Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Water Matters Even in Winter

One of the key requirements to Certified Wildlife Habitat designation is providing a source of water to backyard wildlife.  Even in the coldest parts of winter this is a critical need.  Birds do not seem to mind really cold water, partly to drink (necessary to digestion!) and partly to bath.  This Northern Cardinal still cleans its feathers in the dark reaches of December.  I expect there are still parasites and dirt that get in and must be worked out.  We have had excellent success with a shallow pedestal bath and an associated shallow ground level bath.  Both permit the birds to get in at an acceptable level of water and yet give space for what needs to be done.  And, in winter I have a deicer running constantly that keeps the water at least at 34F.  The equipment is very inexpensive (under $40) and if maintained properly will last for years.  And trust me, the sight of all those birds at the baths on a cold day is a heartwarmer!  they're happy--and we're happy.

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