I’ve wanted a bird bath for the garden for a long time, but I’ve never found one I liked. They’re usually great gothic monstrosities, or horribly twee, or just plain ugly. But last year we had an unfortunate incident where a fledgling got stuck in a collection of upturned pots that had filled with water, and drowned. This year, when I saw birds drinking out of a deep plant pot that’s filled with water (it holds a water plant), I covered it with chicken wire to prevent any accidents.
Clearly I needed to provide the birds with a safe supply of water for drinking and bathing. We tried a Gardman hanging bird bath, but it was very small, and the holes through which the hanging chain passed were so low that it held barely a dribble. The birds were not impressed.
So I set up a temporary bird bath using an old cat litter tray and some stones. It held a good volume of water, and the stones meant that anything that fell in should be able to climb out. (I have never had a cat. I find cat litter trays perfect for carrying small pots, and for keeping them watered.)
Our bird bath has proved very popular. Memorable visitors include the tiny wren and the fledgling blackbirds.
There’s also an impromptu bird bath in the shed guttering. It’s the tray that goes underneath a set of small pots, and I put it there to hold mealworms for the robin. One day it filled with water, and the blackbird loved it….
But the cat litter tray is pretty old (10+ years, I would imagine) and not designed for outdoor use, and the plastic has gone very brittle. It’s not going to hold water for much longer, so I have splashed out (ha ha!) on a lovely new bird bath.
It’s handmade, to order, from a mosaic artist on Etsy – JoSaraUK. It’s smaller, and shallower, but hopefully the birds will approve. What do you think?
This blog post was written by Emma Cooper and was published on The Unconventional Gardener website. If you're reading it elsewhere you may want to navigate away from plagiarised content.