It’s more often than not, and applies universally to all creatures (including smarty-pants humans). The path of least resistance will be option #1. Yes, there’s even a fun garden plaque stating such!
When feeding backyard birds and/or squirrels, you’re bound to attract a few less desirable furry friends. The masked marvels (raccoons) are hands-down the most destructive of all. Likely due to their curious nature and smarts- they can manage to disrupt bird feeders, tall bird baths, even hummingbird feeders that hang within reach!
Although hummingbird nectar or sugar water has no scent- it’s the shiny hanging thing that piques curiosity. Once the sweet sticky treat is discovered… they’ll be back for more the next evening. Upon seeing your empty feeder which was just filled the day prior, you may be wondering who ate all that food so fast?
Much the same as when you discover the top of your tall bird bath broken on the ground 🙁
To prevent this from happening again, the birdbath is an easy fix since the critters are simply looking for water.
Place a plant saucer on the ground for wildlife and keep it full of fresh water. It just goes back to that path of least resistance! If they don’t have to climb… why bother?
On our deck at home in Atlanta, mom and babies each took turns playing in this bubbling fountain. Luckily it’s on the ground and fairly indestructible! But the glass hummingbird feeders hanging from the deck… not so much!
Having extra feeders out for busy fall migration (five on the back deck alone), the critters were caught red-handed and in the nick of time! We simply moved one feeder to a garden pole with empty bracket, hung one feeder from the hummingbird swing and bought one feeder inside for the night. A little confusing for the tiny sprites in early morning hours… but now they have the routine down pat! Silly person moves our food back to deck for daytime.
As for the broken bath? Place a shallow pan of water on the ground right next to it, or use a tall bird bath that won’t break! These beauties are ideal for year-round use, accepting a heater in winter and large enough for a fountain or water wiggler in summer.
Lastly, should raccoons or squirrels be destroying your seed feeders… use a baffle! For those who insist baffles don’t work? Wrong- they’re just not installed correctly. feeder placement is most important, here’s another post with more detail on baffles.
You can feed birds without the headache or intrusion of other wildlife by using baffles, placing feeders correctly and offering fresh water at ground level 🙂
Georgia weather can be so finicky, we usually get cheated out of any decent spring and fall weather. With the last few days in the 70’s and nights around 50 degrees, a cold snap is headed our way. Predicted low temperatures are below freezing starting tomorrow night, until of course, we are back in the 70’s again next week.
There are several bird baths in the yard, (no – make that too many bird baths in the yard) that won’t fare well in freezing temperatures. The concrete pedestal bath for one, along with the ceramic pedestal bath will definitely crack. The plastic ground bath with the dripper will do the same.
I never really understood how folks could just dump the water and turn their bird baths over for winter? Fresh water is a critical element for birds’ winter survival. When temperatures drop below freezing, most shallow pools and ponds tend to freeze, leaving many wild birds no immediate water source.
In lieu of the nearing cold snap, tomorrow’s chores include winter preparations for feathered friends, almost a bird bath face lift if you will. Removing summer bath accessories like water wigglers (shown above) and drippers like this one, and adding heaters to the baths will keep birds flocking and happy! The deck-mounted bath conceals its heater inside, so it just needs to be plugged in…yay!
Adding heaters to your existing bird baths is one of the best ways to keep birds around. Last year our Eastern Bluebirds over-wintered, staying around through one of the nastiest winters on record.
Help feathered friends to thrive and flourish during frigid winter weather by creating a wildlife-friendly habitat with a consistent fresh water source, food and shelter.
With the end of summer, so comes the migration south for many song birds. A few favorites may stick around if their habitat suits them well enough. Bluebirds in my yard for example, surprised me last year when they decided to over-winter. Probably because of the juicy live worms they were offered everyday, and mostly because of the heated bird baths in the yard. This season we had three successful broods!
Heated bird baths really are important to wild birds. As temperatures drop and local water sources tend to freeze over, the baths offer an oasis for drinking and bathing. Clean feathers are a must for birds to stay warm too. When you see them “puff up” it is a mechanism they use to retain body heat. Some folks believe birds can eat snow for water, and they can, but it takes them many calories to convert the snow to water. And these are precious calories needed to just stay warm.
If you already have a favorite bath, please don’t empty it and turn it over for winter. Consider adding a heater or deicer to it for the birds. They need fresh water in winter just as much as hot summer months. Many of the newer heaters are safe for use with all bird baths, so there’s no worry about having a metal heater in a plastic or resin bath. The Heated Rock for example, is an innovative new heater that’s safe with all types of baths. Mat-type heaters can be used with all baths as well.
Help birds to thrive and flourish this winter by offering a consistent fresh water source with heated bird baths. You never know who may surprise you and decide to stick around?