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Attracting Birds to Your Yard with Water

Posted by admin | Added on : August 12, 2009 10:13am | Last edited: October 31, 2009 1:42pm | Viewed 2589 times | 0 Comments


Water is one of the most important things birders can add to their backyard to attract birds. All bird species need water, and adding one or more water features to your yard will quickly attract feathered friends.
Why Birds Need Water
Birds need water for two reasons: drinking and preening. Water helps keep a birdís body cool both from the inside and outside. Water baths can also remove dust, loose feathers, parasites and other debris from a birdís plumage. Offering water in your backyard will attract more birds than just food sources, since birds that would not normally visit feeders can be tempted by water features.

Most Popular Types of Water
Any water is an improvement on a dry backyard, but standing water is the least effective for attracting birds. While they will eventually find it, standing water is not dynamic enough for many migrating birds or casual visitors to notice.

Moving water will attract more birds because the motion catches their eye and they can hear any dripping, sprinkles or splashes. Adding a jiggler accessory to a standing birdbath adds motion easily. A hose dripping into a dish or pond can have a similar effect and will attract more birds.

Active splashes can be heard from quite a distance and will attract a wide range of bird species. Flowing water, such as waterfalls, also stays cleaner and is less likely to harbor parasites or bacteria that could harm birds.

Ways to Offer Birds Water
There are several ways to offer birds water in your backyard. The most popular options include:
* Birdbaths
* Misters
* Ponds
* Waterfalls
* Streams

Birdbaths are the fastest, easiest way to add water to your backyard bird habitat. Garden centers, bird supply stores, pet stores and nature centers sell birdbaths, and many online retailers offer different sizes and styles. Birdbaths come in three basic designs:

* Pedestal: These classic birdbaths stand three to four feet above the ground and include a post-style base on an elevated dish. Pedestal birdbaths may be plastic, metal or concrete and come in many decorative designs and colors. Some models also include small fountains or bubblers.

* Dish: A simple saucer or shallow bowl can be used for a dish birdbath. Dishes can be used at different heights by being placed on the ground, a fence, patio table, stump or steps. Hanging dishes and models that attach to deck railings are available.

* Heated: A heated birdbath is essential in colder climates. It takes a great deal of energy to melt snow to drink, and birds willingly visit available water sources all year round. Heater accessories can be added to existing birdbaths. Fully heated models are available as well.

For birds to feel comfortable using a birdbath, it should not be more than two or three inches deep. Adding an overturned saucer or level rocks to the center of the bath can add a shallower section or island for birds to use. The birdbath should also have rough surfaces to provide traction when wet.



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