How To Keep Algae Out Of Bird Baths

How To Keep Algae Out Of Bird Baths

Do you want to understand how to keep algae out of your bird bath? You could become alarmed when you first see that slimy layer.

This article will cover all you need to know about algae in birdbaths, including how to prevent it and what to do if it does appear.

Let’s go for it!

What causes Algae in bird baths

Algae grow wherever there is standing water. This is so because algae are little aquatic plants without roots. As birds spread the spores on their feathers, algae frequently develop in birdbaths.

The spores start to grow quickly as soon as they are in an environment that includes water, light, and nutrition.

In bird baths, you’ll typically find one of two types of algae:

Red algae

Haemtococcus Pluvialis is the culprit when there is a red slime deposit on your bird bath. You’ll most likely find this kind of algae in your bird bath. Your bird bath will get a red layer as the algae blooms.

Blue-Green Algae

Cyanobacteria are another name for the green algae that grow on birdbaths. This is less frequent than red algae. A bird that had previously visited a pond or other body of water with established growth is usually the cause of blue-green algae introduction.

Are birds harmed by algae?

Rarely are birds harmed by algae in a birdbath. However, as the amount of algae in your bird bath increases, you’ll notice that birds begin to avoid it.

This is a result of algae beginning to absorb all the nutrients from the bathwater. Birds don’t like the taste of algae water either.

Birds will only use your bath as a last resort; otherwise, they will seek out alternative sources of fresh, clean water.

How Do I Keep Algae Out of My Bird Bath

1. Keep it clean

Keeping your bird bath clean on a regular basis is the greatest approach to prevent algae growth. That entails maintaining a consistent cleaning schedule.

It takes a lot of work to maintain a bird bath so that your backyard birds can visit it safely. Otherwise, they’ll quit visiting, and your money would have been wasted.

In the winter, birdbaths also need to be cleaned. When everything is frozen over, birds still require a source of freshwater because algae won’t develop as quickly.

Until it finds the ideal conditions to thrive in, algae will remain dormant. It will therefore grow swiftly once the spring weather gives more heat and sunlight, even if you don’t see it in the winter.

Learn how to clean your bird bath effectively to stop the growth of algae by reading on.

2. Keep away from Trees

Under a tree is one of the worst places to place a bird bath. If you leave it there, you are just begging for an algal problem. You risk having algae spores fall into your bird bath from nearby trees. That implies that despite your best attempts to clean your bird bath, a completely new source could be introduced. If you continue to place your bird bath behind a tree, you are losing the war.

3. Keep it out of the sun

Heat and light are two things that algae need to survive. Your bird bath has access to both of these if it is situated in a very sunny area.

The bird bath should be placed in a shaded part of your yard, if possible. Keep in mind that hiding under a tree is not an option. You should look for a location that is protected from the sun by a wall or your home.

See my article on where to put your bird bath for more information.

4. Replenish the water

I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to keep your birdbath clean. You’ll need to frequently refill the water in addition to cleaning. I would advise daily water replacement.

By using a new source of water, you can eliminate any water that has been polluted with algal spores. Algae has less chance to grow the sooner you remove it and replace it with clean water.

Your birds’ health will be preserved by freshwater. They won’t contract any horrible illnesses that are easily spread at bird baths thanks to it.

5. Use a fountain

To significantly reduce the amount of algae growth in your bird bath, consider installing a solar fountain. The growth rate of the algae is slowed by the moving water.

The one I’d advise you to utilize is this one. The best part is that you can install a solar-powered fountain and leave it alone. The sun provides the fountain with its energy. In this manner, a power supply won’t be a concern for you.

A source of running water also keeps mosquitoes from nesting close to your birdbath.

6. Try Enzymes

6. Try Enzymes

The Sanco Bird Bath & Fountain Maintenance is the bird bath enzyme I’ve discovered to be the most efficient. Add about a capful of this to your bird bath, then watch it work its magic. A few months’ worth of product is in the bottle. Algae won’t be stopped by the enzymes, but they will definitely be slowed down.

The last resort should be algae enzymes in your bird bath because it is preferable to supply water that is as fresh and additive-free as possible.

7. Use Copper

Algal growth can be slowed down by copper. It attaches to the algae and prevents it from making energy through photosynthetic processes.

To prevent red algae, several readers advise dropping a dime into the bird bath. The copper content of pennies is the cause. However, a single penny is probably ineffective against a whole bird bath’s worth of algae. That’s because you’d need a lot since copper is scarcely present in current pennies.

A better option is to fill the bottom of your bird bath with a couple sheets of copper (like this). The birds won’t be harmed by the copper, but it can make your water taste metallic and turn them off.

How to Get Rid of Algae in a Bird Bath

Emptying the water and thoroughly cleaning the bird bath is the best technique to get rid of algae from it. To keep the algae at bay, I advise that you perform this practice at least once a week.

Always follow these 5 simple actions.

1. Remove the water

Clear out any water that is currently in your birdbath. Toss it away from the birdbath if at all possible. Otherwise, birds might reuse the same water to contaminate the bird bath.

2. Scrub

To remove all of the visible algae from your bird bath, use a small yet firm brush. Use an old toothbrush to get as much algae out of any small crevices you can’t reach.

3. Clean it

To ensure that you get rid of all the algae, clean the bird bath’s surface after removing all of the visible algae. A specialized cleaner for bird baths is available. However, you can use straightforward cleaners like salt, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or diluted bleach.

4. Rinse thoroughly

Rinse the bird feeder as thoroughly as you can with a hose. Verify that step 3’s cleaning supplies are completely gone. This step is crucial since birds may react negatively to the cleaning agents you’ve used. However, the birds will be safe after a thorough cleaning.

5. Refill

Refill the water in your birdbath with fresh water. At this time, you can add a capful of enzymes.

– Keep the bird bath in a shady spot.

Final thoughts

You’ll eliminate any water that is now tainted with algal spores by adding fresh water from a new source. It has less chance of growing algae the sooner you remove it and replace it with clean water.

Your birds will stay healthy by drinking fresh water. By doing so, they won’t contract any horrible illnesses that are spread easily in birdbaths.

If you want to keep the algae in your bird bath from growing too much, a solar fountain can help. The growth of the algae is slowed down by moving water.

What can I put in my bird bath to prevent algae?

Consider utilizing bird bath enzymes if you’re having difficulty controlling the growth of algae despite cleaning and changing the water. This all-natural remedy aids in the degradation of existing algae and the inhibition of new growth.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author