- Birds need water for drinking and preening.
- Some birds that would not normally visit feeders will come for a water source.
- Any water is an improvement but standing water is the least effective.
Moving water will attract more birds because the motion catches their eye and they can hear any dripping, sprinkles or splashes. Adding a jiggler accessory to a standing birdbath adds motion easily. A hose dripping into a dish or pond can have a similar effect and will attract more birds.
Active splashes can be heard from quite a distance and will attract a wide range of bird species. Flowing water stays cleaner and is less likely to harbor parasites or bacteria that could harm birds.
Providing fresh water in winter is especially important. A heated birdbath is the easiest method and not too expensive.
Ways To Offer Water For The Birds In Your Yard
Birdbaths are the fastest, easiest way to add water to your backyard bird habitat. Birdbaths come in three basic designs;
1. Pedestal. These classic birdbaths stand three to four feet above the ground and include a post-style base on an elevated dish. Pedestal bird baths may be plastic, metal or concrete and come in many decorative designs and colors. The models which include small fountains, bubblers, and heaters for the winter will be the most effective.
- Dish. A simple saucer or shallow bowl can be used for a dish birdbath. Dishes can be used at different heights by being placed on the ground, patio table, stump or steps. Hanging dishes and models that attach to deck railings are available. If there are cats in the neighborhood, dish birdbaths on the ground could be too dangerous. Getting motion in the dish to get the birds attention is also a challenge. Adding a jiggler is important.
- Heated. A heated birdbath is essential in colder winter climates. It takes a great deal of the birds energy to melt snow to drink. Birds will willingly visit available water sources all year round. Heater accessories can be added to existing birdbaths. There are a variety of fully heated models readily available.
For birds to feel comfortable using a birdbath, it should not be more than two or three inches deep. If needed, excess space can be filled with large rocks like an island for birds to use, or you can use an overturned saucer. Birds need a rough surface to provide traction when wet.