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!
You can create a dramatic and unique focal point with a deck-mounted birdbath. This handcrafted birdbath with an aged copper-patina finish is just plain cool. The organic form and textured detail promises to enhance any setting while attracting avian amigos!
The texture is a plus for birds as it allows them better footing than most slick surfaces. Its sloped sides also facilitate a “walk-in” approach for smaller songbirds and juveniles. Complete with wrought iron deck clamp, installation takes just a few seconds, and the clamp-on design means no holes in the deck rail too.
Fresh water in a birdbath really is the best way to entice more wild birds to your place, and with the rising cost of seed… that’s a good thing! The other advantage, is that you can switch out bowls for freezing winter months and create a new feeding station with the same close-up views of your birds. Take an inexpensive plastic plant saucer, drill a few drainage holes, and you’ve got a winter bird feeder that allows for feeding a variety of treats.
No yard or small yard? This season, try a deck-mounted birdbath, then sit back and enjoy the show!
It really doesn’t take a bird bath to make a bird bath! Does that make sense? Years ago, this cool rock-like, poly-resin planter caught my eye. Because of the shallow depth, the perfect birdbath set on a tree stump came to mind.
During winter months, this portable bath heater is added quickly and easily, creating one of several heated bird baths in the yard, and the birds use them all!
Today, with the warm sunny weather, and extended forecast for warmer than average temps, the heaters were removed (just as easily) cleaned up, and put in storage for next winter. Out came the water wigglers and bath drippers, which will be in constant use for about, oh, the next eight months or so. Yeah!!
If the birds liked the heated bird baths… they go absolutely bonkers for these fab bird bath accessories! Because moving water is where it’s at as far as birds are concerned. Both resident and migratory birds are attracted to moving water. I like it because bird baths stay cleaner longer, and knowing that mosquitoes can not lay their eggs in my baths is a good thing. Due of the mild winter, it’s going to be a buggy-enough season as it is, and having birds (and bats) around will greatly reduce insect populations the natural way.
If you’re hesitant about having a bird bath with standing water in your yard, you can easily remedy the situation by adding water wigglers, bath drippers or misters to keep water moving and fresher. And, it doesn’t even take a traditional type birdbath, as a deep plant saucer, or shallow dish makes the perfect bath! Two to three inches is the optimal depth. Anything deeper, should have a large rock in the center to serve as a landing spot or perch. With fresh water in the yard (especially moving water), you’ll entice more species of birds, even those who may not visit your feeders.
Constant ripples formed by the dripper function really do attract birds. The moving water grabs their attention and lures them in. Birds who never touch your feeders, and birds who never nest in houses are some birds who will visit bird baths.
Fresh water is such a great way to attract birds to your place! An unlimited supply, inexpensive, and so very simple, it’s a life source that all creatures need for survival. Although there are some real beauties out there for decorative purposes or functional art, fancy bird baths are not necessary.
On the deck, patio, tree stump, or ground, a simple plant saucer works wonders. Even placed on an up-turned flower pot, any saucer or dish filled with water will entice birds.
Keeping the water fresh is really the only requirement. And if cats roam around the yard, it’s a good idea to raise bird baths off the ground to give birds a bit of security. The optimal water depth for birds to bathe and wade comfortably is just 2-3 inches.
Here’s a nifty accessory for converting cool pots and decorative containers into bird baths, no matter how deep the container. It’s called the Bird Bath Raft and it floats on top of the container, allowing a small amount of water onto the raft. This innovative idea makes it easier than ever to add a fresh water source for birds… enticing new visitors to your place in no time at all!
This little plexiglass dish get big traffic in our yard! When live mealworms are placed in it (most times twice a day) all bets are off. The bird traffic is fast and furious, first come, first served!
Originally meant for our Bluebirds – the Chickadees and Titmice quickly learned of the treasure. So, the Bluebirds soon received their own enclosed mealworm feeder, although Carolina Wrens have since figured that out as well!
Feeding live worms can get expensive when everybody’s in on the coveted treat, and I mean everybody! Even the Robins get a few worms in a glass dish that’s left on the ground. And I can’t stand when the crows get to them first!
Unless you have the time and patience to cultivate your own worms, ordering in bulk quantities is easier on the wallet. The worms really aren’t that expensive… it’s the shipping that gets ya! Since they’re live, overnight delivery is required for warmer temperatures. For a few months out of the year (depending on your location) a second-day delivery works fine.
Gradually decreasing the amount of worms, and adding a home-made suet mixture in this meal worm feeder landed a “so-so” reaction from most of our beaked buddies. This Pine Warbler has a mouthful of the stuff, (which is why his beak looks fat & white) but just look at that expression! It’s like “excuse me, where are my worms?”
This mealworm dish actually has drainage, but many similar styles do not, making them perfect for offering water too. In summer, fresh fruit is a great choice for migratory birds, while suet mixtures & crumbles, and shelled peanuts are good options for cold weather feeding.
Offering live worms has created a whole new dimension to our backyard birding experiences. Definitely worth giving it a try if you’ve never fed them before, especially if bluebirds are in the area. And Robins adore them too! But if you don’t want the birds eating you out of house and home… a more traditional, or enclosed mealworm feeder may be your better choice.
With the mild winter season across most of the country this year, it won’t be too long before the hummingbirds are back! Unlike any other songbirds, the tiny sprites are really in a class of their own. If you already have them around your place, then you know what I mean. If not, this is the year to feed, plant, and attract them to your yard. The rewards are mesmerizing and tenfold! And, no birdseed to buy… you can make your own nectar from plain table, or cane sugar (no substitutes) and water.
To further entice hummingbirds to your window hummingbird feeder, moving water is always a huge attraction! Here are two other very cool accessories which promise to bring them buzzing! Check out Pop’s Hummingbird Swing and video below, and Hummer Helper Nest Material (endorsed by The hummingbird Society).
Place this simple but elegant Hummingbird Swing near your feeder and hummingbirds will use it as a territorial perch to watch over their food source. Tested and trusted, check out the video below. Swing, Eat, Chase away other hummingbirds.. repeat! Enjoy!
Hummer Helper Nest Material has actually been endorsed by The Hummingbird Society as being the only commercial nest material that will increase visits to your window hummingbird feeder. By encouraging nesting, juveniles will follow parents to the feeders, and if the habitat is right… those same hummers will return next season! Site fidelity plays a huge role in hummingbird migration, if they find a place they like, they return to that place year after year. Pretty cool, huh?