HOW TO BUILD A BIRD BATH - Building a bird bath in your garden is a great way to attract a variety of birds. You could always buy a bird bath but these can be expensive, so making one yourself will be a lot cheaper, and it is not difficult to do. In this guide we’ll show you how to build a simple bird bath that will look great and will be a lot cheaper than buying one.
To build a bird bath you essentially need 3 things… a pillar, a shallow bowl and water. Yes, it’s that simple. Take a look around any Garden Centre and you’ll see that all bird baths consist of just these three things. There are some fancy designs, such as multi-level bird baths and you can even create these if you like.
The first thing you need to decide on is how high you want your bird bath to be. It is a good idea if you make it so that it’s about 2′ or 3′ off the ground. This will make it more difficult for predators, such as cats, to get an easy meal, as the birds will have more time to react.
Take a broom handle or other length of timber and bury this in the ground by approximately 12″. You need to bury it deep enough so that it does not move about. If you really want to secure it, then dig a hole, about 12″ deep and then cement the broom handle into the ground. You can use Post Mix and this sets very quickly. If you use post mix then read the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and drying times. Also make sure that the broom handle is upright before setting it in concrete. You can do this by placing a spirit level up against it.
Once your broom handle is secured in place you can see about preparing and fitting the tray. You can buy ceramic or plastic plant trays at any DIY or Gardening Store. The size you buy is entirely up to you, but one with a circumference of 18″ or more is better. The tray should not be any deeper than 1/2″ and if you buy one with a nice rounded lip this provides the birds a nice place to perch.
Take your plant tray and drill a hole in the center to the size of the broom handle. Take a Hose Clip and slide this over the broom handle and then take the tray and slot it over the broom handle. Slot the tray on so just the top of the broom handle appears through the tray. Now take the Hose Clip from underneath and push it to the bottom of the tray and tighten it securely with a screwdriver. This will help keep the tray from sliding down the broom handle.
Now that your bird bath is in place you need to make it water tight. Take some silicone sealant and run a bead around the gap between the broom handle and the tray. If you are using a ceramic or terracotta tray then remember that these types of materials are porous. You can seal these using an epoxy paint to reduce water loss.
Now that your bird bath is complete you can fill it with water. We mentioned that the tray should be approximately 1/2 deep but it is advisable to fill the water level to only 3/4 full. At this depth there will be sufficient water for the birds to take a bath. Remember that the bird bath is shallow and the water will evaporate within a day or two, and even quicker when it is very hot. Make sure you clean the bird bath on a regular basis and keep it topped up if you want to attract lots of birds.
Acknowledgements: Video – Howcast.com