Resolve to help birds thrive in freezing weather…
When temperatures are soaring in the midst of summer, it’s pretty obvious to remember water for feathered friends and wildlife. We’re outdoors more often, gardening and relaxing- so filling the birdbath becomes intuitive. But throughout winter months, and especially in freezing weather we tend to prefer the cozy warmth of staying inside. But birds require fresh water regardless of the time of year or temperatures.
Some of the more hard core bird lovers will make the daily trudge through snow and ice to clear, clean and fill feeders (that’s us!). Several heated bird baths around our place remain ice-free (and worry-free) as resident birds are seen daily drinking from them. Although bathing is not as popular in freezing weather… water is critical for drinking!
A popular birding magazine with an expert article mentioned that birds can fend for themselves when it comes to water in winter. Melting ice and snow for example will provide water. BUT during a week-long deep freeze in Atlanta recently, there was zero precipitation (luckily) – which means there was no melting ice and no snow. So… that theory’s not really valid.
Fresh water is so important yet so easy with a heated bird bath or a simple heater added to your existing bath. It’s an oasis for year-round use (just tuck the cord) and they come in several styles like deck-mounted, tall pedestal or heated ground baths. In many cases, a heater will keep your ceramic or cement birdbath from freezing and cracking as well.
Nab a heated bird bath for this winter season. It’s a one-time investment that offers an ongoing, essential element to help wild birds thrive in cold winter months.
Think about it… before humans ever started offering bird baths for feathered friends, they got along just fine with shallow pools of water and puddles.
Freezing temperatures likely created some problems as the shallows froze over, making it more difficult for birds to find water. The concept of eating snow for water seems logical- but if you’re a bird it’s pretty much half baked!
The reason being is that it takes energy to convert the snow to liquid. This energy requires calories and it’s the calories birds spend all day consuming in cold weather. From dawn until dusk, most of the resident backyard birds will be at feeders and foraging for enough calories to make through another night. Calories provide the energy to keep warm, although nature has provided other mechanisms for that too!
You know when puffed up, big fat birds are hanging around feeders and they resemble little fluff balls? Feathers are fluffed as a way to trap heat beneath them close to the birds’ body. It’s one of the main reasons for late summer/fall molt when they shed old and tattered feathers. New feathers are sturdy, sometimes even brighter and more effective at keeping the bird warm.
So by offering shallow open water in winter, you help birds conserve energy. And since ground bathing comes more naturally, heated ground baths absolutely rock for winter! Easy to add a heater to an existing bath, or go for one with concealed heater- meant for year-round use.
Birds will flock to it in frigid weather as the design resembles those natural shallow pools and puddles. It helps create a perfect winter habitat along with feeders and shelter, and once weather warms up, simply tuck the cord underneath the bath!
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!
And Happy Winter Solstice!
The shortest day of the year… with the most to accomplish in the least amount of time! But the days do get longer- yes please!
Busy holiday times can be harrowing, the gift list is still incomplete, traffic is absurd, weather is frightful, yada, yada, yada! If you’ve waited until now to order anything online, chances may be slim for Christmas delivery, or extremely expensive for an expedited service. Don’t fret, because good things really do come in small packages!
If they happen to fancy birds, a birdbath heater or heated birdbath will be a huge hit… for the birds! They’ll flock to a fresh water source in frigid weather, showering the recipient with some really big shows! Should a heater not quite cut it as the perfect present, a gift certificate will let them shop and choose their favorite birdbath too!
Separate solar fountains can be added to their own existing birdbath, bringing a new dimension to the birding thing. Birds adore moving water and many different species are attracted to it big time… even those who may not use birdhouses or feeders.
Another gift idea:
Hummingbird Sun Catchers are an easy ship, decorative for their home, made in Canada and done in hand-blown glass. Stunning when hung in front of a window, mesmerizing as they twinkle while catching light. A collector’s piece to cherish, pretty enough to be passed down through generations.
Head on over to our other gift guide, it seems to have gotten a bit further along than this one, and just about everything shown there is available and in stock here!
And if you happen to be local in the Atlanta area… then luck just struck!
Give us a call to come shop… we’re stocked with birdbaths, edible birdhouses, copper roof bird feeders, and lots of other cool garden whimsies. The very best gifts for the nature buff on your list!
Breathe and Feed the Birds… we have those Garden Art Poles too!
We’re starting earlier with holiday gift ideas as there’s so many cool bird accessories and so little time. Do stay tuned for some pretty unique non-birder gift ideas too!
Theme: The gift of nature can’t be matched, for it offers an innate connection that’s capable of soothing the soul and clearing the mind. Simply put, watching birds in the yard (or on the patio/balcony) removes life’s chaos! It has the capacity to form a bond between people which may not have previously existed.
So why would a hanging bird bath be a make an awesome gift?
Because they work in the smallest space, because birds adore and use them, because they come in all colors and styles suiting many tastes, including copper, ceramics and glass, but most of all, fresh water attracts more birds than any birdhouse or feeder! Enough reasons? Birds who may not even use feeders will partake in fresh water at a hanging bath.
