Welcome to my Bird Blog!

Welcome to all my fellow bird lovers and gardeners! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Importance of Providing Water for Wild Birds Year Round

My chickadees often visit this bird bath for a drink and a splash!
from Grandma Pearl

Water For The Birds

Wintertime is not only cold, but dry!  I can't tell you how many times I've used hand lotion the last couple of weeks; nor how much water I've swallowed.  The cold temperatures rob all the moisture from the air, inside and outside.  The humidity in my house goes from a normal of 55% way down to about 25 to 30%. 

The wildlife around us needs just as much water as we do.  In the wintertime when all water sources are frozen solid, or have dried up completely, our birds still need essential water to survive.  Snow on the ground can serve as a source for the birds, but it costs them valuable energy they need to stay warm.  In order to metabolize that snow, birds have to use up some of their energy stores.  So that means more time spent foraging for food.  And then there are often times when there is no snow on the ground, but temperatures are still below freezing.
That's where we come in--By adding an inexpensive de-icer to our bird bath or basin.  It can literally mean the difference between survival and doom for our feathered friends.  These devices are safe to be submerged, and they will not harm the birds in any way.  Use a UL listed outdoor-rated electric cord and plug that in to your de-icer.  It will keep the water at about 40 degrees.   You must make sure that there is water in the bird bath at all times, otherwise the de-icer will keep trying to warm the air.  That can lead to a 'fried' de-icer.

There are thermostatically-controlled bird bath heaters as well.  They shut off automatically when there is no water in the bird bath.  Alternatively, you can also find heated bird baths that have built-in de-icers.  If you live in a colder climate that receives a lot of sun in the winter, then you might want to consider a solar-powered bird bath.

Whatever you choose, remember to keep your bird bath filled with water all the time.  Birds will come to rely on your water source, and as a result you may see many birds you might not have seen before. Your yard will become a very popular spot in the neighborhood!

To learn more about different options and materials available for bird baths and de-icers, click here.


Shauna L Bowling said...

Connie, I could have sworn I commented on this before. (I must be getting forgetful in my old age!) This is a wonderful reminder for those of you who actually have winter. It gets quite cold in Central Florida, but not cold enough for water to freeze in the bird baths. Which is why birds fly south in the Winter, right? :-)

Connie Smith said...

Hi Shauna, Yes, those little birds know what they're doing, don't they? Heading south sounds like a great plan right now. We are expecting about 10" of snow in the next 2 days! Wish I could hop a plane and go some place where I won't have to shovel snow! LOL