Offering water along with seeds and suet is an excellent way to attract more birds into your yard. Birds will drink water, but more importantly, they’ll use it to clean their feathers. Clean feathers are necessary for accurate, swift flight—important when foraging for flying insects or escaping predators.
The obvious way to provide water is with a bird bath. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be cement, plastic, metal or anything that appeals to you. It can even be a trash-can lid on the ground or any other shallow vehicle that will hold water. Duncraft’s Bird Bath Raft is perfect for turning any container into a bird bath! Birds seem to feel most comfortable with water only one or two inches deep. If your bath is deeper than that, add some pretty stones to create different levels. Only a few rules apply: make sure the water is clean and changed frequently and keep it away from your bird feeders so seed hulls and bird droppings won’t fall in and dirty the water unnecessarily. If algae builds up, pour in some vinegar and take a scrub-brush to it. Then rinse well before refilling.
If you want to go a step further and make your bird bath really appealing to birds, moving water is a powerful attractant. Getting moving water can be accomplished with a device such as a Water Wiggler that runs on D batteries and creates ripples. Another method is with a dripper. Some drippers or fountains recycle the water. These will require electricity.
If you prefer a non-electric method, you can try a solar fountain or this other, very simple solution. Take a plastic milk jug and puncture a small hole in the bottom. Start with just a pin-hole or the water will drip too fast. A hot needle will work great. Either leave the cap off or puncture another hole near the top of the jug. Then fill the clean bottle with water, hang it by its handle on a shepherd’s hook or tie a sturdy string or small rope around the top and hang it from a tree limb. Set your bird bath underneath—every so often a drop of water will fall into the bath, creating a rippling effect.
Try adding a simple water feature to your yardscape and see how pretty it is and how much the birds love it!
Shop Duncraft.com to find birdbaths and accessories for all seasons.