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Why Put Stones in Your Bird Bath?

Why Put Stones in Your Bird Bath?

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand! It was originally posted on June 19, 2014. Enjoy!

Turns out that stones in the bird bath are more than just an aesthetic element. In fact, they may even save a life.

“This morning a little bird was flapping his wings frantically in the bird bath,” said Crystal Carvotta-Brown, a cat rescue volunteer in Massachusetts. “At first I thought he was just cleaning his feathers but then I realized that he was in distress.”

Crystal, an avid community organizer who has helped place hundreds of†throw-away cats, was quick to take action when she sensed danger.

“I walked over to him and he didnít even try to fly away so then I thought he was injured,” Crystal said. “I used a large stick for him to hop on to which he did but then proceeded to try to fly and fell to the ground. He started running away from me. I was able to get him and get him safely into a cat carrier and contacted a wildlife rehabber. Turns out he was just a baby sparrow and got himself pooped out trying to get out of the bird bath because his feathers were all wet and he couldnít fly.”

A clean, well-maintained bird bath helps prevent dehyrdration

“Once he dried off he started flying around inside the cat carrier so I brought him back outdoors and opened the carrier door and off he flew. Iím thrilled that he is okay but canít help but feel stupid for never thinking that the little bit of water in there might be too deep for a baby bird! The rehabber recommended that I put a couple of large stones in the bird bath so that smaller birds can get themselves up on top of them to dry off and get their bearings again.

Perhaps other people know this but I figured it was worth sharing for those of you that do have bird baths so that if you havenít you can also consider making them safer for the smaller babies. ”

Crystal hopes that her experience will help others protect fledgling birds in their yards.

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10:19AM PDT on Jul 20, 2015

Thanks much for the info, as I too was unaware. I will be adding stones to my bird bath as soon as I get home from work. *V*

8:19AM PDT on Jul 16, 2015

Stones in the bird bath also help butterflies, dragonflies, bees, wasps, ladybugs and other small creatures get a drink without the risk of drowning. Anything we can do to help our wildlife neighbours is a great thing! Thanks for this post!

6:15PM PDT on Jul 6, 2015

A good informative post. Bird life is precious.

5:14PM PDT on Jul 6, 2015

1) it gives the birds a place to stand while they rest. Sometimes, they wish to sip the water. 2) Other times, they wish to splash-splash around in the water. 3) But... to prevent the bird from drowning, give them a river-stone pebble or six to stand on! It raises the water level, and 4) it adds weight to keep the bird bath more stable. Mine is on iron legs, and the bowl itself is ceramic, which fits into the circular cut out, which is part of the metal legs. The river stones [yeah, i bought them at the Dollar Store] adds weight to keep the lighter ceramic [or other lighter weight bowl] safe from tippy-toppling over from higher winds. But i've seen many young birds, taking their first few dozen flight lessons, aim directly for the nearby bird bath ~ to get a sip of water. They were being trained by their mamma and papa [they work together as a team to educate the young, and even to feed the young: one is always on the lookout to ensure the other adult bird and the young are safe. (even from me :-) ) It's so precious - at 4pm everyday, i get a trio of chirps, to alert me that they need to tend to their young. Sure enough, they're strategically situated atop the roof of the 6' tall bird house [on a telescoping pole], one on the highest nearby phone wire, and another bird, perched on a branch of the Dogwood Tree. When i leave to get the slices of bread, purchased just for them, they know i got the message, and yes, i feel part of the lovely ritual.

12:01PM PDT on Jul 6, 2015

We have our bird baths and feeders in an old chain link dog run. Birds and squirrels can come and go with fear of cats. Another way to protect birds.

11:50AM PDT on Jul 6, 2015

Justice for ALL ... this is great, the little guy often gets left out.

As for those who have a solid core base with moat effect surrounding it, that's great too. If that core is removable, you could alternate its with or without feature to at least somewhat afford equal time. Of course, having said that, the big guys will continue to take over each and every opportunity that presents, but worth the try don't you agree?

10:38AM PDT on Jul 6, 2015

Thank you ,was thinking of getting a bird bath.

12:53AM PDT on Jul 6, 2015

Interesting, thanks.

9:13PM PDT on Jul 5, 2015

Makes sense.

3:36PM PDT on Jul 5, 2015


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