A birdbath or mister can be a great way to help birds beat the heat.
- Birds enjoy birdbaths or shallow ponds. Birdbaths should be no more than 3″ deep, with gently sloping sides, and a rough surface to provide good footing. Remember to change the water every few days to keep it fresh. A birdbath may be placed on the ground or on a pedestal. It should be 15 feet away from shrubs or trees where cats may hide, but provide a perch nearby. Any creek, springs or wetlands on your property should be preserved for wildlife.
- Dripping water is very attractive to birds.
- A heated birdbath will provide water all through the winter, but expect an increase in your electric bill. You can also use a heated dog food bowl (less expensive than a heated birdbath) with pebbles in the bottom to keep it shallow. Eating snow for moisture uses up extra energy.
- Mister: Jon and Kathy Hayden of Texas set up a “Key West” type fan mister (readily available at Lowe’s and Home Depot.) The mister consists of flexible tubing with a half dozen or so small nozzles that spray a very fine mist when attached to an ordinary garden hose. You can wrap the tubing around a center pole in an area with a variety of shrubbery and birdfeeder(s). It is easy to arrange the tubing so it is barely visible. The Hayden’s found that birds coming in for afternoon feeding went absolutely nuts over it. Chickadees, Carolina wrens, Cardinals and even Ruby-throated Hummingbirds enjoy landing on the wet leaves of one branch and then jumping to a branch below. It is an inexpensive way to provide summer relief to birds while offering the opportunity to observe the frolicking antics of your avian visitors.
More Information and Links:
- Beating the Heat (heat shields, nestbox design, etc.) Sialis.org
- Top Tips for Attracting Bluebirds, Sialis.org
- Feeding Mealworms and Feeders, Sialis.org
- Suppliers list
- Western Bluebirds – All About
A bird does not sing because he has an answer. He sings because he has a song.
– Joan Walsh Anglund, A Cup of Sun, 1967