i like to feed the birds in my area.... and would also like to provide water
for them.... to drink and bathe.... but my cement bird bath grows algae at an
incredible rate.... short of cleaning it every day.... which is not something
i am thinking about.... is there any additives that i can put in the water to
prevent algae formation?
Nothing that wouldn't injur the birds.
Birds prefer birdbaths in shade. If you could plant shrubbery as a
backdrop to the birdpath, which hung over it a bit, the lessened amount of
direct sunlight should cut down on algae growth.
There's nothing actually harmful about algae. Our birdbath is well-shaded
by shrubbery on three sides, so gets very little algae, but what it does
get doesn't actually show, because the color of the birdbath is so dark.
The bath is wide enough there's room for a little "island" of a rock for
birds to hop to, & a potted bog plant sitting in the water. Leaf-fall
accumulates in the birdbath, & the birds often drop hard hawthorn or rowan
berries in it to soak. Whenever it gets a little cluttered with sunken
organic bits, I just give it a hard spraying while watering the garden, &
it takes no further upkeep.
A few copper pennies in a birdbath is said to keep algae down without
harming birds that drink from it. I don't know if that actually works, but
copper is an algae retardant used for some aquariums.
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
That reminds me... I need to clean and fill the birdbath yet today.
It's not much different than leaving water out for a dog or cat. The
more (and deeper) the water, the more shade, and you might be able to
get a couple of days out of the water. But chances are if you are
serious about this, you will need to maintain it every day.
You don't have to scrub it down every day. Emptying the dirty water, and
a quick rinse is often all that's needed, depending on other conditions.
But even under ideal conditions, a concrete bird bath should be cleaned
(as in scrubbing and rinsing with plain water) at least once a week. A
non-porous resin birdbath may be able to go longer without a real
cleaning, but I'd still suggest a dump, rinse and fill every day.
Would you want to drink water that sat outside for more than a day?
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