Rant reader Dale Leeper posted the comment about his home-made bird bath in a comment to my bird bath story, and it sounded great to me. I emailed right away asking for photos, and here they are!
Watching the video, it is apparent the bird is afraid of falling into too deep water. Unfortunately, bird baths are often made with human aesthetics in mind instead of the bird’s need. The sides are steep and slippery.
I made my birdbath from a terracotta 16-inch pot saucer. The edges are thick and provide good gripping. The bottom is flat and only a little over an inch deep. Birds have little fear of it.
I placed it on a pedestal I made from an old tree stump cut to about 3 to 4 feet. First I placed an inch of sand on the ground, tamped it down, and leveled it. On top of that a $1, 16-inch cement stepping stone from the home store. The stump sits on top of that, keeping it off the soil.
Then I put 3 galvanized screws in the top of the stump about 8 inches apart in a triangle. The screws can be screwed up or down to make them level with each other using a bubble level. Place the pot saucer on that and fill with water that will be level.
It’s easy to clean since the saucer just sits on the screws and the terracotta is heavy enough to keep it in place even if a squirrel visits.
I’ve had it for at least 10 years and the stump has not deteriorated yet.
It looks natural in the landscape, too.