Monday, October 15, 2012

A Stone Bird Bath At Last!

I wanted to make another bird bath project even though my triangular one had become a well known spot for the birds.  I borrowed an idea from another DIY project on a website and it appeared simple to do.  I made one from cement, using a lampshade for the curvature of the trough.

Upside down, wet cement.

Lampshade I used for the trough curvature.

The project came out nicely, but I did not keep it for long.  For some unknown reason, the birds that were so frequently visiting the triangular bird bath in that same spot before seemed to stay away.  I was puzzled.  Was it too shallow?  Was it too small?  What was missing?  Someone had told that it takes some time for the birds to get accustomed to changes or to spot their places for water.

Changes in the family front was on course and I was to move into my new garden area.  So I put back the old triangular bird bath and again, the birds welcomed it!

Within a few weeks of making my circular birdbath that was surprisingly rejected by the birds, we came across a stone smith who had to be urgently summoned to break a mammoth grinding stone during the construction of a new house in our plot.

The stone was in line with the wall.  It had to be removed.  The idea of lifting it out of the ground was dropped because it was bulky, heavy and strong.  How strong it was, was proved by the stone smith as he broke a few chisels, trying to break it into two, to lift up the top portion which was the intended plan. After two days of hammering, he was finally able to crack it, but the crack came upwards.  So it was further broken there and the large pieces had to be used as foundation for the compound wall in its line!

It was that grinding stone and its position which brought this stone smith to us who was to give me and the birds a fine bird bath based on Sadanand's model.

There were also now more nice stones to choose from, since many had been removed from the old structure that was pulled down to give way for a new house.  By that time, I had been well convinced about the value of a bird bath in the garden, more importantly for the birds and then experiencing the joy of watching them enjoy it.

Gurumurthy, the stone smith agreed to it the way I wanted and the technical design Sadananda had explained me.  He had said that some birds would first like to feel the shallow depth and then feel safe. So, a slope in its floor was necessary since it was rectangular.  One inch deep at one end and going deeper to two inches at the other end.  The stone size was about 18"x12".  A fee was fixed for the job. I was now bent upon getting it done even if he quoted high!  

I chose that slab and Gurumurthy, is seen cutting the desired piece.

Tap, tap, tip tap..... It was time-consuming work to chip out the rectangular basin.

New and old. I later kept aside the triangular bath.  

I asked Gurumurthy himself to 'inaugurate' it with its first fill of water.  It was on New Year's day, 2011. My bird bath should be good enough to last for 300 years.  Granite!

Bulbul having a dip.

Now it is used by many.

A Mynah in it.  It must have been warm because the Mynah is not a frequent dipper.

A Squirrel having a fill.

Once you watch their need for water, you will realize how important water is for them also and how long this little service can go.  It is a satisfying feeling. 


  1. I love these birdbaths! Seeing the mynah brought back good memories. We had pet canaries and mynah birds when I was a child. One of our mynahs was quite the talker and seemed to say certain things with purpose at opportune times. His name was Homer. The other primarily made guttural squawks rather than imitating our speech. That bird was dubbed Gravel Gertie because of her gravely voice. I need to write a blog entry about them.

  2. We got a circular stone bird bath (shallow) installed in our terrace garden on a pedestal, but are yet to see birds using it. Have moved it to the shade, but birds are not attracted to it yet.


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