Rustic Bird Baths

Rustic bird baths take advantage of using natural resources that are rough, textured and unpolished.

"Rustic" indicates a woodsy, outdoor feel. It's about being natural, purposefully slightly unkempt, and simple in design. Earthy materials are key such as natural logs or branches, stone, reclaimed rough wood, and driftwood.

The following are examples of different rustic bird baths will great inspiration for how you can add water to your rustic garden to help provide water to the birds that come to your yard.

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Caroline from The Shovel-Ready Garden made this nature inspired bird bath by simply placing a huge shallow planter saucer on a piece of an old ash trunk from a tree the neighbor cut down. The saucer is glazed, which will make cleaning easier, but it has a bit of texture to it as well. (Birds aren't fond of bathing on slick, slippery surfaces.) She also placed a small flat stone in the center for a perch.

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Paul James from HGTV, bought this bird bath basin without a stand so he could place it on an old tree stump. You may find that you have to clean the bath every few days to remove debris, droppings and algae. A stiff brush works best for cleaning birdbaths, and when you're done, just refill the bath with water, and sprinkle a few pellets of BT into the water to destroy mosquito larvae. BT isn't harmful to birds.

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In this example, rather than the dish sitting on top of the stump it is resting in the hollow of an old stump that was washed up on the beach.

I would consider this driftwood and blown glass bird bath with ivy by Blue Barn Artworks “Artfully Rustic”. Although it has a rustic appearance with the driftwood and ivy, it also has a sense of elegance to it and would make a beautiful piece of functional art in the garden. I also really like how they placed a light under the blown glass dish so that you can admire it as much in the evening as during the day.

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A ceramic dish was snuggled into the crotch of a three pronged tree to create a simple bird bath. If you don’t have a live tree as this, then you could simply use a fallen branch that has a three prong crotch. Stand the branch securely in the garden soil and snuggle a glass platter into the crotch. Or you could stand the branch upside down with the three prongs secured in the ground and place your bird bath basin on top. Photo: GardenFreshLiving

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Birds need water as much as any other animal and a bird bath is not only a bath for birds, it is a source of drinking water.

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This birdbath is sitting on three twig branches secured in the center gives it a rustic twig base. Photo Source.

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Another option that is easy and still give our bird bath a rustic appeal is to simply support it off the ground with a large piece of driftwood or tree root. Source;

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This natural bird feeder/bird bath stand, which will accommodate a dish of bird seed or water is made from local vines. Place it outside in the winter and watch as the birds land on the canopy of branches. In the summer months, you can use it as a bird bath. Source: South of 60 Arts Centre.

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Dave Townsend likes to reuse things as much as possible, so he took an old post from an old wooden palette, sanded it and gave it a cedar stain. he left some of the darker marks on it so that it would maintain that rustic look. Then he fastened a copper birdbath that he had and put it into the ground. Around it he planted some Irises for spring, a butterfly bush behind it and two coneflowers, one on each side. Its a perfect setting for the birds and butterflies.

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Sensational and unique hand carved Teak root Bird bath. This rustic bird baths is uniquely beautiful and stands alone as a work of natural art. It started as a tree stump root that was painstakingly dried, sanded and finished. The result is an impressive one-of-a-kind teak root bird bath that will garner endless compliments for its individuality. Source:

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If your garden has a more rustic or non traditional look, then my particular favorite is the little shallow bowl like the one shown in this image. All it is is a shallow dish or bowl, sunken into the ground, fill it with pebbles, and water and you have created a natural little bath or watering hole for the birds and animals in your garden. Source: home to life

While birds can often find water to drink from a variety of sources, such as puddles and dew on leaves, there isn’t always enough to bathe in, so they’ll be delighted to find a birdbath in your garden.

Insect-eaters generally won’t visit a feeder, so supplying water will draw birds you may not otherwise have an opportunity to see. Especially in dry regions such as the desert Southwest, birds will be reliably attracted by the promise of ample fresh water.

Bathing keeps feathers in good condition, and is necessary to the health of a bird. By soaking, splashing, and shaking themselves, then preening, birds rid themselves of dirt and dust. Birds need their feather to fly, but also to keep themselves warm in winter and cool in summer.

Integrate a birdbath or another small water feature into your garden, and you’ll find a variety of visitors there daily. Do consider that birds are vulnerable when bathing: the neighborhood cat or a passing hawk can swoop in and catch a bird at the moment when it is thoroughly waterlogged and unable to fly very far. Placing your birdbath beneath a tree but several yards away from concealing shrubs will shield song birds from the overhead gaze of a predatory bird and give them an emergency perch, but will prevent a cat from sneaking up unannounced.

~By Margaret MacAvoy & Pat Kite, "The Bird Lover's Garden"

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