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Writing about the things I love. My writing work has appeared in hard copy magazines including Green Prints, Twins Magazine, Practical Parenting Magazine, Good Old Days Magazine, The Journal of Court Reporting, and more as well as hundreds of articles in Sunset Hosta Farm's Hosta blog and The Homesteading Village blog.
Showing posts with label general gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label general gardening. Show all posts

Monday, November 16, 2020

Why Birds Aren't Using your Birdbath

Bird bathing in birdbath

Why Birds Aren't Using Your Birdbath

It’s been said that birdbaths attract more birds than bird feeders do. I believe that may be true as I know plenty of people who have several feeders but no birdbaths in their yard and they are wondering where their bird visitors are.

If you have a birdbath that is open for business but no feathery customers are visiting, you may find the reason below.

Field Guide to Birds Amazon

Problems with Placement

1. Birds simply don't see the birdbath.

Even if a birdbath is clean and filled with sparkling water, it's not doing the birds any good if they can't find it. The birdbath should be easily seen from the sky.

2. The birdbath is placed in full sun.

The water may be too warm to be refreshing. Moving the birdbath to a shadier spot may be all you need to do. Some shade will also keep the water fresh longer.

Cat watching bird perched on a teacup

3. The birdbath was placed in an area that doesn't appear safe.

Skittish birds feel safer if they can see in all directions while they drink or bathe. They also want to see a quick route to flee from danger or even perceived danger. A birdbath that is too far from cover may discourage your birds from landing there.

Place the birdbath in an area where there are some trees or big shrubs nearby but not close enough that predators can hide near it.
Birdbaths placed on the ground can be hard for the birds to see and be more dangerous than ones placed on pedestals. 

If you must have the birdbath placed on the ground, be sure to place it at least six feet away from places where predators could lurk.

Clean water in bird bath with rocks for bird support

The birdbath itself.

4. Slippery Surfaces.

Many birdbaths, like ceramic ones, have a rather slippery coating that may force the birds that are trying to land there to make a rather unnerving landing.

A simple solution to this is to arrange stones (or branches) in the water so birds can safely land on them then stand on them to drink without touching the slippery surface at all.

Problems with the water.

5. The water is too deep.

The fact is that birds can drown in deep water. Birds prefer very shallow water where they can safely sip or bathe.

As a rule, the deepest part of the bath in the center should be no deeper than about two inches.

6. The water in the birdbath is not clean.

It's pretty obvious that birds will not visit a birdbath that is full of decaying leaves or debris or has a growth of algae. Not only will birds generally ignore that birdbath altogether, but they could get very sick if they do visit.

7. Clean water is not continuously supplied.

Once your birds have become used to a water supply in your garden, you should ensure that you continue to offer it to them. If your birdbath is often empty, then birds will soon try to find another more continuous source of water.

Those Sneaky Neighbors!

8. The area birds have found a better option.

Maybe your neighbor has a more inviting location for drinking and bathing!

If this is the case you can one-up your neighbor's offering by adding a source of moving water to your birdbath. Not only does moving water attract birds, but it will also prevent mosquitos from breeding there. And a side benefit is that birdbaths with moving water won't need to be cleaned as often.

solar fountain pump for birdbaths

Above is a pretty inexpensive solar fountain pump that can do the work for you.

If you're more a DIY-er, here is a great idea I wish I had thought of myself.

Recycle an old bucket or plastic container by punching a tiny hole in the bottom, filling it with water, and hanging it above the birdbath so the water drips slowly down.

Heated birdbath for winter use for birds

Another way to outdo the neighbor is by making sure that your birds have water to drink, even in the coldest weather.

The heated birdbath pictured above is the one that I use.  I like that it sits securely on my deck rail so I can watch the birds from the warm comfort of my window!   

Deicer for use in bird baths for winter watering

Or you can purchase an inexpensive deicer like the one above.  With either choice, you can expect some activity all winter year long!


I hope you found these tips helpful.  Here are some related articles about the care of your feathery friends:


This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases without costing you anything extra.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Attracting Birds to your Garden by Brett Lewis

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/schauhi-2509795/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=5410149">Kurt Bouda</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=5410149">Pixabay</a>


Tips On How To Attract Birds To Your Garden

Guest Post By Brett Lewis
Contributor for:  BirdInformer.com


Attracting Birds to your garden is a fairly simple task. It takes a considerable amount of work to get started, but the payoff of a garden buzzing with birds is sublime. To make birds regularly visit, this article will show you tips on how to attract birds to your garden.

