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Garden Tips: Birds need water, too

Birds need water for drinking and bathing, and the heat of summer is a good time to get your bird baths out.


Birds don’t need to drink as much water as mammals do, because they don’t have sweat glands. They lose water through breathing and their poop. Most songbirds feed on insects and get much of the water they need from their food; however, seed-eating birds (e.g., sparrows) need to drink more water to meet their needs. In general, most songbirds need to drink about twice a day.


Water is important for feather care. Birds bathe to remove dirt and dust from their feathers so they can then preen them to re-align the tiny barbs and barbules that provide structure. They then coat them with an oil from a gland near their tail called a uropygial gland, which makes their feathers waterproof and traps air to keep them warm in the rain or cold weather.

Bird bath care

Bird baths accumulate debris, droppings, and algae quite quickly, so it’s important to clean them regularly (ideally weekly) to prevent disease. Simply drain, scrub with a dilute bleach-water mix, rinse thoroughly, and refill with fresh water.

But what about mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in still water, which makes bird baths potential breeding grounds. There are these cool devices called Water Wigglers that jiggle the water, which keeps mosquitoes from reproducing in the water. The jiggling also attracts birds, as they prefer moving water.

But I don’t have a bird bath…

No worries… we’ve got your back! We have a few bird baths in stock, with more expected in the upcoming weeks, including some beautiful blue and green ceramic one with decorations of birds and frogs. We also carry Water Wigglers. If you’d like to pre-order a bath, just email or phone.