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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 bathing and drinking.

Providing clean water for bathing and drinking

Bathing is essential for most birds as it’s an important element in keeping their feathers in good condition. Birds need to look after their feathers so they can continue to feed and breed successfully.

Many wild bird feeds are a dry food source with insufficient moisture, so it’s also important that you leave water out 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 will quickly become dirty and therefore be prone to passing on diseases. In the summer months, you may want to consider changing the water several times a day; birds will often use the water to bathe in and cool down, meaning it’ll get dirtier quicker.

Placing the birdbath in the best location

Ponds and large water features are a good water source for birds, and better still are birdbaths, fountains and small water trays on dining stations.

Birdbaths can be on stands or placed on the ground, but in all cases, you should position them away from vegetation and other areas that cats could be hiding in – birds are vulnerable when they bathe as they’re fully occupied with the job in-hand and their vision may be impaired when splashing around.

Providing water in the summer months

During the hot, dry days of summer, water can sometimes be difficult for birds to find. Water will evaporate quickly, so it’s important to regularly check and top-up birdbaths and water trays on dining stations as needed required. Read our article for more information on how to care for birds in the summer.

Providing water in the winter months

In the winter months, it’s often likely that water sources will become frozen, making it difficult for birds to access the water they need to stay hydrated. It’s best practice to break up and remove any ice and replace it with clean, fresh water. Under no circumstances should you use anti-freeze or glycerine in the water as this is extremely 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 Feeding Dish and Peckish Secret Garden Leaf Feeder are both decorative and practical options.

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