Birds, just like any other warm-blooded animal, get hot and thirsty. This is especially true in the summer, when the weather gets hot and dry. You can help out the birds in your neighbor¬hood by providing them with a nice, shady birdbath, where they can play and bathe.
A bird bath will especially be nice in areas where there are no nearby lakes, ponds, or streams where the birds can cool down. In addition to giving birds a place to bathe, a bird bath will attract birds to your backyard, where you can enjoy their company. Some birds may even help, by eating harmful insects, keeping them out of your garden.
Once you've decided to set up a bird bath in your backyard, you should decide on which one of the many bird baths you'd like in your yard. You can find a wide variety of bird baths in many different styles. You can find birdbaths that mimic an¬cient Greek and Roman architecture, or you can find them in more con¬temporary styles. Just choose one that will fit the decor of your garden or backyard. If you want a perma¬nent installation, you can choose bird baths made of stone or concrete. If you want something that will be moved around, you may want a lighter material, such as fiberglass or resin.
When you've chosen a bird bath, and brought it home, you'll need a good place to put it. Try to locate it near your patio, or near a window so that you can watch the birds enjoying the bath, you will want to place it far enough away, however, that you won't scare the birds when you come out onto your patio. You'll also want to locate the bird bath in a place where you'll have easy access to clean it, and to add water if necessary. Consider the amount of sun and shade the location will get. A birdbath doesn't hold much water, so if it is in full sunlight all day in the summer, the water may get a bit too warm.
If you want to attract more birds to your backyard, you may want to consider a small fountain in the bird bath. Birds prefer fountain bird baths over still water, and they love the sound of running water. You can buy bird baths that include fountains in them, or you can improvise with a small pump and some tubing. If you live in a colder area, you may want to add a heater to the bird bath, so that birds can use it all year. Bird bath heaters prevent ice from forming, but at the same time don't heat the water too much.
From time to time, you'll need to empty the water from the birdbath, and replace it with fresh water. You'll also need to scrub out any algae that builds up, as well as leftover feathers and bird droppings. You'd rather bathe in a clean tub wouldn't you? Well, the birds will too. If you keep the water clean and fresh, and keep the bird bath well maintained, the birds will be back, day after day.
Consider adding a bird bath to your backyard or garden. You'll be rewarded with the fun of watching the birds splashing in the water, enjoying a cool bath in the hot days of summer.