Just Add Water...

Just Add Water...

No matter how it is offered, water will attract many birds to your yard. The key to having your birds comfortable to use the water in a bird bath, is to keep it shallow. Most birds prefer about 1 to 2 inches of water to bathe in. “When their feathers are soaked, they fly very poorly, and they instinctively know to watch for predators, and to head for the nearest shelter as soon as they’re finshed bathing. If you see your birds drinking, but rarely bathing in your birdbath, it is probably too deep, too slick, or too far from such cover”, advises Bill Thompson, editor of Enjoying Bird Feeding More.

You can actually “train” your birds to come to a bird bath or other container by offering water at the same place at a certain time each day. Most days, we don’t have the time to do this, so there are other options to keep water in your bird bath.

The Birds Choice drippers come with a regulating valve. This allows you to control the amount of water coming through the dripper. When cleaning or filling your bath, you can turn the valve to a steady flow. Then to keep a fresh supply of water in the bath, turn the valve to a very slow drip, which will not only keep water in the bath, but the sound and action of the water dripping will attract birds and keep the water from getting stagnant. Drippers do not require electricity, they just hook directly to an outdoor faucet and come with a Y-valve that allows you to use the outdoor faucet for other uses too, like watering flowers or washing your vehicle.

Misters are another means of offering water to birds. They hook up the same way the drippers do with 1/4” tubing directly to the outdoor faucet. Misters attract a wide variety of birds and are particularly appealing to small birds such as hummingbirds and warblers. They are most effective when set up to wet the foliage of a nearby shrub or small tree.

Birds can then leaf bathe by rubbing up against the wet foliage. Additionally, if this wet foliage is above a bath, the water dripping off the leaves creates appealing ripples. All parts in our misters and drippers are designed to provide many years of reliable service. If a component does become lost or damaged, we maintain a complete stock of replacement parts. The 1/4” tubing can be shallowly buried and then left there through the winter or can lay on the top of the ground or flower garden. Other items that can be put in a bird bath to keep the water moving are water wigglers. The solar water wiggler operates with no batteries and uses the sun to power it. The rest of the water wigglers use 2 - D batteries which last over 2 months with continuous use to stir the water. They are available in an aurora version, which lights up for 3 hours after dark, a natural pottery version and the standard water wiggler.

The Birds Choice waterfall rocks are another option for your bird bath. They come complete with a pump to recirculate the water in your bath. When using these (require electricity), make sure to keep at least 1-1/2” of water in the bath to keep the pump working correctly.

When winter comes, replace your water wigglers, drippers or waterfall rocks with a bird bath heater. Birds Choice offers a couple of bird bath heaters or another option is to replace your summer bird bath with a heated version. It is important to not let water freeze in your bird bath. Certain bird bath materials will crack when exposed to winter weather!