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Talkback: Bird baths

I felt so guilty this morning when, on opening the curtains, I saw a blackbird pecking at the ice on our bird bath. This friendly bird is a regular user of the bath and splashes around in it daily, usually emptying most of the water out in the process!

Before flying off to seek water elsewhere he appeared to give me such a 'look' as if to say "Well that's our friendship finished!" that I made de-icing the bath my very next job. I hope he forgives me.


  • my birds do not like fat balls or bread even if I put oil on the bread and mix it what am I doing wrong. I have a lot of pigeons and not so much birds why. I put seeds and worms and all the nice seeds out for them to. can you help
  • Could it be badgers? I have a lovely flower bed in my front garden which is adjacent to a 'wild life' area where there are definitely badgers. My winter pansies and daffodils were beautiful and the tulips were just beginning to flower. A couple of mornings ago there was such a mess on the path. Nearly all the tulips (and only the tulips) had been dug up and the bulbs eaten. If this was the badger then my only regret is that I didn't see him. He did leave me a couple but this morning it was obvious that he'd been back for them. Do you know of any food that I could put out for him?
  • We have been feeding badgers for years with various food items. At the moment they are getting dry complete dog food, peanuts (which they adore) and any fruit that is too ripe for us such as bananas apples plums.
  • The starlings and blackbirds fight over the shallow bath, as soon as I melt the ice and top up with fresh water. I'm surprised the water doesn't freeze on their wings!"

    My deep bird bath is a frozen solid block of ice, boiling water makes a jagged hole so I stick to the shallow one for now.
  • Forgot to mention that I put a "beakfast" out every day of oats, seed, apples, sultanas and seed bread. On weekends they get two feeds!

    I get up to 20 blackbirds at a time along with all the other local birds! my neighbours are not very happy with all the pooh on their fence!
  • I have lots of cats (that can climb very well)
    and I cant find a place to put anything out for the birds
  • I have 2 traditional birdtables and 4 neighbours cats that just love my garden!!! 1 of the tables i've moved amongst my honeysuckle, difficult for cats to get to and any movement is an early warning sign for the birds to scatter, the other one is in the open, no fatalities as yet.I have seen modern feeders, long metal pole types that have 'arms' where you hang the food.Hope this proves useful.
  • Unfortunately my approach of smashing the ice with a hand trowel resulting in the bird bath (an old lasagne dish) smashing this morning!!! There were other dishes though but I will have to locate a replacement as the birds particularly like this dish for baths.
  • You can always an a bird bath heater to prevent the water from freezing in winter. There are battery operated, solar and electric models. They are also not expensive!

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