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Birds and Birdbaths - DIY Ungarbarge Repurposing & Reusing

 
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One of the bright spots for me in an otherwise gloomy 2020 was this: The most popular blog post for the year at Cat in the Flock was one I wrote about DIY 'ungarbage' bird baths. I made them 100% out of castoff items in my basement, mostly old pot stands, frying pans and lids, and breeze blocks and bricks. The glass tempered frying pan lids in particular work well because they withstand the extremes of heat and cold weather. I got the idea from an Audubon Society suggestion to fashion bird baths out of plastic garbage can lids. Well, I didn't have any of those and even if I had, I didn't like the idea of how they'd look. But lids put me onto the tempered glass frying pan lids from skillets I no longer used because I'd switched to cast iron. So they became functional garden art. You can read the whole post here: https://www.catintheflock.com/2020/03/easy-diy-bird-baths.html

And for your viewing pleasure, a look at the birds making use of exposed earth for dust-bathing:


I was surprised not to find a forum topic devoted to birds here under critters, but they're key to the whole wildlife ecosystem, and since their water sources are diminishing, it's great to help them out this way. Plus, while they're around filling your life with bird-action joy, they also poop, aerate the soil, and keep harmful insect populations in check.

Not only was this our most popular Cat in the Flock post of 2020, but it was also the 5th most popular post of all time, that being the 7 years we've run the blog. IT'S ALL FOR THE BIRDS! But also for us. I suspect we need them more than they need us, in fact.
 
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What wonderful ideas, Lisa - thank you for posting this! Birds give me so much joy; I would love to do more to possibly make their life a bit better as well. These ideas about birdbaths as well as exposed earth for dust-baths are so easy to implement!
 
Lisa Brunette
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Annie Collins wrote:What wonderful ideas, Lisa - thank you for posting this! Birds give me so much joy; I would love to do more to possibly make their life a bit better as well. These ideas about birdbaths as well as exposed earth for dust-baths are so easy to implement!



Thanks, Annie! That's what I like: easy. As well as free.
 
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I mostly like the idea but wonder about the effects of metal rims on bird feet in hot summer sun. Any issues?
 
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echo minarosa wrote:I mostly like the idea but wonder about the effects of metal rims on bird feet in hot summer sun. Any issues?



I have several metal bird feeders and lots of birds. No problems.
 
Lisa Brunette
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echo minarosa wrote:I mostly like the idea but wonder about the effects of metal rims on bird feet in hot summer sun. Any issues?



No issues whatsoever. I guess the water keeps the rim cool. I've never felt they were too warm for me to touch. The baths get swarmed year-round.
 
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I have an old flower pot near a garden wall, almost entirely hidden in ivy, and it is the favorite bowl of all birds. In fact I would have forgotten about it completely, if the birds weren't visiting it in the summer.
I also made some baths for them from bowls designed for cages, which they like too, and I clean these every once in a while, but it seems that the birds prefer the pot that never gets cleaned. Or refilled. I don't even know what's inside.
 
Lisa Brunette
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Flora Eerschay wrote:I have an old flower pot near a garden wall, almost entirely hidden in ivy, and it is the favorite bowl of all birds. In fact I would have forgotten about it completely, if the birds weren't visiting it in the summer.
I also made some baths for them from bowls designed for cages, which they like too, and I clean these every once in a while, but it seems that the birds prefer the pot that never gets cleaned. Or refilled. I don't even know what's inside.



That's great, Flora! I wonder if its terra cotta mimics a natural environment, so it's just sort of been reclaimed by nature, and the birds like it fine w/out maintenance.
 
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I created a found-item birdbath after reading this. Terra cotta saucer balanced on some branch cuttings. It's sturdy even though it's only held together by gravity and friction. Stones in saucer and filled about 2" with water. We'll see if I sited it properly. It's close to a brush pile, but may be too exposed to predators and sunlight.

Thanks for the inspiration!
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Lisa Brunette
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Austin Durant wrote:I created a found-item birdbath after reading this. Terra cotta saucer balanced on some branch cuttings. It's sturdy even though it's only held together by gravity and friction. Stones in saucer and filled about 2" with water. We'll see if I sited it properly. It's close to a brush pile, but may be too exposed to predators and sunlight.

Thanks for the inspiration!



I love it, Austin! AWESOME! I would love to post your pictures on my blog sometime, if that's OK. Let me know!
 
Austin Durant
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Lisa Brunette wrote: I would love to post your pictures on my blog sometime, if that's OK. Let me know!


Of course, Lisa. That'd be great!

I set up a my camera with a telephoto lens. Hoping to capture some shots of feathered friends bathing in it soon!
 
Lisa Brunette
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Austin Durant wrote:

Lisa Brunette wrote: I would love to post your pictures on my blog sometime, if that's OK. Let me know!


Of course, Lisa. That'd be great!

I set up a my camera with a telephoto lens. Hoping to capture some shots of feathered friends bathing in it soon!



Cool! Can't wait to see those. I checked out your fermenter club website - very cool. Maybe there's a way we can cross-promote or something. I'll think on it.
 
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I love all the birdbath ideas.

We place our birdbath directly on the ground.  It has been there off and on for several years.

Since the ice storm damaged our tree the birdbath and bird feeder were gone for several weeks.  It's back now and the birds are again enjoying the seeds and the birdbath.

I went to take the dog out the other night before the birdbath was replaced and there was a cute little fox trying to figure out where the water had disappeared to,
 
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So creative!

The satellite TV guy asked if he could have my old dish. Said he makes birdbaths out of them. I got so excited & asked him tons of questions. He told me I'd better keep my dish & was happy he "converted" me 😉

Recently I made a bird feeder out of the plastic container that tennis balls come in, a small round plastic dish from a frozen lunch, a stick, string, & a screw. The birdies *love* it.
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Lisa Brunette
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Stef Watkins wrote:So creative!

The satellite TV guy asked if he could have my old dish. Said he makes birdbaths out of them. I got so excited & asked him tons of questions. He told me I'd better keep my dish & was happy he "converted" me 😉

Recently I made a bird feeder out of the plastic container that tennis balls come in, a small round plastic dish from a frozen lunch, a stick, string, & a screw. The birdies *love* it.



The birds and I concur! I'm trying now to picture that satellite dish bird bath, and it's fun!
 
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