Lots of options for placement; hang it the from a tree branch, deck bracket, wall hook or garden pole with feeders. Feathered friends will find and frequent it daily. Hanging baths are ideal when their neighbor’s cat(s) is always in the wrong yard too…. grrrr, uggh! Civility is required because they’re a neighbor, but you want to have the birds too, so placing bird baths or feeders up high is always a good idea.
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!
As stunning fall color is winding down, the season’s first freeze hit the southeast two days ago. Totally unprepared, it was most definitely time to dig out bath heaters and extension cords in order to prevent any birdbaths from freezing and cracking. When you’re into birds… this is important stuff. The changing seasons require a bit of work to keep birds fat & happy, but so very worth the effort!
Pedestal and ground baths simply get a heater placed inside to keep an open water source through winter. If you’re a bird… this is really important stuff when everything freezes! The heaters are compact, easy to use and safe for almost all types of baths. Come spring, simply unplug and store for next year.
Deck-mounted heated bird baths are even easier since the heating element is concealed within the base. Everything stays put regardless of season, just plug it in and task complete! We use one of these at home too, and in summer (they don’t call it Hotlanta for nothing) we toss in ice cubes to cool the water and create a refreshing oasis for our feathered friends.
We’re thankful for the birds and their uncanny ability to soothe the soul. Watching them through the kitchen window -even if just for a few minutes- can remove some of the chaos of daily life and any clutter inside your head… like planning and preparing dinner for 18 guests on Thanksgiving Day!
The short & simple connection to nature can be a breath of fresh air, it calms, centers and quiets the mind. We want to get more folks “into birds” as well. It’s an addictive hobby which not only brings much pleasure and simple joy, but helps birds thrive through harsh winter weather when natural food sources are scarce.
Many species stick around all year and are considered resident birds; chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, finches, bluebirds and cardinals to name just a few. Offering food, shelter and a fresh water source makes them thankful, and they’ll grace your landscape with song, color and life through the winter season to prove it!
Since it’s far better to give than receive, for the next few weeks, we’ll be giving away finch socks (thistle feeders) with all orders! No codes, no minimum… just a gift of thanks for feeding the birds 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to you and yours!
Mr. Chipping sparrow needs to cool off, he enters the naturally textured birdbath with gentle slope as it’s quite enticing. But surprise! You reside in Atlanta where it’s hotter than Hades right now and the bath water isn’t just warm… it’s hot 🙁
Not so refreshing… except for the gentle spray from the leaf mister above! Like the shoemaker’s daughter with worn shoes, our own mister at home is really old with a slight drip. But the drip is ideal over a birdbath as it keeps the water moving (no mosquitoes) and adds fresh, cool water on a slow and steady basis. Birds are absolutely wild for it! So much so, they sit and wait for the misters to start every morning, it’s like a virtual bird spa.
This mister is attached to an old metal… not sure what it is, but a simple plastic plant stake with twist-tie works great. Even the garden benefits with ease of mobility, moving the stake around to different sections each day. Gardens grow lush, and birds love taking leaf baths too!
When placed over a birdbath, leaf misters offer fresh and cool water for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Activity is pretty amazing on warm summer days. Stagnant water is no fun for anyone when temperatures remain in the 90’s. Adding a water feature like a dripper, solar fountain or water wiggler to your birdbath will bring it to life, entice more birds, and keeps water fresher for longer periods of time.
The whole set-up is shown below and it’s simple to recreate. The misters come with everything to be up & running in minutes! With 50 feet of tubing, it attaches to the outdoor spigot, complete with Y-valve that keeps garden hose free for use. Extra tubing is optional, and we can promise (from personal experience) birds LOVE these things!
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!
Did you find the perfect Mother’s Day gift yet? If not, best to shake a tail feather! Printing a nice big color photo of your gift and placing it inside a box that’s gift-wrapped is always an option if you’ve snoozed.
Another good idea to keep in mind: don’t shortchange your mom with a short-lived gift! Yeah, that’s a good one to remember because well, she’s your mother and the reason you’re here 🙂
Long-lasting gifts bring the most joy, and birding gifts bring a relaxing connection with nature… unlike jewelry or little “chatchkas” that gather dust.
Perfect for any space in the garden or even on the deck, a hanging bird bath rocks! Fresh water entices more birds to the garden, and we can promise, whether a novice or experienced birder, Mom loves to watch her feathered friends!
Hanging birdbaths can even be used as feeders, offering seed, suet, peanuts or fruit to lure migratory birds. The colorful Tiffany inspired bath above offers a traditional appeal, while contemporary styles in solid copper are most mod. Ceramic hanging baths are offered in vibrant and whimsical styles… and all are sure to entice more beaked buddies to the garden!
Why go to the trouble of finding something unique that will actually last? Because on her special day- which comes only once a year- she really does deserve something that brings smiles and real pleasure for many seasons to come!