random5315's picture

Small pond and bird bath combo

My pond is shallow (about a 30cm deep) and about 1.2m diameter. Birds love to bathe in the shallow, cobbled end and I watch blackbirds, sparrows, blue tits and siskins queuing up for their turn every day.
But, and this may sound silly, is it hygienic? If the birds are 'depositing' into the same water they're drinking, are they going to spread diseases to each other?
I have aerating plants and a fountain running which I hope makes it a good environment for beneficial bacteria. The water is clear and well visited by frogs and newts, so I think the quality is ok, but it's clearly not a free flowing stream so is there anything else I need to do to make it safe for birds as well as my amphibian visitors? I encourage lots of wildlife into my garden - I don't want to kill them!

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Amadan's picture

When you think about

What happens to natural ponds, a few birds bathing is not really too much of a problem.
There has been a huge decline in the number of natural ponds over the last few decades, and as a result the "pressure" on garden ponds has become greater. More individuals from more species are using the remaining resources.
So what can you do? Well, you've done the most important thing, putting in a pond - no matter how small. Can you fit in another? Old kitchen sinks can be picked up from garden centres, as can pre-formed ponds. Most of these are dangerous for mammals - put in an untreated bit of wood, held down by a stone at one end, so that they can climb out easily.
Put in a rain-saver water butt, so that the ponds can be topped up with non-tap water (lower nutrient levels).
And thanks, from the many species that will already be using your pond!