Not only us humans, but also many native birds suffer from the summer heat. The problem: Tits, sparrows and co. often don’t have a chance to quench their thirst in nature. Everyone can help with bird baths on the balcony or terrace.
Year after year in the summer, the Nature Conservation Union (NABU) appeals to people in Germany to set up bird baths. Especially when it is dry and hot for several weeks, sparrows, blackbirds, titmice and many other native bird species suffer from acute water shortages. Saving puddles are then scarce and a body of water is often out of reach. Other natural waterholes dry out quickly during prolonged hot spells. It is all the more important to place a bird bath on the balcony, terrace or in the allotment garden. In the following article you will find out what is suitable for this and what you should pay attention to when setting up a bird tank.
Balcony or terrace: How to find the right model
In principle, a flat bowl, the saucer of a flower pot or a soup plate will do. But if you want to offer the birds in your area a little more comfort when drinking (and splashing around), you should look around for a bird bath. First of all, it is important to know where the water point is to be installed. So that birds can see the watering trough and fly to it, bird baths with a hanging device or a possibility to attach it to the balcony parapet are useful for balconies. For the terrace or garden, on the other hand, there are variants for setting up or plugging in, for example with a ground spike or stand. When buying the bird bath, make sure that the bowl is slightly deeper in the middle than at the edge. In this way, you not only give the “poultry” a lively bird bath, but also give larger birds the chance to refresh themselves.
It is also important that the birds have a secure footing when landing, drinking and taking off. Drinkers with a rough surface, such as terracotta, clay or natural stone, are therefore perfect. However, you should stay away from bowls made of glass, porcelain or stainless steel.
Once the right bird bath has been found, a no less important step follows. No matter how beautiful and comfortable the bird basin may be: if the birds don’t accept it, it’s useless. This leads to the first important thought: A bird bath must be placed in a way that is clearly visible, especially on the balcony, but also safe from cats. Nearby trees and bushes are ideal for cleaning the feathers after a long bath. But if they are too close to the balcony, cats, for example, have an easy time of it. In addition, the birds may feel threatened and don’t even dare to approach the drinking trough. Once the birds have accepted the drinker, the first hurdle has been taken. But they should stay. And they only do that if their drink is refreshed regularly. In other words, the water should be changed daily and the bird bath cleaned. The background is salmonella and other pathogens that romp around in the water, multiply quickly and can cause diseases. Chemicals are not required when cleaning the bird bath on the balcony. Experts from NABU recommend boiling water.
If the bird bath is not enough and if you want to offer native birds even more help, you can also set up a feeding station, hang up a nesting box and plant the balcony or front yard in a variety of ways. This attracts insects and thus birds.
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