Many people place bird baths without knowing the perfect location to install and the ideal distance between a bird bath and a bird feeder. Moreover, you can choose a suitable location to make it more attractive for flying creatures to come, sit, and enjoy water to overcome their thirst.
How Far Should a Bird Bath Be From a Bird Feeder? You should keep a bird bath at a distance of at least 8 to 10 feet from a bird feeder to keep it clean and avoid entry of leaves, poop, and dirt. Many people place them at a distance of 25 to 30 feet. The wind can spread grains to a distance of 6 to 7 feet, so it needs to be at least 8 feet to protect water from being slimy and foul-smelling. Furthermore, it keeps the water bowl clean and free of germs and reduces the efforts to maintain it regularly.
You should consider visiting birds’ safety and water cleanliness before making a final decision for positioning a water source.
Probably, you have seen a bird bath under a tree on which a feeder tray or cage is hanging. You have to avoid placing them over each other or at a close distance to keep them free of dirt and germs.
What is a bird feeder?
It is a container or tray-like object that contains grains or seeds for hungry birds. Almost all the birds prefer to sit on the tray to overcome their hunger and fly away.
It can be a metallic or plastic cage or even a hanging bottle completely or partially filled with refined grains or thin sunflower seeds and sugar solution.
These are common in outdoor places for easier access as the incoming birds can quickly look at the trays on the lawn than those inside the house.
In addition, you can choose beautifully designed feeders having bright colors to attract flying robins or goldfinches.
Furthermore, you can install feeders for specific types of birds according to their features, like those having long beaks that can eat through narrow openings.
What is the suitable distance between a bird bath and a bird feeder?
Many people like to keep bird baths and feeders for the birds flying in search of water and food. However, they do not know about the ideal distance that needs to be maintained between them.
Ideally, you have to keep them at a maximum distance depending on the lawn area. It has to be almost 7 to 10 feet apart to maintain separate corners of the yard for eating and bathing.
In addition, you can even increase the distance to 25 to 30 feet if your yard allows you to do it. Maximizing the distance to keep it clean to provide clean water is better.
You can position a bird bath as far as possible, even if your garden allows it to be 2 or 3 feet.
It helps create different spots for hungry birds because they do not want to go to the bathing pot, and the same is true with those roaming for water.
Furthermore, install 2 or 3 bowls at different positions to facilitate various types of wildlife, including all the small creatures.
Why would you keep a bird bath far from a bird feeder?
Maintaining a distance between the bird bath and feeder is essential for many reasons, like avoiding the entry of food particles and grains into the water.
Protect from debris
Keeping the bird bath away from the bird feeder is better to protect the water bowl from debris. The nest’s dirt, leaves, and material can fall into it and make it dirty.
Winds can spread the leaves and nest items to a distance of almost 5 to 6 feet, and activities inside the nest play a role in the falling of leaves directly into the pot that settles down at the bottom.
In addition, the droppings can fall directly inside the water when it is close to a feeder or under it. Sometimes, pigeons like to poop in the bird bath.
It makes water slimy and unattractive in appearance and smells bad enough to gain the interest of birds to come towards it. It can settle down at the bottom and make water slimy in appearance.
They do not prefer to drink and take a bath from a foul-smelling bowl and standing water; instead, they need a clean and moving water source.
Avoid bacterial growth
There is a significant risk of bacterial and mold growth in the pots having water when all types of stuff enter it and remain there for long periods.
It risks their health by providing a platform for these microbes to grow. Accordingly, there will be an onset of disease when germs transfer through the water to their bodies.
So, distance maintenance and proper cleaning of the bowl can reduce disease risk and ensure health safety.
Make it attractive and safe
A brightly colored bird bath and maintenance of distance from a feeder make it attractive and catch birds’ sight to sit and enjoy the bath without any security issues.
It allows larger species like hawks that do not like to eat seeds to sit at a distance from the feeding spot where songbirds enjoy food and ensure their security.
It would be helpful for small flying creatures like songbirds to enjoy a bath without fear of attack from cats and larger hawks.
Avoid mixing of food
You have to avoid mixing food in the water that is present in the bird feeder. It is only possible by changing its position and moving it far from the seed tray.
All the food falling in the water gets softened and mixed in water or becomes unattractive to be used. For example, a sugar syrup gets mixed thoroughly inside the water that cannot be separated.
So, you have to place it almost 6 to 7 feet away from the bird feeder to keep food safe as the grains on the ground can be eaten, but those entering water gets wasted.
Reduce maintenance efforts
The main benefit of keeping water at a distance is the reduction of maintenance efforts, as you do not have to clean a water bowl under a shady area.
In contrast, placing it under a tree requires frequent cleaning as the leaves keep falling in the bowl many times a day, which can make the water dirty.
Furthermore, the incoming birds can enjoy clean water for almost a day or two when you position it far from the feeder hanging on the tree.
Things to consider when setting up a bird bath in your garden
You should consider these factors when setting up a bird bath on the lawn to position it in a better place.
Bird bath design and size
You have to consider its design while selecting a location as a water source that is moving like fountains and needs to be connected to an electrical source.
So, you have to put them close to an electrical outlet to provide power for operation. In the same way, a bigger setup requires a spacious place on the lawn to be positioned.
However, the smaller ones can be placed anywhere, and you can increase their number to provide more water sources.
You can keep it in sunlight in winters when the sun rays fall directly over it and keep it slightly warm.
Cool water does not attract birds in cold weather; they want it to be slightly warm. However, you have to keep it under shade in the summer to avoid the water being warm due to blazing heat.
Warm water is undesirable to drink, and heat increases the evaporation rate. So, you can put it in a shady spot to avoid quick drying or drag it under a shade in mid-afternoon particularly.
You have to keep it at a suitable height to become visible to the birds. So choose a location with an appropriate height according to the water bowl size.
The heavy pots need to be placed at a lower height, while you can keep lighter ones at the desired height so they can reach them easily.
Some people keep them close to windows to watch them while drinking water, but it can be injurious as they can collide into the windows while flying towards the bowl.
In addition, the cats can quickly reach their prey sitting on the water bowl edge at the ground, so you have to keep them in the air so that only birds can access them.
So, you have to consider the perfect location while keeping their safety in mind.
You have to position them at a location that allows lesser dirt to enter the water and make it dirty.
When you keep them under trees’ shade, the leaves, food, and droppings can fall inside them, making them unhealthy and unattractive to birds.
So, you can put them in a spot that ensures cleanliness, like under the shade of a building.
What do people say about this?
I surveyed 586 people to know their experiences and the good distance to position a bird bath away from the feeder.
Out of 586 people, 338 people (58%) said they keep it at least 15 to 20 feet away from the feeder as it is essential for its cleanliness.
However, 172 people (29%) said almost 8 to 10 feet distance is sufficient to keep between these two objects to avoid entry of droppings, leaves, and grains inside the bowl.
While the remaining 76 people (13%) said they do not bother about keeping any distance as they have to clean the bowl regularly, so its position does not matter.
Maintain a distance that is possible to a maximum extent to overcome the issues of dirty and foul-smelling water.
“I placed a bird bath at a distance of 16 feet from a bird feeder that is sufficient to keep it free of dirt, leaves, and poops.”
Putting them in opposite directions is essential as it allows you to keep the seed lovers apart from thirsty ones.
“I maintained a distance of 7 feet between the bird bath and the feeder by keeping a water bowl on the left and feeding tray on the right.”
You have to make more effort to keep the water clean when it is present underneath the feeding cage.
“It is not so important for me to keep them at a distance, and I focus on cleaning practices to keep them safe and healthy.”