Creating an attractive backyard haven for birds includes offering one or more sources of fresh water — even into winter if you can.
Birds need to drink water to keep their metabolic functions going and when hot, they will often take a cooling dip that also serves as a bath of sorts — but it’s not as effective at removing parasites as the dust bath. No matter the actual purpose, watching birds bathe in the water is quite a spectacle.
How to Attract Birds with Water Stations
Two kinds of bird water stations have proven effective. Ponds and other permanent water features make perfect bird watering stations and you won’t have to refill them very often.
If you build a water feature with birds in mind, try to create shallow areas where the birds can wade and keep them sufficiently open so that the birds can see what’s coming and feel safe. If your design includes a stream, try to build it so that water will pool in the shallows here and there.
Stand alone birdbaths make a more prevalent and easy to install water station. They consist of a relatively broad and shallow container that can be set on the ground or into a rock feature in the garden. Models that come with a pedestal are easy to locate virtually anywhere.
In both cases, the birdbath should get a good cleaning every few days. And don’t let it go dry during the hot weather. Add watering stations to feeders, foliage and housing, and you will have an endless supply of avian entertainment to sustain you through the year.
Watch the full episode! Hank shares hints like these in each episode of Tough Grit. Visit Tough Grit online to view this episode and many more. The how to attract birds hints above appeared in Episode 13, “The Birds and the Trees.”
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.