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How to build a simple birdbath for your yard
Two materials, water are all you need to make a place for birds to wash
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All homeowners or renters need is a shallow pan or a ceramic lid to create an easy birdbath.

Do-it-yourself birdbath

Materials:

* One shallow pan such as an old cake pan, not more than 2 inches deep. Or a flat, shallow flower-pot tray used under a flower pot less than 2 inches deep.

* A few large pebbles or a flat rock

Instructions:

* Choose a good site to place the bath. The ground should be level and evergreens or other shrubs should be nearby. It can also be a site to easily watch the birds from a window.

* Set the pan or tray down and fill it with water. The water should be only about an inch to an inch-and-a-half deep.

* Toss in a few large pebbles or a flat stone. These will give the birds confidence to enter the water because it will help them judge how deep the water is.

Source: National Audubon Society

Creating your own birdbath from scratch can be as simple or as hard as you make it out to be.

Carol Shannon, an employee of Outdoor Environments Inc. in Braselton, said it is more or less up to humans to choose between the different styles of birdbaths on the market. Or they can create their own to their liking for one reason.

“Birds aren’t picky,” she said.

And while Shannon admits she has never tried to build a do-it-yourself birdbath, she wants consumers to keep some things in mind.

The most important is the proper water depth.

“It can’t be too deep,” she said.

The typical depth should be somewhere between a half an inch to 2 inches of water.

“That’s where they could bathe, splash around a bit, too,” she said.

A second key element is ensuring the birdbath has a place for smaller birds, Shannon said. She suggested putting a small bowl in the center where smaller birds can land. A flat rock or two in the water also will provide a shallow space for birds to sit, drink or bathe.

While most birdbaths use water, Shannon has seen some use sand instead. Some kinds of birds want a gritty texture to bathe themselves in, she said.

However, many birds will fly to your yard specifically for water to drink or bathe, according to allaboutbirds.org. The website is an online guide to birds and bird watching and is sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a nonprofit organization that connects with its members through allaboutbirds.org.

The website suggests setting the birdbath at ground level, since birds often find naturally occurring puddles or other bodies of water there.

The National Audubon Society — with its mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity — agrees.

On its website, it says residents can make a birdbath using an old cake pan, water and a few large pebbles or rocks.

Whether you choose to make your own or buy one, a lot of options are available.

Mike Badgley, an employee of Bird Watcher Supply Co., said the most popular sellers are made of concrete.

“It’s because of the durability,” he said. “They last a long, long time.”

The bird watching Buford store sells ceramic, glass and plastic baths as well as the concrete kind.

“(Concrete baths) have just been around forever,” he said.

The current supply of concrete baths range from $50 to $70 at the Buford location.

All the concrete baths at Outdoor Environments Inc. are on sale for $59.95 for a 19-by-22 inch bath. They usually sell for $72.

“There are high-end ones and low-end ones,” Shannon said.

She also suggested buying a bird bath from any dollar store will work as well. Home Depot and Lowe’s are two other birdbath retailers.

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