I've finally gotten around to getting together some water features in the yarden and I am curious what others on the forum have set up for their birdy friends?
I have a couple of traditional birdbaths but I want to do some with maybe a bubbler, maybe create a couple of 'moving water' features from 'found' items, or even buy something from the Water Feature Store.
So I'm looking for all kinds of ideas~~small and easy, or fancy and elaborate and everything in between. But especially 'water features' that your birds use.
Another popular one of mine is this solar fountain that I had in a pot saucer last year. The birds love it and it's easy to clean each morning. I have moved it to a prettier birdbath this morning but haven't gotten a picture of it yet. The solar fountain was ordered online for $44.95 plus shipping and it's lasted me for two years already. Here's a link where I ordered mine they have lots of pretty fountains to give you more ideas-
I'm relatively new to birding in general. I'm learning new info. about how to keep a bird friendly-environment. I just recently drawn to bird baths. I set up a couple without any type of fountains or misters...but that is an attractive idea. I'll be watching for new ideas. Tab, and Duc, love your birdbaths.
I have several birdbaths, none with drips or misters. They get non-stop activity all year long, but the two that see the most action are located under a young River Birch. I think the birds love the low branches which allow them to use it both as a "staging" point and a place to dry & preen their feathers.
One of the two has an integrated heater. It's one of those beige, plain-looking types, not at all esthetic, but the birds (& squirrels) love it. It was actually meant to be mounted on a deck, but instead, my husband mounted it on a pedestal from an old cast aluminum birdbath we weren't using. Perfect! It's so popular that we just remove the electrical cord when the weather warms up & leave it out all year. I have to refill it several times a day during warm weather.
Although all the good bird supply sites & stores carry them, they are fairly expensive through those sources. We got ours at Farm & Fleet & have seen them at Menard's for about $30.00 so I would check large farm stores & home centers first.
I have seen a mister called the "Cool Mist Stick" that I'm probably going to try. Supposedly Hummers love a fine mist. A local nursery here is selling them for $8.00. I've seen them online, but they're about $25.00! Visualize something that looks like a piece of stiffened rope that is coiled on the bottom & stands up (kind of like a Cobra, but about 30" tall) with a very fine mist spraying out at the top. They're not pretty - plastic tubes in colors like bright blue. They attach to a hose so you can place them where you want. I wouldn't want to run the hose all day, but occasionally, it might be fun to try. If you just want to see what they look like so you know what to look for, http://www.amazon.com has one. They use a different name, but the item # is: MC400. I would check local sources first since I'm sure you could get one much cheaper.
Another easy, virtually free, dripper I've seen & have been tempted to try is to hang a .5 liter water bottle or larger pop bottle overhead from a tree, shrub, shepard's hook, etc.. It can be either right-side-up or upside down - make a hole large enough to "drip" water. It's even better if it's hanging over a birdbath.
Obviously the above two water features are not meant to be "end-all" solutions, but they might be worth trying just to see if they bring in more birds.
If your birdbaths aren't getting much use, are they completely out in the open? Try putting one near a tree or other shrubbery (but not too close to a type that will hide predators). It might make the birds feel more secure.
Hope any of this helps. Sorry I couldn't offer any moving water features that I have personal experience with.
I have 2 pedestal bird baths. One is larger and deep, and one is shallow. The deep one is used by squirrels (grrr), crows, magpies (grr), blackbirds, northern flickers and the occasional woodpecker. The shallow one is used by finches, chickadees, sparrows, redpolls and hopefully hummers. The robins and bluejays use both. I put rocks in the shallow one for perching on and in winter I fill it with warm water. I also would like to get a moving water feature. Maybe a bubbling rock.
I have a single concrete bird bird that sees a lot of action since I added my home-made dripper.
What I did was suspend a gallon milk jug (painted flat black) right-side-up, above it. To make it drip, I used a piece of aerator clear plastic tube (that goes with an aquarium).. I drilled a hole in the cap and to make sure the tube stayed in the bottom-most part of the jug, I taped a short piece of brass rod to it. I simply start a siphon by sucking a bit of water into the down-hanging tube (I made sure the tube hangs about about 10-12 inches below the bottom of the jug. To control the amount of water flowing through the siphon-tube, I inserted one of those (mine is green) little valves with the round knob in the middle (I bought the valve in the pet shop at the same time I got the 3-foot piece of tube. When I turn the value off, the water drips, drips,drips. I had to drill a few tiny holes into the milk jug's cap to keep the jug from collapsing as it emptied.
