Tips for bird baths in the summertime

Bird baths are great for enticing feathery friends to your backyard. Welcoming birds into your garden...

Bird baths are great for enticing feathery friends to your backyard. Welcoming birds into your garden is not only entertaining, but also beneficial, since birds help keep the insect population in check. Therefore, it's important to maintain the best possible conditions for your winged visitors to make sure they keep coming back all summer long.

The sweltering summer heat in Atlanta can turn a cool dip into a not-so-refreshing hot tub, not to mention a breeding ground for mosquitoes. There are a few easy steps you can take to make sure the water stays cool and clean all summer long and keeps the birds returning to your garden.

Keep cool in the heat

The shallow waters of bird baths can quickly become warm and even evaporate in the hot summer heat. Make sure the water stays at an inviting and safe temperature. If your bath is located in a sunny spot, move it to a shady spot in your yard for the summer months. If you have any stones at the bottom of the bath, make sure they are not dark-colored, as they will absorb heat faster. Consider removing them or replacing them with white or light-colored stones.

Avoid standing water

It is important to keep the water in your bird bath fresh and clean for the birds' health and your own. Mosquitoes in particular are drawn to standing water during the hot summer months and can carry and spread the West Nile Virus, which can be fatal both to humans and birds. You can replace the water on a daily basis, but the best way to avoid still water is through circulation. If your current bath doesn't have a circulation mechanism, consider replacing it with one that does. A landscaper can help you select the right one.

Give your bath a bath

Bird baths should be cleaned regularly to keep them safe and inviting. Empty out the water and remove any dirt and debris. Scrub the basin clean with a water and bleach solution. Rinse it thoroughly and dry it completely before refilling with water. Not a fan of scrubbing? Visit a hardware store to find safe cleaning chemicals, which will need no elbow grease.

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