Entice them with Flowers

Planting flowers, shrubs, and bushes around your garden that produces food are one of the most effective ways of attracting birds. Flowers that produce seeds that birds find delectable are:

Sunflowers - Their bright yellow color and the seeds that they produce are enticing to birds. Even if sunflower seeds are not part of a particular bird's diet, they are still quite attracted to its dazzling color.

Daisies - Similar to sunflowers, their bright yellow center and ability to produce seeds that birds can eat makes this a great choice. An advantage of this flower to the common sunflower is that it is not an annual flower meaning it doesn't bloom once then perishes.

Coneflowers - This type of flower is easy to grow and maintain, which makes it a wonderful option for those who do not have that much time to tend to their garden.

You don't necessarily have to replace all of your flowers to attract birds. Birds are also attracted to bright natural colors, so flowers that make non-edible seeds are also an option; they're just less effective.

Entice them with Shrubs, Bushes and Vines

Shrubs, Bushes, and Vines that produce fleshy fruits not only provide bird's food it also provides them with shelter or a place to perch. Here are some examples of Shrubs, Bushes, and Vines that you can plant in your garden.

Elderberry - Even if their raw berries and other parts are considered toxic, they have little to no effect on birds and other animals. A large number of bird species love elderberries!

Winter Honeysuckle - Usually grown as hedges and used as ornamental plants, their red fruits persist throughout the winter giving your garden visitors during those cold months.

Highbush Blueberry - A variant of the wild blueberry. They are taller and have larger berries compared to their wild cousins that birds widely prefer.

Winterberry - Known more as Holly. The vibrant colors it displays, as well as the fruits they produce, make this very enticing for various species of birds. True to its name, it lasts throughout the winter months.

Use Bird Feeders As An Enticement

Bird Feeders are another option to take if you want to draw in birds. This can be a quick way to attract birds in your garden while your plants grow. Avoid filling your bird feeders with cheap bird feed. Most birds do not eat the filler found in cheap bird feed. The best things to fill your bird feeders with are shelled nuts (peeled), suet or, black-oil sunflower seeds.

Further reading: Choosing the Right Bird Feeder

Provide Plenty Of Water

Placing birdbaths in your garden gives birds a place to drink water and clean themselves. Every bird needs a clean source of water, and adding birdbaths will definitely make them flock to your garden making your bird watching experience all the better.

Further Reading:  Choosing the Best Birdbath

Bird Watching Binoculars

Other Birdbath Tips

  • Make your birdbath look as natural as possible. A bird would feel more comfortable if it was drinking somewhere familiar. To make your birdbath look natural, place it near the ground, and getting its water to move is a more alluring sight compared to a static birdbath.

  • Some birds steer clear from crowded birdbaths. To circumvent this problem, place multiple birdhouses around your garden. It's good to give your birdbaths considerable distance between each other. Placing a birdbath in a shaded and secluded area makes it so that your garden can attract shy birds like woodpeckers.

  • Be sure to regularly maintain your birdbaths for dirty birdbaths that will deter birds from using them.

Give Birds a Nesting Spot

Leaving your gardens plant debris, twigs, fluff, and dead leaves encourage birds to nest near your garden. Grass trimmings are also a popular building material birds use for their nests. Having grass in your garden is a huge plus to incite nesting.

Birdhouses provide a fast solution for birds who are looking for somewhere to settle or rest. Place your birdhouse between 5 to 20 feet. Take note that different height placements of birdhouses attract different species of birds. Lastly, place your birdhouses near foliage or trees to give additional protection and security against predators.

Further Reading:  Great Gifts for Bird Lovers


Having a nice looking garden is great but complimenting it with beautiful birds can be the difference between great and phenomenal! With a little bit of patience, these tips will definitely help you attract birds into your garden.

Guest Author Spotlight

Brett Lewis is the founder and a content contributor for BirdInformer.com. He is an avid bird watcher and has built a bird sanctuary in his backyard following guidelines provided by the National Wildlife Federation. Additionally, Brett loves to travel and when he does, Brett is always looking for unique and interesting birdlife to write about.

See Our  Lists of Other Great Articles:

Homesteading Articles
Hosta Articles
Gardening Articles
Growing and Preserving Food Articles

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases without costing you anything extra.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Growing Ornamental Sweet Potato Vines - Propagation

Growing Ornamental Sweet Potato Vines

The deeply lobed leaves of the sprawling vine of the Ornamental Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) continue to be quite a show stopper in the garden. It's a great way to add a tropical feel to even the northern gardens.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Battling Slugs in the Garden

 Battling Slugs in the Garden


Besides being darn ugly and slimy, slugs look like snails without the shells. They love to chew on plant leaves, and if they're not battled early, they can ruin the look of your plants for an entire season.

