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Should I Keep Birds From Bathing Below Freezing (1 Viewer)

ewalsh

Member
I have a heater element in my bird bath and it's freezing out. I read somewhere that you should put rocks in to try and keep birds from bathing so that their feathers don't freeze. Is that true?
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Birds need fresh water to drink and also to bathe in order to keep their feathers in tip top condition regardless of weather conditions. Obviously species adapt to the habitat, whether desert, sea, mountain or jungle. I've put hot water into my bird bath when its frozen and they continue to drink and bathe as needed, mostly songbirds.
 

ewalsh

Member
Birds need fresh water to drink and also to bathe in order to keep their feathers in tip top condition regardless of weather conditions. Obviously species adapt to the habitat, whether desert, sea, mountain or jungle. I've put hot water into my bird bath when its frozen and they continue to drink and bathe as needed, mostly songbirds.

Thanks I've been worrying about it and trying to decide what to do. But part of me assumed that birds are pretty smart and know what to do to take care of themselves. But the other part of me tends to go overboard worrying about making a negative impact without even trying. 3:)
 

MSA

I may be relaxed but I'm not drunk....
Surely the reason for bird deaths is poor hygiene - it's not the feeding/water that's being provided that causes the problem.
 

Robert Wallace

Well-known member
Thank you for bringing the Royal society paper to my attention. It is many years since I completed my science degree and my post graduate study and qualifications (professional and academic) are in HR.
I therefore did the usual thing with lengthy papers which was to read the abstract (or the executive summary) and the conclusion.
As a result I will continue to feed my garden birds and send in my Garden Birdwatch observations to the BTO. I shall await scientific advice from the BTO when it feels necessary to do so. I noted that Mike Toms (BTO)was involved with the production of this paper and I am confident the BTO will inform it's members of "good practice" with regard to garden feeding.
Incidentally I stopped feeding the birds with peanuts because of mold and restocked my peanut feeders with suet pellets and black sunflower seeds, this has proved highly popular with the birds if not a little expensive.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Good to hear Robert. Most garden bird feeders ( the human type ) follow good practice in obtaining the best quality foods and a variety. I've had some healthy numbers of birds this winter which take sunflower hearts, insect suet pellets and blocks, millet and oats.......always with fresh water available. Highlight this week was a song thrush enjoying the ground scattered pellets.
P
 

StephenHampshire

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Good to hear Robert. Most garden bird feeders ( the human type ) follow good practice in obtaining the best quality foods and a variety. I've had some healthy numbers of birds this winter which take sunflower hearts, insect suet pellets and blocks, millet and oats.......always with fresh water available. Highlight this week was a song thrush enjoying the ground scattered pellets.
P

I gave up feeding peanuts a long time ago; I feed with sunflower hearts, suet and seed pellets and dried mealworms. I have witnessed the decline of greenfinches but have also seen a massive increase in starling number. I also contribute to BTO and read their missives.
 

Robert Wallace

Well-known member
Stephen
I find that the black sunflower seeds are much more popular than the sunflower hearts. The sunflower hearts are in a conventional seed feeder with perches, whereas the black sunflower seeds are in the old fashioned wire netting peanut feeder. The sunflower seed feeder needs to be carefully positioned because of the mess they produce.

Robert
 
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