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.
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!
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!
Gift idea # 30: Give warmth
Okay, we skipped a few days getting ready for the holidaze! It can be a crazy, stressful time, running and doing, and going, and fulfilling obligations. With Thanksgiving upon us, it’s a great time to chill with friends, with family, with nature. Look around and breathe, what are you thankful for?
As corny as it sounds, and aside from the usual answer of friends and family, we’re thankful for the habitat in our yard, the characters it hosts, and how it’s grown over the years… simply because it offers an escape from the everyday chaos of life. We’re really thankful for our awesome customers, especially the ones who return again and again! I doubt companies selling electronics are lucky enough to get the same breed of folks, those who are so appreciative of nature.
Whenever there’s an opportunity to sit, be still and just watch the birds, or a butterfly around lantana – there’s a calming effect that’s pretty indescribable. Sometimes ya just have to wonder… am I getting old? Well, with age comes wisdom (hopefully) so receiving joy from something as simple as nature can be a blessing in itself. Sadly, many are blind to it these days.
During frigid winter months, the best hot spot for watching feathered friends has got be heated bird baths (no pun intended). More so than any kind of feeders or birdhouses, fresh water attracts more species and greater numbers for ultimate viewing from your home.
Can’t they just eat snow? Sure, birds do have the capacity to convert the fluff to liquid, but it costs them precious calories in the process. Since calories equal energy, it’s a resource that can cost overnight heat loss. Some birds will feed from sun-up through late afternoon, continuous eating just to consume enough calories for the next freezing night. Essentially, those calories are wasted when digesting snow for water. So offer up a heated bath to help resident birds thrive and bring some new visitors to your place! No need for a whole new set-up, just add a heater, most are safe for all birdbath types these days!
And because Thanksgiving is here, we say Let Giving Take Flight to start the holiday season! For useful and creatively fun ideas for any nature-lover on your list, we’ll offer suggestions to dazzle them and their feathered friends alike! And what would make us an authority? Backyard birding freaks for 30 years 🙂
So when it’s 90 degrees, how useful is that heated bath? Certainly unplugged and cord tucked for the season, it will still see daily activity and may even be life savers for some birds during severe drought. Regardless of seasons, water is a critical life source for all beings.
When folks turn their baths over for winter, the birds who depended on that water source must find another. I wonder what they must think? The birds that is- not the people! “Don’t they understand, we need water in winter too! It really sucks trying to eat snow, takes too much energy.”
Whether you’re thinking of purchasing your first birdbath, or adding an extra one to your habitat, heated bird baths are a wise choice for year-round use. Because another severe winter looms on the horizon, resident birds will benefit as will your whole bird-watching experience!
The polar vortex, record low temperatures in the deep South, gripping snow storms that paralyzed many cities… thankfully we’re finally starting to thaw out! This is when creature comforts of home can be most appreciated, especially if you had to spend any length of time outdoors in this frigid weather.
Birds and wildlife in general have additional stresses during severe cold as they must expend more energy to find food and shelter. Sure they’ve adapted, and use various methods for coping with high winds and biting cold. The weaker of any species may succumb to starvation or predation, thus the old adage “survival of the fittest”.
Wild birds will seek shelter in shrubs, dense foliage, natural cavities, even birdhouses and roosts. Some, like bluebirds, will even huddle together for warmth. Many common backyard birds will spend the entire day at bird feeders packing on calories to make it through another night. Peanuts, suet and black oil sunflower provide power-packed meals for most of our feathered friends! Keeping feeders clean and full greatly increases survival rates of resident songbirds during freak weather like last week.
But what about water – surely with all that snow out there, birds can get water? Yes, they can, but it costs them dearly. The snow must be converted to water, which takes precious energy, and during single-digit temps, every ounce of energy must be conserved in order to survive.
This is when heated bird baths can literally be life savers for some birds since they require water daily. Some baths may even form ice around the edges, but they’ll still leave open water towards the center. Adding a heater to your existing bath is also a great option, or even putting out a shallow pan of warm water several times a day. Hey, if the snow’s that bad you’re probably home from work anyway, right?
Please help birds through tough winter weather by offering food, water and shelter, their lives depend on it!
