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Spring - Build A Bird Bath

Although many people provide food for birds, few people provide fresh water for their feathered friends.  Birds use water for a variety of reasons including drinking, bathing, and preening and some even use water to make mud for use in nest construction.  Here is an easy way to make a bird bath to attract more birds to your yard.

There are as many available bird baths on the market as there are birds, but all you need is any flat container that can hold water.  The water should be between ½ inch to 2 inches deep.  The bottoms of flower pots, pie or baking tins, shallow trays or even an inverted garbage can lid will work.  These containers can be placed on the ground or on a pedestal using rocks or a tree stump. 

Make sure the location of your birdbath is near plenty of cover for the birds to retreat to dry off and escape from predators.  Also, make sure the bath is within view for your enjoyment. Place some pebbles or rocks in the container to provide a firm walking surface and to help weigh the container down so the wind will not blow it over. 

The birdbath should be cleaned frequently and water replenished as often as necessary.

The sound of dripping water can be a "bird magnet," attracting birds to your birdbath. This can be easily accomplished by filling a gallon plastic jug with water, suspending it over the bath and punching a tiny hole in the bottom.  The amount of water dripping into the bath can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the cap on the jug.  All that is needed is a few drops dribbling out of the jug.  The water will have to be replaced as often as it runs out. 

More elaborate baths and ponds can be created depending upon your budget and the amount of time and energy you are willing to spend.  More information on pond construction and how to turn your backyard into a Wild Yard can be obtained by contacting the WVDNR office at 304-637-0245.

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