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Great Tit and her chick perched around rim of metal bird bath

Can birds drown in a bird bath

Fear of birds drowning in your bird bath can happen, but less so if you take real, active precautions to stop it ever happening, however rare it may be.

Birds can drown in a bird bath but it can be prevented if you line the bird bath bowl with stones, to create better footing. What else is important is keeping the water depth shallow, 4-3cm only by controlling the depth. Fragile, vulnerable young birds can drown, but so to can adult birds if they get into trouble.

No need to go out and buy or use a special bird bath style for the sake of preventing small garden birds drowning in it.

Any type of bird bath can be made safe providing you control how deep it can get, in which a depth of 3-4cm is recommended.

To protect smaller, more agile hatchlings, and so too their parents around the bird bath; simply line stones on the bird bath bowl, submerged underwater. And while your at it, add a brick or rock for a safer perch area within the bird bath bowl.

Not only can this create grip as they tread on the base to enter the water, but in case of getting into difficulty - the stones can help them quickly find their feet.

Control the water depth with the stones at the bottom, with a clearing of 3-4cm from the layer of stones to the rim of the bird bath only.

That way the rain water would simply spill out rather than forcing the bird bath deeper.

Fragile chicks can drown

Absolutely can garden birds drown in a bird bath, but more so can new arrivals into the world, when they are at the most vulnerable.

Young birds must drink do will arrive with mum at the bird bath once in a while, so will do when heading over to the bird bath.

Remember, a 3cm deep bird bath can seem like up to 6cm for young ones.

And as hatchlings don't quite have their strength yet, working the bird bath in a safe way is an ongoing process - so any difficulty can be hard to recover from.

Young birds, if fell into the bird bath, would quickly panic which in turn will lead to them drowning.

For this reason, its important to shallow the bird bath with stones on the water bowl base, with a focus more in spring through summer - when the hatchlings have left the nest.

Larger birds can in too deep water

Not only the young that can get into difficulty around a bird bath mind, inexperience can be possible for newly arrived garden birds, as they learn how to use a bird bath.

To not know how deep the bird bath is, can lead to birds entering the water in a deep part, which would lead to them drowning.

Cause of this is birds not knowing how deep the water is when the base cannot be seen.

Its vital then to continue to keep the bird bath water clean, along with bright stones and pebbles on the base - as to get an idea of the water depth.

Experienced adult common garden birds will likely drink or bathe in nature, entering the water from a shallow embankment, whereas a bird bath rim is far deeper - leading to more trouble as birds hop into the water.

Keep the bird bath water depth low while using a smaller bird bath if need be.

Drowning can happen but rarely

Fortunately, while its certainly possible garden birds can be seen to drown in a bird bath, it would be an unlikely occurrence.

In fear of you being responsible or finding a poor, lifeless bird in your bird bath some day; its not something you really need to worry about as the odds of if happening to you is so small.

Don't miss an opportunity to offer a reliable source of water to birds that need it out of fear alone.

If you follow strict rules of creating a safe environment around the bird bath, then you can rest assured it would be near impossible for birds to drown in your own bird bath.

Trick is to keep the water depth shallow as possible while lining the base with small stones to create footing - which is impossible in a slippery metal or plastic bird bath bowl.

Drowning causes

Distraction is a big cause of drowning in bird bath, losing focus on their footing with other birds around them frolicking around, causing a little chaos.

Busy bird baths can indeed lead to a weaker, more vulnerable bird getting into trouble amongst it all - so drowning can happen despite the things we do to prevent it.

For garden birds to use a solar powered bird bath is safe for sure, but when it uses a too fast, to much force water fall - it can lead to birds getting swallowed up in the undercurrent - so keep it gentle then with a shorter waterfall.

Unfortunately, wild bird bath styles can also have their say as the material used to make it can be slippery, which is a big hazard when around water.

I would recommend use of a stone bird bath on a pedestal or bowl if you can, but a metal or plastic bird bath would be OK if following strict rules of keeping birds safe - and they include adding stones to the base, submerged underwater.

What else can be an issue, but a rare one is the bird bath water being quite shallow, but there can occasional be a random deep spot birds can fall into.

How to avoid mishaps

To avoid the possibility of birds drowning in a bird bath, its vital to keep the bird bath water as shallow as possible, within reason.

Only replenish the bird bath of water up to 3-4cm only, but making sure it doesn't dry up in the process.

What you'd need to do to guarantee this depth at all times, is making sure the bird bath water bowl can only fill as much as 4cm.

To do that you'd basically line the bird bath bowl of stones so there's only a maximum depth of 4cm - from the layer of stones to the bowl rim. If then the bird bath fills with rain water, it would simply trickle over the sides while maintaining the strict 3cm to 4cm depth.

What else you can do is use one or two rocks in the bird bath as an artificial perch.

But to level off the bird bath to make sure there's no deep end would certainly be a big help, but once more make sure there's no areas in the layered stones or pebbles where small garden birds can fall into, which would lead to them going underwater.

To summarise

Large garden birds such as Dunnocks, Crows or Pigeons don't risk drowning in a bird bath, nor do the smaller Blackbirds.

But the risk to small common garden birds such as the Tits, Sparrows and Robins who drink or bathe in your bird bath can lead to drowning.

But first you'd need to think about the young birds who arrive at the bird bath at the end of nesting season - so do fill the bird bath to accommodate them, not the adult birds.

I think its safe to say a bird bath water depth of 3-4cm only would be safe as can be, but a little shallower can certainly help.

Depth of the water can be controlled with use of lining the bird bath water with stones or decorative pebbles - with an additional rock or brick to use as a perch in the centre - or offset it if you feel creative.

Its unlikely you'll see a garden bird drowned in your bird bath, but it can happen unless you take extra precautions.

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