Skip to content
June 9, 2012 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Bath Time

One of the easiest ways to attract birds to a backyard is to put out a bird bath or even a shallow pan of water. Birds need a supply of fresh water year round for drinking and bathing.

The robins are my favorite to watch at the bird bath. They jump in and get totally soaked, flapping their wings and splashing water everywhere. Then they fly off to a tree or fence and preen. Bathing and preening helps remove dirt and parasites from their feathers. A clean bird is a healthy bird.

Juvenile Robins

Every year the robins bring their youngsters to the bath and show them the water. The bird on the left is the parent. The young robins still have their juvenile feathers with the speckled breast.

To make it easier for them I put a pan of water on the ground. I use a large dish from the bottom of one of my flower pots. It’s a cheap and easy way to create a bird bath. And the squirrels appreciate it too.

This year I added two new water features to my yard. The little bird bath is for the smaller birds but the robins insist on sitting in it and dumping all the water out several times a day.

The pot with the rocks is a miniature bubbling pond that I bought at the Chicago flower and garden show back in March. It’s sitting on my deck and I’m enjoying listening to the bubbling water sounds as well as watching the birds land in it.

I also have a heated bird bath for the winter. It’s important to provide water for them year round and it often stays below freezing in Chicago for days at a time. When I would put the birdbath away for the winter, disappointed birds would stop by looking for it, so I installed the heated bath on my deck railing. The birds seem to appreciate it.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. Christine Harding / Jun 9 2012 4:04 am

    That picture of the robin shaking drops of water from his feathers is incredible – you must have such patience to watch, and catch just the right moment, No creatures or travels for me today – I’ve been knitting a Not the Jubilee Queen,


  2. Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf / Jun 9 2012 4:41 am

    Oh, what great photos! Love the shot of the family of birds taking a bath! 🙂


    • Leslie / Jun 9 2012 3:02 pm

      That was a busy dad. He had three of them, there was another baby in the tall bird bath.


  3. Trish / Jun 9 2012 4:51 am

    We have a small pond in out backyard and it always makes me smile to see the birds gather at the edge for a group bath. Sometimes they get so rowdy (starlings and grackles!) it feels like a scene from a spring break movie.


    • Leslie / Jun 9 2012 3:04 pm

      When they start flapping their wings in the water I start laughing, it’s so funny. And then they end up emptying out half the bath.


  4. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Jun 9 2012 6:00 am

    You are so good to those birds. No wonder they willing pose for you –all those great shots:)


  5. storygal / Jun 9 2012 6:50 am

    I didn’t know there was such a thing as a heated bird bath. We learn something new every day. Thanks for your continuing education on birds.


    • Leslie / Jun 9 2012 4:10 pm

      I just plug it in and make sure it stays filled with water. The birds figure out pretty fast where the water is on freezing cold days so I usually have a steady stream of visitors.


  6. lemon123 / Jun 9 2012 6:50 am

    I love the robin. He’s having so much fun.


  7. laurelrainsnow / Jun 9 2012 7:37 am

    Lovely photos…and I do adore bird baths. Yours are particularly wonderful, as they are fun and practical. The heated one sounds so perfect.



    • Leslie / Jun 9 2012 4:08 pm

      The first few I bought were just the standard, practical types. Now I’m buying whimsical ones to enhance the garden.


  8. Judy Blauer / Jun 9 2012 7:56 am

    Water Features: my next thing to add to my yard. I love the sound and the birds do need them. We sometime put out a kid swimming pool for the deer on really dry summers, but I would love to add a permanent water feature. Wonder what my DH would think of that!!


  9. Paulita / Jun 9 2012 7:57 am

    Those are some lucky birds in your neighborhood. Love the shots of the wet birds. Here’s Mine


  10. mostraum / Jun 9 2012 8:10 am

    Lovely pictures, and so interesting to read about the birds and washing. I live in a place where water is usually plentiful, so we don’t think about bird baths much. I love that you have a heated one for winter.


  11. Nise' (Under the Boardwalk) / Jun 9 2012 8:55 am

    Great photos! I was watching a robin roll over in a little puddle that was left after sprinkling the lawn and laughing as there is a birdbath not 10 feet away!


    • Leslie / Jun 9 2012 3:13 pm

      If there’s water a robin will find it. I’ve seen them hopping around under the lawn sprinklers too.


  12. BermudaOnion / Jun 9 2012 9:17 am

    The baby robins are so cute. The goslings in our neighborhood are just about as big as their parents already.


    • Leslie / Jun 9 2012 3:14 pm

      I’m amazed at how fast they grow. The baby hawks in the online nest I posted a few weeks ago are all grown up too.


  13. cherylmahoney / Jun 9 2012 9:41 am

    Heehee, I love all those ruffled feathers. Very cute!


  14. Sheila (Book Journey) / Jun 9 2012 9:49 am

    That is too cute – love the bird bath with the gnomes!


    • Leslie / Jun 9 2012 3:16 pm

      I have gnomes all over the garden but the chipmunks and bunnies keep knocking them over. I was hoping gnomes would scare them away but I don’t think they have much effect other than to look cute.


  15. edgar / Jun 9 2012 10:26 am

    The never ending pleasure of watching the birds and listening to their songs. Can you record their calls? The songs of the robin?


    • Leslie / Jun 9 2012 3:17 pm

      I’ve never recorded the bird sounds but I enjoy listening to them. I’m starting to understand robin-speak I hear them so often.


  16. Susan / Jun 9 2012 12:13 pm

    How sweet! Our robins are still sitting their nests, but they are noisy when you disturb them. I’ll have to get a birdbath up and going down in the yard. That’s such a neat idea!


    • Leslie / Jun 9 2012 3:21 pm

      My baby robin photos are from last year about mid-July. No baby robins in the bath yet this year. Their nest is in the neighbor’s yard so I don’t hear them, but I see the parents flying around.


  17. Alyce (@AtHomeWithBooks) / Jun 9 2012 12:21 pm

    I love that first photo with the bird shaking the water off! The place I see birds bathing most often is the fountain next to the coffee cart (which probably says more about me than the birds).


  18. Suko / Jun 9 2012 2:09 pm

    Beautiful photos of bath time! The first photo is fabulous with the water drops, and each subsequent shot is very lovely.


  19. Bev@My Reader's Block / Jun 9 2012 7:22 pm

    I love the action of the first shot–the fluffed feathers shaking off the water drops! And the juvenile robins are so cute with their speckles. I’ve got some bird shots this week too…

    Here’s my Snapshot


  20. Louise / Jun 10 2012 7:44 am

    Great photos as always. I put in a bird bath this year, but need to be more diligent about cleaning it and filling it. I love the link to the heated bird bath! I’ve never seen anything like it. Where I live in Australia is nowhere as cold as Chicago in the winter but still we have big frosts and it’s often below zero overnight, I would love to find one.


  21. dyane / Jun 10 2012 1:02 pm

    again great shots 🙂 love the robin and water shaking one


  22. Carol / Jun 11 2012 3:03 pm

    I love that top photo!

    We had a birdbath, but the dog accidentally knocked it over and broke it. We haven’t replace it yet. Anything low like your dish, he would drink out of.


Comment are welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: