Watching, Attracting and Feeding Birds in New York
with Sam Crowe
Managing your birdbath keeps it attractive and safe for both you and the birds.
Change the water every few days (2-4 days are typical times) if it is not re-circulated through a filter system. A simple flush with a garden hose is all it takes. The amount of use by the birds will determine how often the water needs to be changed. Frequent changes minimize pollution from bathing birds, will prevent mosquito larvae from developing and will slow the growth of algae.
The bath may need to be scrubbed once a week with a brush to keep algae at bay, especially during the summer. There are products (offered by companies like Carefree Enzymes Inc. and others) that provide bird-safe water treatment to help control the growth of algae.
If algae growth becomes a problem, use a 10% bleach and water solution to clean the bath. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after cleaning with a bleach solution. A 50-50 mix of vinegar and water can also help remove algae.
If the design of your birdbath supports it, a small pump or re-circulation system is a good idea. A filter arrangement helps keep the water fresh and moving water will control the development of mosquito larvae.
Be sure to drain the birdbath in freezing weather, unless you are using a heater. (A good idea in any case.)
Ducks Unlimited - The Bird's Friend
Ducks Unlimited is one of the best conservation organizations in the country.
Some people may find it strange that a bird watcher supports a hunting group like Ducks Unlimited. If you are not familiar with the group you might be surprised that they are one of the largest and most successful conservation organizations in the country. They have conserved over 13 million acres of habitat since 1937.
The organization understands that without good nesting and wintering habitat for waterfowl there would not be any ducks and geese to hunt. In fact, there might not be very many ducks and geese left at all. And they put their money where their mouth is. Their efforts include the Duck Stamp program, hunting license fees and direct donations to different conservation organizations. Ducks Unlimited is as much a conservation organization as it is a hunting organization.
Visit the Conservation page of the Ducks Unlimited web site for more information.
If you enjoy watching waterfowl, you might enjoy our waterfowl app.