Installation and Care for Mallee bird baths
A Mallee birdbath dish is made from a sheet of copper. It is spun by hand and it is imperfect. It will develop character from both its imperfections and the specific conditions of the garden it is installed in. If well looked after, it will last decades and over that time attract many, many birds.
The best location to install the bird bath is near shrubs or trees that can offer a launching perch for birds to access the body of water.
Locate the birdbath in a part-shade area of the garden. The birdbath will be well frequented if the dish is surrounded by bird-attracting flowering shrubs or grasses. It is always a good idea to consider locations that already contain mature bird-attracting plants.
It is very important to choose a position that is not frequented by your domestic pets. Birds are very sensitive and aware of areas that may be unsafe or threatening.
Ensure that the dish is well supported. As it ages the copper will harden and retain any
The large and medium bird baths are best supported using a ring shape 250-400mm in diameter (as supplied). The ring should be both flat and level so that the weight of the water is evenly held by the dish when it is resting on the ring. The mini dish is more easily supported. We like to support it using three marbles sitting in dimples ground into stone.
The bath is most easily levelled with a builder’s level that sits across its edges. Level the bath in two perpendicular directions, then fill with water.
A rock may be positioned inside the dish to offer birds an extra landing platform.
Avoid striking the bath with any dense object.
Use & maintenance
The water in the birdbath should be emptied every several days, or as often as possible, to ensure clean drinking water for the birds. A quick wipe of the dish using a cloth will remove contaminants such as bird droppings and falling leaf debris. The presence of copper will help keep algae away and help repel mosquitoes.
It is not necessary to keep the bath filled to the brim. It is the constant changes in water level that help create the lush gradations in the blue-green patina.
The bright sheen of a freshly spun dish will take three to six weeks to dull.
Birds may not flock to the bath immediately. They may take a couple of weeks to discover their new source of water.
Certain plants will encourage and attract birds to your garden. To find out more about which plants attract which birds, these links offer a starting point:
We hope all owners of Mallee birdbaths will enjoy them as much as the local bird life (and other fauna) undoubtedly will! If you manage to capture any photos of interesting bird species in your bath, please do email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kath, Etienne and the team at Mallee Design.