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The Importance of Water for Birds: Drinking and Bathing

Like us, birds need more than just food to survive, water is also really important for drinking and bathing.

Providing clean water for bathing and drinking

Bathing is essential for most birds as it is an important element in keeping their feathers in good condition. This helps the birds ensure that they’re able to fly well and therefore increasing their chances of survival.

With many bird food being a dry food source with insufficient moisture, it is important to leave out water for the birds to help them stay hydrated.


Why water must be kept clean

It’s extremely important to ensure that water left outside for the birds is clean. Water can quickly become dirty and therefore be prone to passing on diseases. In the summer months, it may be necessary to change the water several times during the course of the day, as birds often use the water to cool down and the water is likely to get dirtier quicker.


Siting the bird bath in the best location

It’s a good idea to create two places in your garden with access to clean water that birds can use to drink and bath in.

Ponds and large water features are a good water source, however they can also attract larger birds of prey, which can scare away the smaller species (and eat your fish!). Better still are bird baths, fountains and small water trays on dining stations.

Bird baths can be on stands or sat on the ground, but in all cases position them away from vegetation and other areas that cats may hide in – birds are vulnerable when they bathe as they’re fully occupied and their vision may be impaired when splashing.


Providing water in the summer months

During the hot, dry days during the summer, water can sometimes be difficult for birds to find. Water can evaporate quickly so it is important to regularly check and top up bird baths and water trays on dining stations when required. Read our article for more information on


Provide water in the winter months

In the winter months, it is often likely that birds water sources are frozen. It is best practice to break up and take out any ice and replace with clean, fresh water. Under no circumstances use anti-freeze, glycerine or in the water as this is very harmful to birds.


Our Products

We have many products to help you provide a source of water for the birds in your garden. Our Peckish Secret Garden Bird Bath is a decorative and practical bird bath. Our Peckish Complete Dining Station has a water tray  and The Peckish Ground Feeder can also be used as a water tray.

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