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Drip watering system for birds?

I've long toyed with the idea of creating a drip watering system for my birds. It always seems to get pushed to a back burner.

I know many birds prefer their baths at ground level but I hesitate to do this because of feral and stray cats. I'd feel guilty if a bird got lured to its death because of something I did so I've been looking at drippers that could be added to existing birdbaths that are up off the ground-
http://www.duncraft.com/merchant.ihtml?id=22&step=2
I've run across some nice dripper/mister combos but they seem pricey.

Here's a homemade version-
http://birding.about.com/library/weekly/aa042400c.htm
Similar deal to what my girlfriend Lisa did in her back yard.

Here's the ground dripper I liked-
http://www.backyardbirdsdiscoverycenter.com/HPI-422B.htm

Has anyone out there created any drip watering systems? I know they don't need to be fancy and could be a simple jug with pinholes in it hung from a support of some sort. A friend of mine uses an old ice jug that looks to be about 2.5 gallons and she has it spilling down into the top of a garbage can. Her birds seem to love it.

Collingswood, NJ(Zone 6b)

I haven't installed any sort of drip system, in fact, I'm scurrying around now trying to figure out how I'm going to keep my birdbaths from freezing this winter. In the past I just dismantled the birdbaths for the winter, but I've been reading about how important water is to wildlife over the winter months. I don't have any outdoor electrical outlet and don't like the thought of big orange electrical cords laying out there in the rain and snow. I guess I'll do a search of solar birdbath accessories?

I'd like to install some sort of drip system, but how you keep that from freezing in winter? Obviously, I'm clueless here.

I don't know if drip systems would be feasible for the winter months. I don't see how we could keep them from freezing based on their very design. Maybe somebody out there has rigged something?

I have the long orange electrical cords hooked to de-icers running to two birdbaths. I never thought of a solar de-icer. I use solar "night lights" around ponds to lure insects to my herp babies so why not? Something has got to be out there somewhere.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

You know, I have a mister or it can be a dripper (I think, I always used the mister) that I bought from Wild Birds Unlimited while living in TN. Here, I have an outlet, but to go to my birdbaths, if I went with that one over there, it goes across the grass and could get cut with the mower. No, scratch that, it would get cut with the mower. It I went with the other birdbath this side, it would have to go across the sidewalk and everybody and their brother would be tripping, me being the first. It's always hooked to a Y thing on your hose. It's in a box somewhere, still not all the way unpacked and it's a year and a half that we've lived here. Oh and the mister nor the dripper are for cold weather, they need to be brought in and stored. Or if you're like me, stuck on a shelf where you can't find it next year :o)

Also in a box, is my heater for my birdbath. Now that I also bought from WBU, but I bought it while up here before we moved. I had a big thick green outdoor extension cord that the cold nor snow was supposed to bother and it never did. I think that's the point of them? Not sure though.

I also have a concrete "bird spa". It got a big concrete bucket type thing (round, no handle though), that gets buried half or 3/4's under the ground. Then a concrete saucer type thing with a hole in the middle that sits on top. The thing has a pump and a small copper tube comes up and out the hole in the saucer, making more of a fountain type accent. The birds always loved it where ever I had it. Here, my front outside electric doesn't work (isn't even hooked to anything we found), and in back, well, I just don't really want it out back. I've debated about calling Brian (my electrician) to come and put me an outlet out back in the yard and to fix the outlet out front, and put an outlet in the front yard. Money money money though.

Collingswood, NJ(Zone 6b)

After spending way too much time looking for a solar de-icer for birdbaths, this is the only thing I found http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/RTProduct.asp?SKU=HAB-10008

It looks like nothing more than a black plastic lid that covers the water except for a 1.5" opening. I'm not sure the birds could even find the opening. I'd have to keep the water level just right, and what if a small bird fell in? Would he find his way out?

Looks like I'll be dragging out the extension cord.

Yes, money sure does put a damper on many projects.

At least the extension cords are bright orange. They show up pretty good so we're less likely to trip and kill ourselves if... we remember they're out there waiting to leap up from the ground to attack our legs and make us do face plants.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Ah Equil, you have to remember that one has to actually look down while walking in order to spot the bright orange. That would be my neighbors, always with their nose downward. Me? I'm always looking around.

Me too. Perhaps this is why we are so injury prone.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Now here I thought my injury proneness was due to my own stupidity. Never paying attention, tripping over my own 2 feet. Good grief. Today I got asked if I'd been up on a ladder recently. Uh, we didn't answer! John very smoothly changed the subject!

Southern, NJ(Zone 6b)

Equilibrium, I've been looking all over for a "face plant". Is that a native or exotic?

I used to carry hot water out to the birdbath on my patio. It cooled before any birds felt safe to come for a sipand dip, but it also froze quickly. I've dismantled my collapsing cement block perimeter raised patio this summer. (Four courses of cemented - cement block was easier to destroy than this vinca/ivy forest I am still working on.) I don't have a flat place close to my back door anymore until spring.

Dripping water will freeze a bit more slowly than still water. Any suggestions for where I could find a multi-gallon drip "bag" to hang to see if the sun would be enough to keep ahead of the freezing air temperature?

