For those who love the sound of the local warblers in their garden, there are plenty of easy DIY bird bath options to encourage their presence in your backyard.
When birds are present in your garden, it minimises – and in some cases, eliminates – the need for toxic insecticides and herbicides. Seed-eating native birds such as finches and sparrows can consume great quantities of weed seeds, thus helping gardeners control unwanted plants. Native birds also provide many essential functions in our ecosystem by assisting in a great number of ways, such as pollination and insect control.
Thankfully, attracting native birds to your garden is relatively easy. As birds feed on nectar, seeds, and insects, by providing a large range of native plants in your garden, you in turn attract a diverse range of “locals”. However, like all living things native birds also need access to water, which is where you come in.
Birds need to bathe to keep their feathers in good condition, and a birdbath is the easiest and cheapest way to provide water for them in your garden. As these are often made of stone and other heavy set materials, they can easily get pricey. If the idea of a DIY bird bath floats your boat, the good news is that there are many forms in which they can present themselves. Before you get started though, try to keep the following in mind –
- Ensure the birdbath you choose has a stable base and is no more than 50mm deep, to entice small birds to jump in without risking their safety.
- Position your birdbath beyond the reach of cats with access to dappled shade so the water stays cool.
- Choose a spot close to shrubs and trees, so that there’s some form of protective cover and perches for visiting birds.
- Whenever possible, aim to add stones or something else to grab onto in the bath so the birds can perch to drink.
- Place your bird bath well away from any potential bird feeders in order to keep debris out of the water.
- Be sure to change the water regularly, as algae, leaves and bird droppings will contaminate it.
- Look out for mosquito larvae in the water, which take about ten days after hatching to become adults. By changing the water every few days, you will be able to avoid this.
Once you’ve accommodated all of the above, it’s time to get creative!
Six DIY Bird Bath Ideas To Try At Home
Welcoming feathered friends to your backyard with a DIY bird bath doesn’t need to be an expensive endeavour, and just about anyone can have a crack at it. If you share your home with kids, it’s also a great way to give them a crash course on ecosystems and how nature works. If you’re in need of some inspo, here are our top picks for do it yourself options that won’t break the bank or your patience.
Recycled Glassware – While pedestal style bird baths are popular designs, yours doesn’t have to be boring, plain or expensive. Recycling glassware is a great option for a birdbath that has a little extra sparkle and flair, and who doesn’t have old vases, platters, and plates gathering dust in a cupboard. Not you? Then head down to your nearest op shop.
Flying Saucer – If you lack on the ground space, this hanging bird bath could be the answer. It’s also a great way to utilise any spare terracotta saucers that you may have laying around from old pots used in the past. Simply give it a good wash, and get yourself a chain in which you can safely suspend it from your verandah or patio ceiling.
Brick On Brick – By stacking these into a pillar, you can build a sturdy DIY birdbath base that needs only a bowl or tray on top to function as the water basin. Even better, it’s a great way to incorporate old bricks that you may have lying around, and your DIY bird bath can “match” the exterior of your home.
Old Lamps – If you have an old lamp lying around at home that you don’t use anymore, or perhaps have found a signature piece that caught your eye at a second hand store, it’s relatively easy to upcycle into a unique and colourful DIY bird bath. Providing you have access to adhesives, the bath itself can be anything from a plate, piece of stone, or even an old cake tin.
Teapot Party – Perhaps the most whimsical on this list, mismatched cups, saucers, and teapots can blend together with a coat of paint, creating a memorable and fun design that is sure to bring your local bird life over for a tea party. Just be sure to secure all the pieces together with a waterproof silicone based glue.
In fact, if you’re able to provide a safe and secure DIY bird bath, it’s fair to say that you can use just about anything to build one. The more you’re able to encourage a self-sufficient and sustainable ecosystem in your garden, the happier your plants will be.
Further Eco Friendly Gardening Advice From The Professionals
Spending time outside and in the garden is not only good for our overall well being, but it’s also an easy way to start educating yourself on the importance of sustainability.
If you’re noticing foreign invaders popping up in your garden, a naturally produced weed killer like Bioweed is a safe way to keep them under control. As a non-residual solution, it will break down into the soil in as little as 72 hours and can combat over 200 invasive weed species, making it safe for you, your family, your pets, and your local native wildlife to navigate.
Bioweed is the brainchild of well established agricultural leaders Greenpro, and is backed by over twenty years of research and development. Owned and manufactured in Australia, the primary ingredient of Bioweed is actually sustainably sourced pine oil, and is even approved by NASAA, ACO and APVMA for use around organic farms and food production.
If you’re on the hunt for a natural weed killer, more organic gardening solutions, or simply want to know more about eliminating weeds safely, check out other tips and tricks in our online advice forum, or contact us for any further queries