With the scorching hot weather, we’ve been having, and with all the weather channels telling viewers to stay hydrated by drinking liquids with water being the best, the same holds true for birds.
Water is the primary attraction for many birds. Birds are particularly attracted to the sound of moving water. So there is an inexpensive solution to this.
If you don’t have a ceramic, plastic, clay or concrete commercially made bird bath, improvise and make a shallow one out of an old bowl, deep tray even the lid of a plastic Rubbermaid trash container turned up to hold water.
There are a multitude of bird baths on the market and to go one step better, Amazon offers a solar powered bird bath insert that sprays recirculating water that’s already in the bath. Birds are attracted to the sound of moving water and a shallow basin for the birds to drink and bathe in will certainly help our feathered friends in this time of heat.
Summer is a good time to think about upgrading to a small water feature. And if you want to get fancy, many backyard birding companies have selections of water features with recirculating pumps and tubing that provide a small waterfall option or a small fountain, as do many home improvement and hardware stores. Once you’ve selected your new yard addition, and installed it with a minimum of effort the fun really begins. You can get your landscaping and design juices flowing with the idea of adding decorative rocks and plants, and other elements. It’s easy, and it will add a lot to the attractiveness of your yard, or even your deck or balcony.
Many birders opt for an artificial rock waterfall that powers water to trickle over a couple levels that lead to a shallow basin. The water is re-circulated from the basin up to the top of the waterfall via a small electronic motor – all quite lightweight, self-contained and protected in a single product. Purchasing a ready-made water feature is mostly a no muss, no fuss project.
When you have positioned your new water feature, you may be interested in enhancing the artificial rockwork to look more natural by adding a few real rocks and stones to give it a more authentic look. In fact, you can form something of a veneer of natural stone over the artificial covering. Likewise, by adding natural rocks around the water feature you can effectively expand the size of the water feature, says the folks at Duncraft, makers of bird feeders and baths.
For the next step, you may wish to add plants around your new water feature – maybe some ferns to create a tranquil setting, or some flowering plants that might attract hummingbirds. You can keep the plants you select in pots, even hiding smaller pots with more stonework, or you can accent the water feature with larger plants in decorative pots. Using decorative pots would be most impressive if you selected a water feature that is more artistic or statuary than rocklike.
Really, the light sound of a water feature is a big plus whether it’s out your window or in your yard. It’s attractive to birds, and it’s attractive to humans, at least to those who sit nearby and listen to the sound of birds that surround you. Enjoy your summer!
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.