I hope this makes sense.
The first time I tried this I poked a tiny whole in the bottom of a milk jug but it was aggravating getting it to drip at a steady rate. Also, it would never go completely empty - and if I made the hole a little bigger, it ran too fast.
I don't know what it is about our birds but they just don't seem to like our bird baths...I think I'll add a few rocks or gravel to each one to make them shallower and add 'perches' like you described, nuts. Ours in the first pic on the thread I know is too deep.
I received one of the heated birdbaths for Christmas a few years ago and I think I've seen 3 birds in it total. I really don't understand that one but it is on our deck railing and maybe I need to rig a set up on the ground near some shrubs.
Hack, you must be a natural engineer to figure out your dripper description. I had to reach back into my highschool science knowledge to understand your set-up.
I went out to Home Depot and saw those plastic 'cobra' misters, and bought one for $11 (in purple) yesterday, set it up on the deck, and within ten minutes saw a hummingbird flying thru it. She seemed to like it but was somewhat put off by my daughter who liked it too and was sunbathing there! Will try it again today without daughter dear. (Daughter wants her own!)
So that's a step in the right direction!
Today we're going to try to get my new 'birdbath fountain' going.
I have several different bird baths and they seem to love the more shallow ones the best. Also...their favorite bird bath is water in a plain old mud hole!! They flock to the mud holes after a good rain and I love to watch them lining up to drink and take baths!!
I, also have found that most of the birds, particularly the smaller ones, prefer the shallower bird baths.
Hackster, thats a great idea using the tube.
Pelletory, simply adorable pictures!
Tabasco, that's great that you found one of those misting "sticks" at a reasonable price. It appears that it's just what the hummers wanted, but it sounds like you'd better buy another one for your daughter before they run out.
Buy the way, even if you put your heated bird bath near some trees or shrubs, you'll probably find that in the winter most birds will only come to drink, not bathe. Makes sense. I doubt that I'd take many baths outside in sub-freezing temps either.
Great point Pell. I too find that the majority of birds like shallow baths. I originaly got the deep one cuz the robins were always jumping in and doing back strokes in the shallow one and emptying it. I think if you have larger birds, having a deep one is a good plan. Although the robins use the shallow one they do 'swim' for the most part in the deep one. Also I have found that with larger birds using the deep one, the smaller birds aren't so intimidated to come for water or a dip in the smaller one. I'm no expert (for sure snort) Just sharing what's happenin in my garden
I have lots of birdbaths and the amount of use they get seems to depend how much rainfall we have ,where we live there are lots of farm ponds so the birds can really be picky,will send some pics of ones I have made using a plan from Garden Gate magazine
We installed a shallow birdbath about a year ago. My husband installed an "auto-filler/water feature" by hooking up a line from our drip system. He clipped it to the back and only the hose is visible. He works for Home Depot so he gets great advice from the guys. Anyway, since this has been in the yard we have tons more birds than ever. Bluebirds, Robins, Orioles etc.
grits, thanks for the directions on how to make the elephant ear bird bath. Several days ago I was googling to make something similar to your beautiful pieces and then decided that I would ask on this forum for some tried and true ideas. So thank you!
CAwinediva, love your photo of your orioles? in the bird bath. Very pretty.
I keep watching my birdbaths to see if they are getting any action and haven't seen a bird even close to them since the thread was started!
Great pics everyone!
We just have the "usual" activity here. I keep waiting for a Wren to visit our yard and take advantage of 2 lovely houses for it...Big Sigh...
I still dream of seeing an Indigo Bunting and have yet to see an Oriole too...Darn!
So, here's another pic...but from wintertime. One of the Harris's Sparrow visitors...Love them! So chubby and cute...LOL
pelle, we don't have our feeders out now~~took them in for the summer, but we have plenty of natural stuff for them to eat and we have loads of different birds in the yard. (Well we do have about 6 hummer feeders out and lots of HBs flying around them).
even in autumn and winter when we have all our feeders out and we have unheated and heated birdbaths going we never see birds visiting them.
Maybe it's because one of the neighbors has a great 'water feature' for them and then there is the woods with a stream behind us too. Or maybe this summer when it quits raining and gets hot they will be more interested...
Keep trying your bird baths in different places - near places where the birds hang out, near feeders (when you have them out), by trees & shrubs, etc.
All it takes is one bird to visit one time. Once that happens, others will follow until it becomes part of their daily activities. Just like with bird feeders, once the birds recognize that it's there, it becomes habit. When it stops raining you might try putting that "mister" out for a little while so it sprays over the bird bath.