Slug damage can appear as multiple holes chewed through the leaves of the garden plants as shown above. The most damage will be done to plant varieties with thinner leaves that are easier for the slugs to chew, like hostas.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Ten Steps For Vegetable Garden Success

Ten Steps to Veggie Garden Success

Successful gardening doesn't come by accident, and in my opinion, there is NO SUCH THING as a green thumb. Success comes from good pre-planning and thoughtful follow-through. It's knowing what each vegetable plant needs to grow to a successful harvest and giving each plant what it needs.

Monday, September 28, 2020

15 Garden Chores for Early Spring

Early Spring Garden Chores

Although the term “early spring” for me in Zone 6 Ohio may not be the same time as the “early spring” for your garden zone, for this article, early spring means that time of year when winter seems to be coming to an end and intermittent freezes and thaws are happening in the garden. The first signs of Spring!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Refresh Your Potting Soil and Save Money

Outdoor terracotta pots with plants.


Refreshing Potting Soil

Leftover potting soil can look a bit spent after a year or two, but experts agree that it still has life-giving potential, especially if you take the time to condition it properly. 

Once you learn the basics of healthy soil, you'll be able to recharge last year's potting soil and save a lot of money by doing so.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

You Have Winter Sown Seedlings! Now what?

Winter Sown Seeds Have Germinated!
Now what?

So you’ve tried the winter sowing method and found out that it’s easy and it works. Mother Nature woke the seeds out of their sleep and now you’re getting lots of little seedlings popping up in their snug, cozy containers.

Organic Mulch

Organic Mulch Right from your Yard!

If you're looking for an organic approach to your mulch, there are some good substitutes, and some of the ingredients for it can be found right in your own backyard!

Friday, September 4, 2020

Great Gifts for Older Gardeners

Great Gifts for Older Gardeners

We all want our older loved ones to keep healthy, and their love of gardening is a great way for them to do so.

The rigors of gardening, such as bending, stooping, kneeling, squatting, gripping, lifting and the like can be good exercise, but it can also be pretty taxing on an older body.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Choosing the Best Birdbath

Zebra Finch

Choosing the Best Birdbath

We all prefer birdbaths that add beauty and whimsy to our yards, but the birds themselves may be looking for something else, things that were designed for them in mind.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

How to Compost

Composting 101
A Little Art and a Little Science

Composting, in a nutshell, is turning your waste into nutrient-rich soil for use in your garden.

You can read about the subject in such depth as to make your head swim and find it to be quite overwhelming. But whether you start with a compost bin or a designated 3 foot by 3-foot area, knowing a few basic principles will help you achieve that rich, earthy-smelling soil amendment that we all want.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Growing and Using Comfrey

Growing and Using Comfrey

A great organic idea for your veggie garden!

One of the most popular plants to grow in an organic vegetable garden is the Russian Variety of Comfrey specifically Bocking 14. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Care of your TerraCotta Pots

How to Clean Terracotta Pots

A big advantage of terracotta is its ability to absorb water from the soil. But because it will also absorb chemical fertilizers and salts found in tap water, that buildup of a crusty residue needs to be removed for the pot to be safely reused the next garden season. 

Although that aged terracotta look is pleasant to some, dirty pots can harbor fungus, mold, diseases, and pests. Regular maintenance of cleaning and disinfecting them is a good garden habit to get into.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Great Gifts for Bird Lovers!

Great Gifts for Bird Lovers!

Whether it's a birthday gift, Mother's Day, Christmas, or just a thank you for that bird lover you know, here are some great gift ideas!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Choosing the Right Bird Feeder

Choosing the Right Bird Feeder

Walking out on my back deck at 7 a.m. and hearing the happy chirping of the birds I have drawn into my yard makes the perfect start to my day.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Why You Need a Rain Barrel Now!

Why You Need a Rain Barrel Now!

One only needs to read about Flint Michigan's ongoing problems related to their water system to realize that clean water may not always be available to us.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Great Gardening Gift Ideas for Kids!

Great Gardening Gift Ideas for Kids

I've been gardening for many years, and one of my favorite things to do is get kids involved in gardening.  It can serve as a great outside classroom.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Winter Sow Your Vegetable Seeds!


Winter Sow your Vegetable Seeds!

First off, if you are unfamiliar with the basics of winter sowing, you may want to start with the Winter Sowing 101 article, then come back for the vegetable sowing specifics.

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