Outdoor Fountains are a beautiful addition to any garden; their calming nature and accenting structure are most often used to embellish upon the atmosphere around them, but they will undoubtedly become a focal point when birds find them. It is purely fact that birds love fountains. Anything that has running water becomes an interspecies water cooler for the vocally diverse, making fountains a wonderful addition for birdwatchers.
The main shortfall for having a fountain that attracts so many birds is the mess created. With no need to illustrate what said mess consists of, all you need to know is how to clean it up without harming the integrity of the fountain’s material or finish. The best possible method for cleaning your fountain is to mix white vinegar and water and wipe with a soft cloth or towel. There are also a large number of cleaning products sold for fountains. If you were to use them, be sure to pick one formulated for the volume of water in your fountain and without chemicals that can harm animals.
Another obstacle to overcome with a fountain is the type of birds that it attracts. Every bird, no matter the shape or size, is attracted to running water. Larger birds, like crows, ravens, grackles, cow birds, and sometimes blue jays, may scare away smaller birds. A great practice for getting rid of these birds is, if you have bird feeders, to stop feeding them for about two weeks. This will discourage all birds from coming back for a while. The first ones to come back should be the smaller birds looking for food away from the larger ones that just took their new territory.
People that do not like birds should probably stay away from purchasing a fountain; however, if they wanted a fountain, there are many types of bird repellents on the market. From nets, to chemicals, to spikes, to sound boxes, and to faux owls, bird repellents vary for people that want to be rid of the singing pests.
Metal nets can be used to surround fountains preventing almost any animal access to the water. Unfortunately, this will also obstruct the view of the fountain. Chemicals meant to make the birds’ feet stick to a surface or have foul tasting feathers can be added to the rim of the fountain or water. Bird spikes can be applied to keep birds from landing, but these are mostly recommended for roofs and fences. Unless your landscaping theme is a Dominatrix’s Eden, please do not use spikes. Sound boxes use calls from large birds of prey to scare away small birds. Probably the best and safest method to keep birds at bay is to use a faux owl. Decoy owls make small birds and other small animals believe that they are in a hunter’s territory, which conditions them to stay away.
Again, birds love running water, and therefore, fountains. Adding a fountain to your garden will not only enhance the atmosphere but enhance the bird population. To bird lovers, be sure to maintain the integrity of your fountain to keep your guests and yourself happy and healthy; and to those that would rather have just the fountain and not the extras, be sure to keep the fountain safe for you and good luck scaring off the pests