Could it be… the red neck version of a solar bird bath? Maybe so, but we’re betting birds can’t tell the difference and won’t mind one bit!
Because fresh water is the best (and easiest) way to attract feathered friends, just about any vessel, bowl, container or bird bath works- provided the water is fresh and not too deep. Yes, even a frying pan!
A major misconception that’s actually dangerous for birds, is birdbaths that are too deep. There’s a good reason birds use shallow puddles to bathe as water should be no more than about 2 inches deep. No need to fill your bird bath to the top, it makes a scary encounter for birds, especially juveniles in spring and summer.
And if there were ever a few good reasons to keep bird bath water moving, think Zika, West Nile or EEE (that’s Eastern equine encephalitis) which are all mosquito-borne viruses.
Solar bird baths absolutely rock for feathered friends as moving water acts as a visual magnet to entice them for bathing. Water stays fresher and nasty mosquitoes are unable to lay their eggs.
Speaking of rock (or rocks), placing a few stones or large rock in your birdbath helps birds with safer footing. Possibly even a lifesaver, the stones or rocks may prevent a drowning incident should water be too deep.
Solar fountain pumps are available separately and allow you to add them to an existing bird bath. They create a whole new dimension for backyard birding that delights birds and hosts as well! Shown above is the one-piece unit which sits completely in the bird bath. Note that panels must be in full sun to operate, only the pump beneath solar panel needs to be submerged.
Another option is the separate solar panel (with 10 ft. cord) which allows the bath to be shaded while the panel is placed in sun. We prefer this as bath water is much more refreshing when cool, but the possibilities depend on your own set-up.
Lots of options besides solar fountains exist for offering birds some moving water; leaf misters, rock waterfalls & bubblers, and drippers provide the same. Some operate via outdoor spigot, while others run on electricity.
Whatever water feature you may opt for, we can promise the birds will love it… even if it happens to be a a red neck version solar bath in a frying pan!
To celebrate Earth Day, here’s a few cool birdhouses & feeders that don’t require cutting down trees… we’d much rather save the trees for birds!
The real beauty lies in the textured vinyl because it looks like wood. Many folks do prefer a natural look in the garden, and our copper roof birdhouses and feeders really do pass for wood. In fact, some past customers have insisted they received a wooden bird house!
Vinyl, poly-lumber and recycled plastics have numerous advantages over traditional wood when it comes to birdhouses and feeders.
Wood is good but it will always weather. These man-made materials are inert, in other words, they’re impervious to the elements and to insect damage. They will never crack, split or rot, and there’s no maintenance (except for regular cleaning of bird feeders). A soapy rag and forceful spray from the garden hose will cleanup environmental grime in a snap, leaving the house or feeder looking new again.
The inside non-porous texture is much healthier for local birds in the yard because mold and bacteria can’t settle into cracks and crevices as it typically does with wood. It also makes cleaning much easier and more effective.
Color is integrated with materials so scratches, dings or dents are barely noticeable. Recycled plastic or poly-lumber helps keep plastics out of landfills. One manufacturer uses labels saying how many milk jugs it took to make the item.
Of course there will always be wood birdhouses too, but the trend has shifted to salvaged, found, vintage and reclaimed wood from barns and other structures. These unique birdhouses are usually handmade by artisans with a passion for birds, with each piece possessing an individual character and charm.
Many styles are even one-of-a-kinds. Birds love them too and will be quite happy calling these places home to raise a brood or two!
Happy Earth Day… time to go get out and garden!
Be it a feeder for seed mixes, or nectar feeder for hummingbirds, attracting and watching backyard birds is simply good for the soul!
We’re not sure if the popular pastime is something that coincides with age or the crazy world of being hyper-connected all the time… maybe a bit of both perhaps?
A bird feeder makes life sweeter, though it’s hard to put your finger on the actual feeling of how. Unplugging, communing with nature (from the comfort of your home), being detached from daily chaos… it’s a connection that’s intangible. And until you’ve tried enticing birds with a feeder or two, it’s difficult to explain. It is a well known fact however that many folks become hooked, simply addicted to backyard bird watching!
The kind of “learn as you go” hobby, there’s not a whole lot you can do wrong, but there are a few easy hacks to make the experience more enjoyable.
With migratory birds now making their way across the gulf and lower states to summer breeding grounds, many folks eagerly await their arrivals. Hummingbirds, orioles, martins and others will be welcomed with opened arms, specialty housing and bird feeders made just for them! These birds generally claim the same territories every season, something John James Audubon discovered in the 1800’s using a simple silver thread for banding a few birds!
Baffles: Foil squirrels before they become a problem! Baffles work beautifully if used correctly!
Feed Clean: Birds are like little kids and go for the good stuff. If using cheap birdseed, you can bet much of it will land on the ground. The fillers aren’t nearly as tasty as the main seed, so why not just buy better quality seed? Seed trays also assist in a clean feeding strategy.
Ant Moats: Need we say more when feeding hummingbirds? The ever critical accessory helps keep nectar fresh and pest-free. Because ants can’t swim, hummingbirds and hosts will be much happier!
Make Your Own: Nectar for hummingbirds, orioles, even butterflies. It’s just pure cane sugar and water with different ratios. Mix up a batch of suet and store in the fridge, same for Bluebird Banquet. Use recipes which omit lard for summer feeding as the gunk will turn rancid in heat.
Cleanliness is important for your feeders and the areas around them. Because birds gather in unnatural groups at feeders, disease is spread more easily. Keep any bird feeder free from nasty build-up of bacteria and mold… they’re air-born killers for birds via respiratory infections. Keep ground below feeders clear of spilled seed as well.
Add some fresh water in a bird bath and keep it shallow, plant saucers works great! And for those who “don’t feed the birds in summer” you’re the one who’s missing out. The birds can get along just fine without your bird feeders, but scenes of parents with fledgelings are most entertaining, something you won’t see in winter!
Happy Spring… now go Feed the Birds 🙂