Monday, December 15, 2014

Birds Need Water in Winter

From National Wildlife Federation Blog

Throughout the hot summer months, backyard birders faithfully supply fresh water our feathered friends need for drinking, bathing or simply cooling off. By this time of year, however, most have put away our birdbaths, fountains and other water features, assuming that birds won’t need them until next spring.

But that’s not true, experts say. “For birds and other wildlife, water is just as important in the cold months as it is during summer,” says NWF Naturalist David Mizejewski. “If there’s no snow in your area, there is literally no water, which means birds can be in trouble.”

Even in places with abundant snow and ice, it costs birds precious calories and body heat to melt frozen water. Backyards that provide fresh, clean, liquid water during winter tend to host more avian visitors than do frozen yards. In winter, “water is as big an attraction as feeders,” says Sally Roth, author of The Backyard Bird Feeder’s BibleRead the entire article.

Note From Donna:  You can find heated bird baths on but the best bird bath we've had is a ceramic saucer that you buy to go under a planter pot.  It's slick and easy to clean but more expensive than a plastic version. You do need to add a heater to the saucer so the water does not freeze.  You can get a plastic saucer in various sizes, but I would suggest a 12" saucer so there's room for the heater and several birds to sit around the edge.

The best deal on a heater is Farm Innovators Economical De-icer which is also a lower wattage to save on electricity. Those two items would give you a heated bird bath for under $25.  We have another bird bath that has the heater built in and is thermostatically controlled. The current best deal on something like that would be the K&M Super Ice Eliminator Bird Bath which has free shipping.

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