Birdbaths welcome wildlife

My backyard birdbath has had several visitors lately, but not of the kind I anticipated when I installed it.

A gray fox hopped up one late evening and stood lapping water from the bath.  One morning, I saw a large black vulture standing in the bath, preening and splashing water on its feathers.  And then there are the resident deer who regularly sip birdbath water. 

On rare occasions, I actually see a regular bird splashing around.

I have read that birdbaths need to be cleaned on a regular basis.  I must confess that all the cleaning I do is spray off the bath with my garden hose each time I fill it.  The article I read was also very specific as to what to use in cleaning the birdbath – a mixture of nine parts water to one part vinegar, calculated to prevent mold in the birdbath.

If you are having trouble with mold, this might be something you could try.  I have never had a mold problem and plan to keep on with my hose spraying.

By the way, if you’re planning to install a birdbath, I recommend you purchase a heavy concrete model.  It will be hard to tip over and will last forever.  Also, make sure it is not too deep; over three inches and small birds have trouble reaching the bottom.  And place the bath in the shade if possible so the water will stay cool and fresh.

For lots of free entertainment, and to do a big favor for your resident wildlife, a birdbath is hard to beat.

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