“Do you have an idea how I can get the birds to use my bird houses? I have a small yard and only one tree that I can put the bird house in, that the cats can’t get to them. ( Can I put more than one in the tree and hope they will use them. ( I would like them to be used and as well as looks) But they don’t seem to use it. Last year one pair of birds (chickadees I think) did use the house and I was so excited and loved watching them make their nest and feed the young, I thought they would come again this year, but they didn’t. I cleaned the house and actually only saw a chickadee one time this year ( I assumed it was the one that came last year) the bird love for me to feed them and they drink the hummingbird nectar. I even bought a cotton nesting ball, but have not seen any birds even use it. Any ideas will be a great help. I don’t know why the chickadee is not coming around this year.”
Thanks for visiting!
Although they say not to crowd houses together, chickadees will usually nest in hanging houses that are in close proximity to each other… mine seem to anyway! Not sure how large the tree is, but maybe one nest box on each side would do the trick?
Nesting season is through for this year, but your chickadees (or other birds) may use the house for roosting on cold nights.
Not much success with my cotton nesting ball either, I think they’re woven too tightly!
A better mix is using decorative mosses (Spanish and sphagnum sheet moss) feathers, and pet hair if you have access.
You can pick apart the nest ball as well and add this material to the mix.
Put these in a standard suet cage, or mesh produce bag from the grocery store. Don’t pack too tightly, so that air can flow through and allow for drying after rain. Hang from a branch where birds will see it. Early spring is the best time to offer the materials… before nesting begins.
You can try adding some dried grass clippings to your house, in hopes of enticing chickadees to roost.
They will hang around for the winter, especially if you’re feeding them.
Offering fresh water is the absolute best way to keep birds around, even if it’s just a plant saucer… keep the water fresh and they will come!
Not sure where you’re located, but heated bird baths in winter are truly a God-send for birds!
They need to bathe in order for feathers to work properly!
Also, if the cats are outdoors, they may be inhibiting chickadees’ desire to nest, simply because they’re uncomfortable seeing the cats in the yard.
I’ve found over the years, persistence is the key with attracting wild birds! After years of trying, I finally have bluebirds who nest every year 🙂
Hope this helps… I think there’s a new blog post here!
Thanks again & happy birding!
Take good care,
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!
One fairly common sight during winter in colder locales (which most folks probably don’t even notice) is the unused, out of commission, over-turned bird bath. The scene is saddening. Obviously folks do this to keep them from freezing and cracking, but this is actually when birds need water most! Sure they can eat snow, (not ice though) but it takes their tiny bodies lots of energy to convert that snow to water. Calories=Energy=Warmth.
When temperatures freeze, shallow pools and puddles are the first thing to ice over, and many feathered friends may have become accustomed and dependent on these water sources. Not only for drinking, but bathing in winter is critical too! Feathers must be clean and oiled to work properly, for flying sure, but for insulation as well. Clean feathers are able to trap air pockets which help keep birds warm in frigid weather. It’s one of the innate, ingenious mechanisms they use to survive. You know… when you see them all puffed up and round looking, that’s air pockets between their feathers.
Offering a fresh water source (especially in winter) is an absolute, sure-fire way to keep birds around your place. It’s part of the reason our bluebirds brave cold winters here in the North Georgia mountains. Heated bird baths are an investment in your wildlife habitat. Just unplug for use year round and it’s likely one of the best investments in backyard birding. If a heated bath isn’t within budget, opt for a simple heater you can add to your existing bath… or even a shallow pan of water. Deeper plant saucers make great bird baths, and many of the heaters today are safe with resin and plastics. If your container is more than 2-3 inches deep, consider placing a large rock in the center for birds to land and perch safely.
Here’s one of our own baths turned heated bath for winter. It’s actually a poly-resin planter that looks like rock. It sits on a tree stump and blends nicely with the landscape. Birds love it because it’s shaded in summer, and offers somewhat of an escape from predators in the surrounding tree. They also like it because the water stays clean… that’s important! If you’re going to offer a water source, be sure to maintain it by keeping water fresh.
Help resident birds in your neck of the woods with heated bird baths this winter… betcha they stick around through spring and summer too!
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.