Bird baths add much needed hydration for all bird species, especially in summer
With the heat and humidity we’re experiencing, it’s advisable to keep our bodies well hydrated. The same goes for our fine feathered friends. They seek out water to drink and bathe in and maintaining a clean bird bath is key to attracting birds, year round.
If you have a bird bath, no matter how simple, inexpensive or improvised, keeping the bird bath clean with fresh water is important. As a youngster growing up in West Catasauqua, my summer job was to dump out the water from our ceramic bird bath then scrubbing it clean with a brush then adding fresh water. I had to do this twice a week and more if debris or bird droppings were in it.
If you have a bird bath, you may want to add some pizzazz to it with some action and sound of moving water. According to the Birding Wire, this can be done with a small fountain, waterfall, dripper, mister – or all of these options. Not only will one or more of these accessories create more lively action with the sight and sound of moving water, but they also make your bird bath, water basin, or water feature even more attractive to birds, especially birds that are making a migration stop or even looking for a winter layover.
It’s natural for birds to locate water sources by listening for the movement of water, says the Wire. That’s how they find water at springs, streams – and at bird baths. Therefore, it should be a natural to include moving water as part of a bird feeding station or flower garden. You don’t even need an electric connection to keep a motor running if you opt for a solar-operated fountain attachment or a funky “water wiggler.”
Your local birding or hardware store may have some options. But this kind of specialized equipment can be sent to your door by ordering it online from, for example, Duncraft, or other birding sites.
Here are a variety of options readily available that will have a functioning water feature operating to attract a greater variety of birds during the second half of August and thereafter.
First on the list is a miniature Rock Waterfall, which adds a natural-looking base and the trickle of running water to your yard. This is the exotic exception and one accessory listed that requires an electrical outlet and the safety precautions that come with that, but it’s sure to add much to your backyard habitat if you maintain one. Learn more at https://www.duncraft.com/Layered-Waterfall-Rock-Pump.
A Solar Fountain fits in almost any bird bath, water basin, or other water feature is also available from Duncraft. Learn more about this interesting mini-fountain at https://www.duncraft.com/Solar-Fountain-Pump-Kit.
Drippers and Misters don’t need a power source, but they do require a water source – usually just an outdoor hose is adequate to hook up a dripper, mister, or a combination of the two.
A two-in-one combination, the Drip-or-Mist attachment from Wild Birds Unlimited provides a level of versatility that can be adapted for hummingbirds that prefer mist, or dialed to a dripper with a variable drip rate for many other birds. Learn more about this versatile water feature at https://order.wbu.com/shop/bird-baths-&-houses/bird-baths-&-water/drip-or-mist
Duncraft offers a pure Dripper option, which you can see and review at https://www.duncraft.com/Ivy-Leaf-Pebble-Dipper and https://www.duncraft.com/Erva-Universal-Dripper.
There are also Water Wigglers. The Water Wiggler runs on two DD batteries that keeps water moving with a rippling action. Learn more at https://www.duncraft.com/Water-Wiggler. A lighted option is the Aurora Water Wiggler that features a dome that illuminates at dusk and cycles through six different colors – just for fun. Learn more at https://www.duncraft.com/Aurora-Water-Wiggler.
These can make your existing water feature more interesting for local birds, migrating birds, and eventually, wintering birds. All birds are attracted to water, especially moving water, so consider the importance of using the moving water accessories that you think will serve you and the birds best. In the least, set up a static bird bath that provides a clean water source. The birds will love you for it.
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Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.