Water is a bird magnet!


When it comes to fresh water, we Minnesotans truly won the natural resources lottery. We love our lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and wetlands. We share treasured memories of time on the water with family and friends fishing, canoeing, swimming, and boating. But, did you know it can be very difficult for our backyard birds to access fresh water? Quite simply, water is one of the most important things we can offer our backyard birds.

Birds need water for drinking, bathing, and regulating their body temperature. Birds do not have sweat glands therefore they remove excess heat through their respiratory system, which can lead to dehydration. Additionally, water is needed for bathing, which is an important for feather maintenance because it helps to remove dust, dirt, and parasites.

Adding a birdbath to your backyard will increase the variety of bird species who visit because not all birds visit feeders.

Winter goldfinches at heated birdbath
Winter goldfinches at heated birdbath. Photo: Jim Weisman

Tips For Purchasing a Birdbath

Birdbaths come in many different styles, shapes, and sizes, whether they are made from concrete, ceramic, composite, or glass.

Key points to consider when selecting a birdbath:
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Depth- avoid depths greater than 3” inches
  • Durability
  • Surface- avoid slippery surfaces
  • Add rocks
  • Fresh water daily promotes healthy birds.
  • Keep it clean- use a brush to scrub the sides and the bottom of the birdbath. Dish soap works fine. Rinse well. Dirty birdbaths and dirty birdfeeders spread disease.
  • Place where it is readily visible by the birds.
  • Heated birdbaths are a welcome resource for our Minnesota critters.
  • Moving water in the form of a wiggler, dripper, mister, or fountain will attract even more birds.
house finch on edge of birdbath
A House Finch enjoys fresh water. Photo: Ann McCarthy
Birdbath brush and ceramic bath
All Seasons Wild Bird Stores carry birdbaths and accessories. Photo: Ann McCarthy

By Eagan Store Manager ANN MCCARTHY