Birdbaths: A Hidden Invitation for Snakes in Your Backyard

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.11 - 2024 5:38 PM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The popular bird-attracting feature that's likely inviting snakes to your yard.

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Finding snakes in your garden can be unsettling, especially when you're simply trying to enjoy the outdoors while birdwatching or gardening.

While these reptiles may not be everyone's cup of tea, understanding their attraction to certain features in your garden can help you mitigate unwanted encounters.

A prime example? The seemingly innocent birdbath.

The Lure of the Birdbath

Birdbaths are a double-edged sword; they draw in songbirds but also appeal to snakes.

Snakes, like all animals, need water to survive. A birdbath not only provides this essential resource but also serves as a hunting ground, attracting prey such as birds, insects, and frogs right to the snake's proverbial doorstep.

Stuart McKenzie from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 explains that snakes frequent water sources like birdbaths to cool off, especially during sweltering summer days.

Snakes in the process of shedding find the water helpful in easing the removal of their old skin. Essentially, your backyard birdbath might be more of a snake spa than you realized.

A Feeding Ground

The birdbath's attraction doesn't stop at hydration and temperature regulation. It's also a potential snake buffet.

Birds drawn to the water can become prey for waiting snakes. Stagnant water in birdbaths is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and cockroaches, while also attracting frogs—all of which are appealing snacks for these reptiles.

Seeking Alternatives

For bird enthusiasts looking to deter snakes without depriving birds of resources, there's a compromise: the mister.

This alternative, favoring motion over stagnation, is less likely to attract snakes. While it may not serve as a drinking source for birds, it allows them to cool off and bathe, minus the risk of turning your yard into a snake hangout.

It's essential to monitor the mister for any unintended puddles that could inadvertently invite snakes.

One such product, the Easy Mister, is designed to be attached to a hose and placed within a tree, creating a refreshing mist for birds to enjoy without the snake-attracting drawbacks of a traditional birdbath.

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