I've added this shallow bird bath into a shady corner of the garden. I'm pretty sure the finches have discovered the bb. Haven't caught them in action, only noticed some have came to the feeder soaking wet when there wasn't rainy outside. :-)
I meant to say; Pelle, Hack and Susan those pictures of your darling birds in the bb are so so enticing. I hope to have some continuous irrigating system for a bird bath or two by the time the weather heats up.
I like that too! Have a ton of fun watching those babies Missy. I stopped short on my tract the other weekend when I was working in the garden. A Titmouse decided to take a bath at the lapping water by the launch ramp as I was moving plants around. I took a break from working and took in the scene. Those little ones do take their bath 'seriously'. lol
Missy, I love your fountain and wish you the best with it! Be sure and keep watch especially in the early morning and late afternoons. Can't wait to see your pictures. Your husband sure did a wonderful job on it.
i have 4 bbs ,and I have a lg. wetland,I watched a finch take a long bath the other day too sweet.and the larger birds love to take a dip in the wetlands. 1 has a pump ,boy pouring water out of a jug,I havent seen this but the DH has seen robins taking showers,someday I will retire too ,and watch the birds !!! I so want MISSYS Water bubbler,thats the next one I will buy,or DH will make me one,he can be soo handy,and creative
Okay here goes, this is my third bird bath. But, the very first one with a fountain. The base is of cast iron for studiness, it serves as a conduit for the water pump & electrical wire hook up underneath the cherub and the turtle that it's riding on. The basin is made of alluminum so it's not so top- heavy. I bought this from a nursery last fall and it's just now got set up. Better late than never. Hope my birds will discover the bath soon.
Duc, thank you. I do hope so. The only draw back, the volume of water is very small. Should it run dry, the pump's motor will be toasted. I'll see about hook up a timer feature to turn it off after so many hours of operation, that may help?
Thank you Pelle. I'm pleased to let you know, one of my Titmice has already discovered the fountain!!! I missed capturing a pix though. While stalking my birds coming to the bird bath. I saw a female hummingbird nectaring on my Blue salvia.
LL, your new fountain is wonderful for the birds~~I'm sure they will love it.
thebestmissy, I'm wondering where you found the round water sprayer for your set-up? And is your pot filled with gravel or is there some kind of 'filler' in it and then just 'topped off' with gravel? Looks like something the birds will love.
This weekend we are still in the midst of setting up our bird bath fountain (need to run electricity out to it) and maybe next week I will have some pics...
thanks pelle,funny thing about those boulders,we bought 3 truck loads 32 ttons,the last load was full of boulders and the guy thought it was funny ,we were like thrilled we got like 12 or more,that was 20 yrs ago,we couldnt afford to buy 32 tons now , they are getting hundreds for nice med boulders today.Here is my new BB the photo does not show the detail she is a cutie 15$ for 2 pcs.iam going to paint or stain it ,not the bowl . the bowl is a nice shallow one.
Tabasco, my husband made the round sprayer from copper tubing. It sits in a saucer that fits in the top of a pot that holds water. The saucer is only a couple of inches deep and has a single layer of rocks in it. I'm hoping to have time to sit down and give more detailed information soon.
Thanks bestmisssy, for the details. I will start scrounging for a good pot and saucer and I'll have to make do with a store bought sprayer of some sort, I guess, since we are not so clever building things here like your DH...
My new fountain was set up and running yesterday and the birds loved it! And I was thrilled! Then woke up this a.m and saw that the water was milky colored!! Oh, no! So called the fountain installer and cried a bit and he said he'd be right over today to fix it. Apparently the silicone 'glue' didn't dry completely and messed up the water.
Am repainting my old (plastic) fountian today to get it going. You all have inspired me!
DOUBLE CONGRATS to you, tabasco - no, make that TRIPLE CONGRATS!!!
It's so exciting to read that the birds love your new fountain. Sorry there was a problem, but it sounds like you got it taken care of. Enjoy all the visitors!!!
I recently got this solar fountain for the outside sink area on the back deck. Since it matched the blue tile of the counter, and sink area, I just couldn't resist. It has a small battery, so it can keep flowing for a few hours after dark. The birds have discovered it, so it's a bit of a chore to keep it clean, but well worth the effort. The hummingbirds like to flit around the water as it pours from one jar to the next. So far it's been just about my only yard art item. I do have one other solar bird bath, but it only flows when it's sunny. It's amusing to watch the hummers hover over it, and become surprised when their little shadows make the flow stop.
