Prepping Birdbaths For Winter

Birds Enjoying a Warm Birdbath in Winter
A Junco, House Finch and Sparrow Enjoying a Warm Birdbath Last Winter

All birds need water. If you make sure it is available to them year-round, you’ll find that it can be as much of an attraction as putting out seed or suet. In fact, birds that might have no interest in eating at a feeder may come to visit your yard if there is water available. Providing water when the temperatures dip into freezing levels, requires some adjustments, but it isn’t hard.

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Keeping Cats Out of Birdbaths

DIY Ground Birdbath
DIY Ground Birdbaths

I have several birdbaths in my yard year-round. All except one are either right on the ground or very close to the ground. The final one is on a fairly low table on my front porch. While the birds seem to love these ground birdbaths, the cats in the neighborhood see them as an opportunity to hunt, so I set up a simple “all natural” birdbath defense a month or so ago that seems to be working very well.

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Does Your Hose Provide Clean Water For Your Birdbath?

Homemade Birdbath & Camco Hose (with a Sprayer Attached)
Homemade Birdbath & Camco Hose (with a Sprayer Attached)

Birdbaths are popular with all birds, even birds that otherwise wouldn’t visit a bird feeder, making them a great addition to your back yard. Watching a small flock of American Goldfinches lining up around the rim to drink or an American Robin taking a bath is a joyful experience. Because birdbaths are located outside, one common way to fill them is to use a garden hose. But is your hose actually providing healthy clean water for the birds? You may be surprised to find that it is not!

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Make Your Own Birdbath

American Goldfinch, a Northern Cardinal and a House Finch Enjoy the Birdbath.
American Goldfinch, a Northern Cardinal and a House Finch Enjoy the Birdbath.

One of the best ways to attract birds to your yard is to offer water. Most of us don’t have a yard with a pond or stream to naturally provide water, so we need to find another way. While you could of course purchase a birdbath designed for the purpose, my homemade birdbaths cost less than $10 each and the birds are as happy with them as if I’d spent $300 each.

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Improvised Heated Birdbaths

Improvised Heated Birdbath Using Plastic Plant Saucer and De-Icer
Improvised Heated Birdbath Using Plastic Plant Saucer and De-Icer

A really good heated birdbath can be expensive. While I did look at birdbaths when they were on sale this fall at my local bird store, I just couldn’t spring the money for one. As well as the price of a good one (although it really was a good sale), I had a few other concerns.

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