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For some folks, there may be a “why” rather than a “how” in regards to birdbaths, and to answer the question, there are plenty of reasons to have a birdbath. For one, birds, like all animals, need water to survive: They drink it, they bathe in it (as the name suggests), and they play in it as well. As for why we people should care, well, aside from birds being beautiful creatures and fun to have around, they also help with eliminating pesky insects, they sing songs, and they also can assist with pollination and fertilization.
For these reasons, birdbaths are nothing new in the home garden, and we are all familiar with those basic concrete basin designs that have been around for years. However, for the creative types, the DIY-ers of the world, and the upcyclers out there, there are many cool and creative designs for those interested in adding one to their yard. These are designs that don’t require a lot of tools or skill, but they make fine birdbaths nonetheless.
1. Old Bowl Birdbath
Source: Stephen Little/Flickr
Look in the back of one of the lesser-used cabinets in most kitchens, and there is a bowl or shallow plate that has simply been tucked away for … likely the rest of their life. We get bowls for wedding gifts. We get them for the holidays. Somehow, they accumulate. Well, a birdbath is a great way to give them purpose.
We can glue or screw (with rubber washers) that old bowl onto a sturdy stick or dowel rod, or we can even attach it to an old table leg. That stand can then be driven into the ground, and that’s a birdbath. If the bowl isn’t particularly attractive, it could be painted or rocks could go into the basin. And the upper edge could be decorated with little sticks for the birds to perch on.
2. Plant Pot Birdbath
For some of us, there are never enough plant pots, but for others, they seem to congregate in our sheds like teenagers in a parking lot. They come from nowhere and everywhere at the same time, and suddenly, they are all just there. Luckily, plant pots can double as some pretty snazzy and thematically on-point birdbaths.
This easiest plant-pot birdbath is to turn the pot upside down and put the saucer (for catching water) atop the pot. The saucer will hold water as it is meant to, and the pot now acts as a stand for it. For an abundance of pots, they can be stacked a few high and, of course, glued together and stabilized at the base with either a large pot or some sort of hidden anchor.
3. Tea Set Birdbath
Tea sets aren’t something we all have sitting around, but for those who do, how often are they used? Even for those who don’t have them but may like this version of a birdbath, old tea sets are probably something that can be found at a thrift store, and it won’t even matter if they are chipped or cracked.
Essentially, this idea works the same as stacked flower pots. Using a combination of saucers, pots, cups, and milk jugs, we can create a unique looking stand, glued together, for the birdbath, and that can be finished off with a saucer on top to hold the water.
4. Chair Perch Birdbath
Birds love a place to perch, particularly after a bath, when they are letting the sun dry off their feathers. And, they like to perch when they are in the garden, and they also often like to perch on the backs of garden chairs. For anyone with patio furniture, particularly ornate wrought iron stuff, tucked in the shed or garage, they should consider whipping together a birdbath.
Essentially, this is as simple as putting the chair out in the garden, perhaps strategically placed under some trees or a spot where the chair looks appropriate. Then, on the seat of it, a plant pot saucer, an old bowl, or something similar can be filled with stones and water. And, that’s a birdbath.
5. Garbage Can Lid Birdbath
Garbage cans don’t last forever, and sometimes what happens when they perish is that we are left with a perfectly good lid. For those avoiding plastics, this might mean they are left with a metal lid, which looks much more fitting in a garden than the plastic ones. These lids, wide and shallow, make ideal birdbaths.
A nice way of making old garbage can lids into attractive birdbaths is to create a stout base out of rocks or old bricks. Then, the lid can be set atop the base and filled with water. Birds prefer a shallow, puddle-like bath to dip in. This works great.
Water features are a really good idea for gardens, and birdbaths are a quick, inexpensive means of introducing one. Garden ponds are a great idea as well. The animals, including birds and bees, all love them, and that encourages more biodiversity in the garden. A collection of unique birdbaths might be a fun way of doing this as well.
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