Some people love it, others hate it. I’m very much in the latter category .
Though I get a little sick of bundling up every time I peek outdoors, and feel a little frustrated at not being able to participate in my favorite outdoor activity, that being pottering around in my garden, I do appreciate one remnant from our nice sunny summer and fall days, and that’s my birds.
You see, I’ve been attracting birds to our yard for a long time, and I hate to admit it, but it was always a spring, summer and fall activity. When I look back upon it now, what on earth was I thinking of. Just because with the onset of winter we humans tend to hibernate a little….
What about the birds?
But what about our birds? Where do they go? What can they do to keep warm? They certainly can’t lie on the couch and just turn the thermostat up when they get a little chilly like we humans can. Winter to them is a survival test, and in fact that can be the death of many of our little feathered friends, if they don’t find the right sustenance,
True, many bird species do depart the northern climates each fall, and travel to warmer areas further to the south. In our part of the world it is quite a sight, to see flock after flock of Canada geese flying in a perfect formation as they depart the frigid North.
But many species, either by accident or by design, choose to stay and ride the winter out. As responsible bird lovers, as we all should be, I believe it is up to us to do our small part to make sure these little guys survive the winter as best as they can.
It goes without saying that if you have been feeding birds throughout the summer months, then it is equally as important, if not more so, to continue your feeding on into the winter. In fact you will likely want to change the diet you are serving the birds to a mixture that is a little higher in protein and energy, as frigid days can really diminished a small birds reserve of energy.
Did you know some small species can lose half their body weight on days of extreme cold?
Actually I think we all do that, indeed I do but I would like to share a little story that happened a few months ago when we had some friends round for a barbecue, on one of the last nice fall evenings we had.
Dave and I were strolling around the garden, inspecting the way the yard had been cleaned up and prepared for winter, with all the deck furniture stored away in our outdoor storage box, the water fountain drained and covered, and of course the birdfeeders all freshly loaded with a new batch of quality birdseed.
Dave was the first to pick up on it, and it was something that I had never really thought of. Under the fruit trees to the very rear of our yard, we have always had a very simple birdbath. Just a cheap, plastic pedestal type with a circular bowl that held about an inch or so of water. From spring to fall this was always filled with fresh water, as it was directly under the path of our oscillating lawn sprinkler and we tend to water the lawn every 2 to 3 days in the hot summer months. It is always a delight to watch the little guys splashing and drinking from their bath.
Birds Need to Drink Too
Dave posed the question of, how are your birds going to drink this winter? And you know what, I had never really thought of it. Of course we couldn’t use the pedestal birdbath as at our temperatures it would be frozen within minutes, but it certainly got me thinking.
It was mighty unfair to be attracting birds with a nice high-energy food source which would keep them hanging around, but with no water source. Where were the poor little beggars going to drink? Eat snow?
And that had been exactly what I had been doing all these years. Shame on me.
Buying an All-Seasons Heated Bath.
My buddy suggested I take a look online to get some ideas of what is available, and determine if there was something within my price range. It would have to be easy enough to rig up in our yard, as obviously any type of heated bird bath was going to require an energy source. I had originally thought a solar powered heated bird bath would be ideal, until Dave reminded me, [he is one smart fellow] that in our winter months we barely get enough daylight to operate solar lights, let alone a heating element.
I had been in the habit of purchasing a lot of my bird food, and a couple of bird feeders, from an online store called Duncraft, so of course that was the first vendor I checked out. They did have a couple of models for sale, and I chose a fairly simply designed, All-Seasons Heated Bath.
What attracted me to this model, was that it was constructed out of a solid resin material, and had a decent size bowl, about 2 feet across and a full 2 inches deep, and most importantly the heating element was built right into the bowl.
I did see some others where the heating element was more a portable device that you hung in the bowl , but to me that would’ve been something that would’ve gotten knocked out by our pet dogs, or could have even been blown out by a strong winter wind gust.
No Techie Skills? No Problem
The most technical thing that I had to do, was purchase a length of a good quality outdoor rated extension cord long enough to reach a power source. In my case we had an outside electrical outlet on our garage so I only needed a fairly inexpensive 20 foot length of extension cord.
The all seasons heated bath comes complete with a six-inch cable hanging below the bowl, but within the pedestal, so that it was pretty simple to make the connection to the extension cord. I did seal the join with a few twists of electrical tape, just to make sure I had everything absolutely waterproof.
Another very smart feature of the design of this birdbath was that you could fill the hollow pedestal with sand or gravel to weight it down firmly. It took just three or four shovels full of sand and I am sure it will survive any blast our winters can throw at it.
It is amazing to see the amount of birds that winter over utilizing this for drinking. I can’t say I ever see them frolicking in the water as they do in the summertime, but I feel much better for having provided them with this small creature comfort.
An added bonus is it it looks real good in our backyard, and being an all seasons product I am quite sure it will get utilized in the summer just as it is this winter.
Where To Find The All-Seasons Heated Bath
If you would like to check out where we purchased this heated outdoor birdbath head on over to Duncraft, their prices are as good as you will find, they don’t sell junk and quite often they have some real deals on shipping, often free.
You will find them at this link. =>=> All-Seasons Heated Bath
Sure, you could wander the aisles of your local pet supply store, but the chances are you will not find this particular model, and besides, there’s something really appealing about making a selection online, then having some one deliver it right to your door.