Here's a shot of the instantaneous solar bird bath near the rear corner of the back deck. If there's no sun, there's no fun. As I stated on the above post: when the hummers hover over it their little shadows are enough to either slow down, or even stop the flow. It's a kick to watch their reaction to that. They will actually try to take a shower in it, but it just never works out for them. It's amazing that a creature so small can generate such interest, and attachment. My main goal now, is for the back deck to become as hummingbird friendly as possible.
Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. Lily_love, that Jade was there when I moved in, as well as several others through out the yard. They actually pop up everywhere, and I'm forever pulling them up. One has gotten so big that it's branches became too heavily laden to support themselves, and I've had to prune several big branches from it. Anyway, I'm guessing that it's around 10 to 15 years old. Whoever owned the house back then did allot of planting, and most of the garden is very mature. I do allot of pruning, transplanting, and general removing of plants that are too crowded.
I've attached a photo of some hummers at dusk. There are tons of the little guys, and watching them is very entertaining.
Hi ducbucln, Thanks for your warm welcome. We pretty much have the hummers all year, although they do thin out a bit in the winter months. I'm not really sure what species they are. It maybe more then one. My next door neighbor has at least a dozen feeders, and he needs to fill them all about once a week. Between our two houses there are often 20 to 30 hummers feeding and fighting during the summer. I have lot's of flowers, but only two feeders, and they only need refilling about every two to three weeks. This is because there's one particular hummer who has staked out my back deck as his own, and even when he's not feeding, he's guarding. If another hummer tries to feed, there's a confrontation, and a chase scene. He even let's me know when I've strayed too close. Many's the time I felt, and heard him buzzing me right behind my head as I piddle around the deck. I call him Mr. Meany, or His Meaness for short. He has a green throat. I'll try to identify these guys and write back.
I forgot all about this thread,deepwater welcome to Daves you have a gorgous yard and garden and Iam assuming your home is just as beautiful,love your water features.I did finish my little birdbath,turned out really well.
Very nice bird bath hugger. Classic. I'm pretty new to bird baths, and was wondering what the best thing is for algae, and other grimy water stuff. All the products I've looked at eliminate algae through some kind of chemical precipitation, and I'm concerned that it might not be good for the birds. Any thoughts?
I forgot to say that after I put a small amount of bleach in the water, I cover the birdbath with a plastic trash bag so the birds can't get in and leave it that way overnight. Early the next morning I just have to scrub a little bit and rinse it really good.
I see the birds in the winter on the deck drinking water as the ice and snow melts so thought something that will keep the ice out of a bird bath might be in order for them. I will check out some places online cause I know there is nowhere close by that sells anything like that. Thanks.
Yesterday, I had mucho many hummers feeding. My little camera's digital zoom isn't very clear at it's most extreme range, but you get the idea. Later in the early evening I had six of them trying to feed in four holes. But instead of my camera, I was holding a glass of Chianti Classico. Alas, no photos. Perhaps manana.
Hi huggergirl. Yes, we have them pretty much all year. However, I'm not sure if they're the same ones, or if we get different migratory waves, at different times of the year. At any rate this morning I had chaos on the back deck this morning. It was a feeding frenzy swarm. Attached is a photo with nine of the little guys vying for four feed holes. My presence didn't bother them at all, and I routinely got buzzed at very close range. Often feeling their wing wash on the back of my neck while trying to get lucky with a shot.
Here's a shot with only five. Actually there were so many buzzing in and out, I couldn't really pick the shot, because there's such a time lag with the digital camera. Sometimes there would be ten of them when I pushed the button, but maybe only two a couple seconds later when the shot finally went. It was simply luck, patience, and non stop parade of hummers.
Hi growum, and huggergirl. This is the first time that I've really tried to take photos of them, so up until now, I haven't been able to see them close up, or in stop motion. All I've been able to make distinction about with the naked eye is size, and it seems to me that sometimes we get ones that are allot bigger than the others. So I'm guessing that these are a different genus. We probably get different types at different times of the year. But we have them pretty much all year round.
I have such a case of 'Spring fever'. So this weekend to sooth the anz for Spring gardening project. DH helped set up this fountain. I hope with the running water, this will attract more birds to enjoy this along with me. What you all think?
Thanks Pelle and Duc, birds aren't quick to discover a new water feature set up especially for them, so I set up the grain feeder nearby, thus far I've noticed a Tufted Titmouse showing some interest. And perhaps a Mockingbird, but so far the bugs in the garden kept them busy else where.