In another hour or so, the biggest football event of the year commences… but some of us really couldn’t give a hoot! Even though our home team actually made it to the Super Bowl this year, there’s oodles of other things we’d rather do than watch.
Now, watching one of the many bird cams on Explore.org is mesmerizing! From hummingbirds to owls and bald eagles (go eagles), you can catch live Africa, oceans, bears, bison and northern lights… and so much more! It’s a virtual nature channel in real time. Some of the subjects have names, and their lives are followed over time.
Most recently, folks were devastated when Bella Hummingbird lost her eggs to a stellar’s Jay. A force to be reckoned with, Mother Nature is stunning, shocking, glorious and so terribly sad at times… but she remains faithfully resilient. Bella will begin the life cycle again, but for now, enter Luna Hummingbird! Explore.org will even email a daily “Dose of Love” should you choose to subscribe.
The site is absolutely free to watch anytime- and any subject of choice. These Nature Cams offer the most amazing glimpses into an unknown world, sans disruption or intrusion. Simply put, Bird Cams create a wonderland and the best part… you don’t even need your own!
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!
Usually by April spring has already sprung here in North Georgia, but 2013 is quite the contrary. This should be the scene, when heated bird baths are removed for storage and birdbath drippers take their place. Not so – not yet anyway 🙁
Yesterday morning when I went out to feed the birds (a daily ritual)… my hands were actually numb! Wet, windy and downright freezing cold, birds were puffed up like little balls, trapping air pockets between feathers to stay warm. It’s really tough on the insect-eating birds because there’s no insects yet! Migrations are under way, but landscapes are not very accommodating at this point. What was it- like 15 inches of snow in IL last week…. uuggh, it’s enough of winter already, hummingbird feeders went up last week for Pete’s sake! They just don’t go with heated bird baths.
Later that day a friend told me it was a record-breaking temperature, the highest low temp for GA on record since the 1880’s. Well today was beautiful, with projections in the 70’s and 80’s for the next few weeks. Maybe it’s a sign that spring is finally here to stay? Let’s hope so! And if it’s not, this birdie may be heading further south real soon!
The back deck is a perfect place to catch close up views of avian amigos while going about your daily routine. A glimpse out the kitchen or breakfast room window may reveal a little touch of magic that literally takes you out of that routine… if you’re lucky.
Since we never have enough time to “stop and smell the roses” – bringing them closer to home makes it easier! Bird feeder brackets are made for decks or walls, and there are lots from which to choose.
Say you don’t want a feeder and messy seeds all over the deck? No-waste seed mixes eliminate mess, or try a hummingbird feeder instead. Ants are a problem with that? Nope… ant moats will take care of pesky ants.
Forget the whole feeder idea and try a birdbath! Fresh water is the most effective way to entice more feathered friends. Using a bird feeder bracket to hang a birdbath works beautifully. There’s no fuss or mess, just keep water fresh for optimal use. And don’t forget to glance out the window every so often, as a one little bird just might bring a big smile 🙂
An essential element for life, like the air we breathe, water is a simple, inexpensive way to entice more birds to your yard. Many species who don’t visit feeders or use nest boxes will frequent a bird bath. The only responsibility with a pedestal, ground, or hanging bird bath is keeping the water fresh, not only for birds, but for other health reasons too.
Recently the New York Times reported that in the Long Island area, the health department has actually been checking residents’ birdbaths and imposing fines for dirty bath water… no kidding! Four people have received hefty fines too-as the city is taking the situation quite seriously. The reason is stagnant water and the fear is the dreaded West Nile Virus spread by mosquitoes.
It doesn’t matter what kind of birdbath you have, or may be planning to purchase in the future. There’s a simple solution to avoid stagnant or standing water, and that is to keep it moving! Known fact: Mosquitoes can not lay eggs in moving water. Bath accessories like Water Wigglers, fountains, bird bath drippers, and leaf misters all keep water moving… and the birds absolutely love them! These create visual magnets for avian friends, and they run on batteries, solar power, or from the garden hose. Plus they’re simple to install and keep bath water cleaner longer.
Take a plastic, gallon milk jug and create your own dripper that works great, even in a hanging bird bath. Simple to do and very inexpensive, pierce a pin hole in the bottom corner of the jug. Secure the jug (through the handle) to a sturdy branch above the bath using rope, wire, or even a large S-hook. One gallon of water dripping through a tiny pin hole will last for days! Simply refill the jug for continued use. The movement will catch birds’ attention, and keep mosquitoes from laying their eggs. It’s a win-win situation for all!