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!
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!
You hear it all the time… or maybe not? Adding a large rock or stones to your birdbath helps birds. It’s absolutely true, especially for juveniles venturing out into the world after springs’ nesting season.
Shallow, shallow, shallow is best, with a maximum depth of 2-3 inches. If your bowl is deeper – just don’t fill it all the way. While adult birds tend to maneuver with more agility, babies can easily drown in your birdbath if the water is too deep.
A recent post on this topic (on a social network) was shared far and wide because it was a good story. The person saw the bathing bird in distress, and slowly walked over with a stick, but the bird didn’t fly away – it remained in the bath struggling. When she gently extended the stick over the bath, the bird hopped right on it. After placing the stick to the ground, the bird hopped off… but could not fly. She immediately thought of a wildlife re-habber and called, but the bird eventually took flight.
Drowning indeed he was, the water being too deep, with the sides of the bath too tall and steep for escape. The little guy was lucky someone was watching! Wet feathers can’t fly, this is why he hopped under the brush instead of flying to a nearby branch. It illustrates exactly why folks are always saying to put rocks or stones in your birdbath.
Baths with a gentle slope or walk-in sides are easiest on birds because they imitate shallow pools or puddles found in nature. Texture is always helpful too, as it allows tiny feet the ability to grip.
The stones can be anything from colorful decorative ones, to a large natural rock, river rock, lava rock, or simply stones from the garden. Anything that allows birds to “hop up onto” will be used and appreciated by feathered friends. For better footing, landing and perching spots… and maybe even to save a life!
One of the oldest and most intense arguments… cats vs. birds and there’s basically two sides; birders and the people they refer to as “cat crazies”- those who let their cats roam because they believe it’s good for them. Ferals who roam are a problem for birds (but that stems from human ignorance too). Still, there are birders who are responsible cat owners and keep their feline friends indoors. We fit this category – four cats, whose outdoor time consists of a screened porch, and they’re pretty happy with the arrangement.
The neighbor “rescues” cats from the shelter, but they stay outdoors for the most part, which drives me bonkers! At times it’s infuriating, heated words have been exchanged on several occasions. The husband says “just shoot the cat”, but truth be told, I’d rather shoot the wife because it’s not the cats’ fault! Suggesting the cat sport a collar with a bell worked, but it really doesn’t help the birds too much.
A couple of cool ground bird baths are always in use around our yard, but they’re not on the ground anymore! This stinks because birds tend to bathe more naturally at this level. Enter tree stumps, large planters, small tables, and anything else that will add height to the bird baths. An excuse to add yet another, hanging style too.
The dripper birdbath now sits atop of a large planter, the big wood textured bird bath will look good on a tree stump, and the birds will definitely adjust in a day or two at most. Would’ve much rather kept things status quo, but it’s really not fair to the birds. Their lives needn’t be compromised due to the neighbor’s stupidity! And hey… one more hanging bath to maintain won’t make a big difference in the scheme of things… especially since we’re already known in the neighborhood as the crazy bird people 🙂