So many cool happenings in the bird world during May that we missed. Migratory birds on the move with all their splendid color, hummingbirds have landed just about everywhere, bluebirds on their second broods, and parents feeding fledglings everywhere to name just a few.
A common thread among all these birds? Water! Here’s a few fun accessories that keep water moving to entice more birds. They beat boring bird baths ten times over, water stays fresher, and they cost nothing to just a few pennies per day to operate.
Solar Fountain Kits for Bird Baths
Greatly improved, these are ideal for existing baths. The kits are longer-lasting, no fuss and have easier to clean pumps. The panels still require full sun to operate, but there’s options for a one-piece kit or separate panel. The latter allows the birdbath to be shaded while panel receives full sun (depending on your landscape). The smaller pumps are just as powerful, so when using the spray heads be sure water does not overshoot the bowl and drain it as the pump should not run dry. Sans attachments and you’ve got a bubbler for smaller or hanging baths.
Bird Bath with Electric Pump Kit
New for the season, the Splash Pool Bubbler is perfect for deck, patio or ground. The shallow splash area and overall height let birds bathe more naturally (at ground level). It works well atop a small table or plant stand too. An electric pump allows for continuous flow regardless of what the sun’s doing that day, and the large reservoir needn’t be filled as frequently. Natural stone finish and removable decorative birds make this bird bath totally fun for feathered friends and hosts alike!
Possibly more exciting than bird baths, misters attract butterflies as well. Installation is versatile from a permanent set-up to a mobile one when attaching the tubing to a plant stake! Pick it up and move around the garden daily. This also prevents the ground from becoming too saturated in any one spot, and gardens grow lush! Songbirds will sit and wait for misters to start on hot summer days. Attaching to your outdoor spigot, the Y-valve frees up garden hose so there’s no switching connections.
That still leaves bird bath drippers, water wigglers, and a DIY birdbath dripper you can make for next to zero cost (stay tuned for this article).
Add some moving water to your place and watch bird baths come alive with non-stop activity!
Accessories for bird baths and leaf misters will absolutely bring more birds (and butterflies) to the garden. Because they keep water from becoming stagnant, it stays fresher and mosquitoes can’t lay their eggs in it either.
Both solar fountains and those using electricity recirculate water in bird baths. Drippers and leaf misters run off the outdoor spigot and although very slow and adjustable, do utilize a continuous water flow. They come as complete kits with everything required to be up & running in minutes… no kidding!
Leaf misters offer lots of options for placement too. You can attach them to a branch or trellis, (50 ft. of rubber tubing is included) attach to a deck bracket or even a simple plant stake in the garden. We prefer the latter as the mister may easily be moved around to benefit the garden by watering different sections daily.
Butterflies especially adore the gentle mist, while hummingbirds and other songbirds like chickadees and bluebirds will wait for them to start each morning… it’s like a spa for them and makes a spectacular viewing experience for host too. Place leaf misters near nectar-producing plants like lantana and enjoy the show!
Moving water in a bird bath or somewhere in the landscape is the ticket to seeing more bird activity during warm summer months. In fall, simply pack them up and store away for next season. A one-time investment that promises to bring many seasons of use and enjoyment… and more winged activity to your place!
What a fun image… even though the subject is house sparrows, but c’mon… bird baths are pretty useless once turned skating rink 🙁
Aside from the skater, the one with the hat is too cute- thanks Elmer for the creative… it’s perfect! Adding a simple bath heater makes water accessible through winter months. Being a critical life force, you’d be surprised at the variety of feathered friends who will frequent a fresh water source during hard freezes. Even when there’s snow on the ground, good old H2O serves birds much more effectively.
The main mode of survival during bitter weather is to eat enough food throughout the day to store a layer of fat, enough to get them through the night. So when a bird eats snow to get water, they burn precious calories in the process converting that snow to water.
Heated bird baths however are as simple as plugging them into an outlet, thus eliminating this futile process. For use year-round, just unplug and tuck the cord when spring finally rolls around. If you have an existing bath that gets turned over for winter – stop! Just add a heater as an accessory, the newer ones are safe in most baths and they even come with manufacturer warranties these days.
Even bluebirds are more likely to over-winter if a consistent fresh water source is available to them. So nix the skating rink and the dreaded bath “turn-over” as you’ll entice more beaked buddies to your place and encourage them to stick around!
What happened to the other 3 gift ideas? We were busy getting our own baths and bird habitat ready for the coming polar vortex! Out with the water wigglers and drippers- in with the heaters.
Without a doubt, the easiest way to attract more birds is with fresh water. Even a plant saucer with an inch or two of water near shrubs or a tree line serves friendly fliers and other wildlife well throughout the year. If you have an existing birdbath, or know someone who loves bird watching- it’s easy to understand the sheer joy of seeing birds bathe and wade, or preen and drink from the life-essential offering.
Accessories like misters, fountains or drippers really bring a birdbath to life with the gentle motion of moving water. During the season, hummingbirds can be seen flitting about a moving stream of water. Butterflies adore leaf misters plus gardens grow lush below them. Even songbirds quickly become trained awaiting the start of birdbath action each morning!
You can quickly craft your own simple dripper from a milk jug! Take said plastic 1-gallon milk jug and poke a tiny pin hole in the bottom corner. Use a chain or strong wire to hang the jug above your birdbath. At one small drop every 3 or 4 seconds, the gallon of water will last at least a few days. There will definitely be increased activity that’s well worth the effort… for you and birds alike!
Should you be pondering the perfect holiday gift (without breaking the bank) for the nature lover on your list, a leaf mister or even mister-dripper combo will bring great joy… and for many seasons to come!
July can be a scorcher for wildlife, especially with recent droughts and above-average temperatures. Natural water sources like puddles, creeks and shallow pools all but disappear during summer heat. Adding fresh water to the garden may prove to be a life saver for birds and other animals whose habitat continues to shrink. Something as simple as a plant saucer filled with water will see winged visitors happily partaking in the essential life source.
Adding bath accessories like leaf misters, water wigglers, or this solar bubbler can bring a pedestal or hanging bird bath to life! Circulating water stays fresher longer and acts as a magnet for birds! They’re totally attracted by the visual of moving water, and the soothing sounds can be a welcomed addition to human ears as well.
No need for the whole set-up either, these battery or solar powered accessories are a la carte! Some even operate from the outdoor spigot. Add them to your existing bath for a whole new dimension in birding. Hummingbirds are especially fond of birdbath fountains, while butterflies covet the gentle spray of leaf misters. Songbirds around our place actually sit and wait for the drppers to start each morning, it’s looks like a bird spa!
Consider one of many “moving water” accessories this summer and see which new visitors show up at your place. Especially during spring and fall migrations, you may be quite surprised!