Why water is important

Providing water for birds is often forgotten about, but is vital for their survival, just like humans

Drinking

All birds need water to survive.  How much of it depends a lot on their diet; insect eating birds will need less water than ones that have a dry diet of seeds.  

Bathing

To keep their feathers in tip top condition birds need to regularly clean them.  Shallow water is a great way of washing out any grit or lice before preening them.


Water Sources

Bird baths

These come in various varieties and designs but all have the same result, to provide some shallow water for the birds.  Prices vary but this is more for your taste and style, not what is more effective for the birds

Different birds like different depths of water and most bird baths will have a shallow, gradually deepening basin for this reason.

The baths will also have rough edges for the birds to dig their claws in so not to fall into the deeper water. 

Shallow dish or container

The birds are more than happy to use a shallow dish or container to drink and wash in.  For example a plant pot saucer or shallow bowl are ideal. 
Try and find something of a similar design, or tilt the dish to give the same effect. 

If your container / dish has smooth sides, consider placing clean gravel in it to give the smaller birds something to grip onto.

You could include a wobbly rock to help both as a perching spot, and to keep water from icing over in winter.

An important point to remember is to not make the water too deep so prevent fledglings from drowning. Whatever your container, you must remember to keep it clean and change the water regularly to avoid disease. Click here for more details.

If you have enough room why not consider making a pond to help all sorts of wildlife in your garden?