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?