Help birds look their best

There are lots of things we can do to help gar­den birds keep their plumage in prime con­di­tion...

Garden Answers (UK) - - Wildlife -

1 Pro­vide a bath Whether a bird­bath or pond, the se­cret is all about hav­ing shal­low wa­ter. Birds are look­ing for the equiv­a­lent of a pud­dle where they aren’t at risk of step­ping out of their depth, so de­sign your pond to have a gen­tly-slop­ing beach area or choose a shal­low bird­bath for preen­ing.

2 Leave bare soil Birds such as spar­rows and wrens like to bathe in dust as much as in wa­ter, flick­ing the fine par­ti­cles among their feath­ers. A bare, sunny patch of dry sandy soil serves them well.

3 Make it safe The act of preen­ing puts a bird in dan­ger, so they tend to do it in quiet places. A gar­den with tall trees and dense ev­er­greens is much pre­ferred to those with few hid­ing places. If cats are around, try plac­ing a bird­bath up on a shed or porch roof, so birds can un­dergo their ablu­tions with con­fi­dence.

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