Keeping it clean: bird bath hygiene in urban and rural areas
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In a dry continent like Australia where the provision of water in bird baths is a common and popular practice, very little is known about it. We describe the use of different types of bird baths and how these were maintained by residents (n¼1,728 respondents). The most commonly monitored bird baths were pedestal/elevated baths (>80%). Participants refilled bird baths more frequently in summer compared with winter (water changed once a day: winter respondents, 37.5%; summer respondents, 53.8%). Bird baths were also cleaned regularly (‘Yes I do’: 26.4%; winter respondents, 23.1%; summer respondents; ‘I do but not every time’, 55.6% winter respondents, 58.6% summer respondents). Overall our study indicates good hygiene practices for the maintenance of bird baths, which may help prevent the spread of avian diseases; and that residents are providing water seemingly based on the perceived need for water by birds.
Journal of Urban Ecology
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.