spot.
Place it near some trees or big shrubs where birds can perch while drying off, or where they can flee to. Don't put it too close--plants should be 3 to 6 feet away. If these plants are prickly or thorny like roses and lemon happen to be, cats are less likely to climb them.
Plants around the base of the bath should be low so cats can't hide like little lions waiting to pounce. Place in a location so the birds can see in all directions, and refuge is a quick, upward flight.
The water in the bath shouldn't be deeper than an inch, mine is somewhat deeper in the middle the birds don't seem to mind. In fact, that's where the bigger birds bathe.
Edges should be wide and curved for the bird's feet, not narrow or sharply angled; the bottom should not be too sloped or slippery, and keep algae that forms in old baths scrubbed off.
Never, ever paint the Inside of a birdbath.


Elephant's Child said...

At least partially in the shade (of bushes) so the birds have cover if necessary. And somewhere where you can watch them revel in the water - to drink or to bathe in.

Margaret said...

That looks very pretty, I am sure you will have fun setting itvup and finding the perfect spot for it.

I have 3 birdbaths, one in full sun up the back away from the house aboutv3 inches deep for the big birds like magpies and currawongs and peewees then There is a shallow one about 1 inch for the little finches and wrens it is under a shady Jacaranda tree neer the house and the third one is a big water catching ceramic pot at the front of the house just neer the patio it is about 2 foot deep and is used all day by the big birds, they come out of the water drenched but repeat the dunking 3 or 4 times and sit on the metal rails to shake and dry off, not one has drowned !

It is quite entertaining to watch them if you have some spare time, I can see the shallow bath when I am sitting on my deck or inside the deck glass doors and have enjoyed many a cuppa with this to watch.
In the full heat of Summer they have a holding pattern to rival LAX they fly in and all sit about in the various branches and take turns to drink and bathe 2 or 3 at a time .....very organised and friendly.
I have some small potted shrubs ( Gardenia ) on the deck, so even though the birdbath is only 18 feet away they can't see me as long as I am reasonably still and sitting down.
Hope you have fun setting up some at your place where you can enjoy the passing parade of visitors.

Texas Rose said...

If you have any cats around, pet or stray, make sure you place the bird bath where the cats cannot hide and sneak up on the birds - I know this from experience :( .
Also, place it where you can enjoy a cup of tea and watch your feathered friends!

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Wow. I won't even begin to compete with some of these great comments (go Colleen!) I'll just say never bother putting up a birdbath if you have big dogs. They just believe it's the most convenient water dish ever.

Practical Parsimony said...

When I bought my birdbath, I just refused to buy the pedestal even though the shop said it came as one price. My vision was to have the birdbath on the ground. I put it in partial shade which is now full shade near azalea bushes and under a pine tree. I had to level it with rocks which made the bath more a part of the environment. My friend planted low flowers that receded around the outer part. I hated those.

A nearby sedum was the only deliberate plant.

I kept a whisk broom outside near the bath to whisk out the pine needles. When I got chickens, they used it, too.

The birdbath is located where I can see it out the kitchen window and next to the swing so I can watch from there. After awhile, the birds did not mind my presence.

In the winter, I tip it against the pine tree so it won't freeze and break.

Sandy said...

1st Man,

We have ours out in the open next to the bird feeder. It's an inexpensive glass plate from the dollar tree store siliconed to a large branch in the ground. The birds love it, and the water is changed daily.

Branso said...

Just a tip, but if you frequently have birds pecking at your tomatoes- I was told with great conviction by several sources that birdies are not really after the tomato flesh, but after the moisture content they know the matoes contain, in the heat of summer. I set up a bird bath the first year I grew tomatoes, and no birdy has ever taken a peck at my tomatoes.

Just watch for opportunistic kitties. I hear the clang of the terracotta hitting the ground every few months, and see one the neighbour's moggies tearing off in distress with the magpies cackling in the gums above. Poor puscas.