I had a very long day today that was rather challenging and frustrating. I am so sorry notgrnjean, a face plant is when one is careless or distracted and ends up face down on the ground. I am so sorry, there is no such thing per se as a plant called a face plant. I feel horrible that you most probably did an exhaustive search trying to find the ever so elusive face plant.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Hi there!
Check this one out!
It is made of pottery and is very pretty
http://www.globalsite.net/fknaski/
-T

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

ps-I have a cheap glass "sun tea" container that looks really similar to that one that I got at either Wal-Mart, or Gardenridge.
My spout is different, but I'm sure you could find one that is like the one in the link...

It certainly would be MUCH cheaper than the one on the site, lol...
-T

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

I came across this thread a month or two ago and thought that this sounded like a great idea. Then, on Saturday, whilst cruising through a consignment shop looking for hidden treasures, I saw this. Remembering this thread, I decided to scoop it up in hopes of creating my own drip system for my tweeties. I gave 'er a test run by filling with water, but the seal is not tight so it will require a bit of maintenance before I am able to use it. Also, I'll need to find a way to support it - I'm envisioning setting it on a large flat-ish rock where water can pool. BUT it will need to be elevated in order to prevent problems from the local cats (hunters).

This item was labeled for use in storing wine. I paid US $20 for it. I hope that I'll get to use it.

Edited for grammar.

This message was edited Apr 16, 2007 11:34 AM

Thumbnail by wrightie
No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

What a great find, wrightie! Be sure and update us if you get it working.

We had a tank of sorts on top of our ramada that fed the bird bath drips, but DH upgraded the covering on the ramada Saturday and decided he's going to install piping to feed them. Of course, that requires a lot of digging, so it might be a while!

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Wrightie-
That is VERY COOL!

Lucky you, to have found it!
:0)

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Cool wrightie!!!

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

Okay, quiz time. What would YOU do with it? i.e. I envisioned it perched on top of a big flat boulder. It wouldn't work sitting in my current birdbath because mine is too rickety.

Looking for other creative ideas...

Sorry about your cutting off your finger today, Pep. I hope that you will not need to go out on disability.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Nah, it wasn't bad enough for that. LOL. I like your suggestion for sitting it on a boulder. It would look great on one.

That thing is way cool. I would have bought it in a heart beat. We have a hypertufa forum here somewhere. I envision that garden art sitting on some sort of a piece of hypertufa made to create an area in front of it for birds to splish splash that is maybe only a half an inch deep in a semi circle so that it could become a garden focal point. I am not that creative but am getting this picture in my mind of what I am trying to say but it's not coming out of my finger tips right.

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

Say no more, say no more.

DUH, why didn't I think of hypertufa? Thanks, Equil. Sounds like a fun warm weather project.

This will be my second year that I keep telling myself I need to break down and try something in hypertufa. Every once in a while I go over to that forum and I get out of control looking at all the awesome projects these people are creating while trying to figure out how hard it would really be to copy some of their designs. It looks a little bit intimidating to me but to read their blow by blow instructions of how they go about creating those works of art makes me feel as if I might have a chance recreating one of their projects. So far I am in the dream stage but one of these days... one of these days.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Equil, quit dreaming and DO IT!!! LOL

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

Pepper's right... and you can turn it into family fun time by involving your kidZ.

Hypertufa = Family Values

Hooray!

Edited to clarify ownership of the shorties.

This message was edited Apr 16, 2007 9:23 PM

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

"our kidZ"

"OUR" kidz?

Wow. Not sure where that came from...

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

LOL

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I don't know either. I thought it was strange you said *our kidz* when last I heard you didn't have any?

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

only the four-legged flavors

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

that's what I thought. lol

Hey Pepper, what's this I hear about you cutting off a finger? Please do tell me all the details so I don't feel like the only one out there who did this.

Family fun time??? Mine would be grabbing handfuls of the mix and slopping it at each other. It would probably be hard to concentrate the first time around with handfuls of the product whizzing past one's face. I get the impression this is one of those projects where you just get a girlfriend and go for it- without kids. Second time around can include kids after one has a basic idea of what one is doing.

I have been saving mixes to a nice safe place on my hard drive. Does this count for anything?

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes, because after you test them all out you can recommend the best ones to me. Thanks in advance.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I cut my finger when cutting the dead leaves off daylilies. I have a hole in the tip of my left middle finger now.

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

You should post a picture of that finger.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Can't. Has a cotton ball on to stop bleeding and has like 5 band-aids on that to hold it. It bled pretty bad.

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

Blech.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

LOL. I imagine you would have passed out if you had seen this.

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

Nah, no passing out. But I'd prefer to look away... I'm an old lady now. Weak stomach.

Yes, post a photo of that cotton ball wad, inquiring minds want to see and well... it's always nice to know one isn't the only one who does injury to one's self.

You first wrightie. I insist.
Experiment away!

http://www.timpyworks.com/pamphlets/hypertufa-101/101.html
http://www.efildoog-nz.com/hypertufa.htm
http://www.the-artistic-garden.com/hypertufa-recipes.html
http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/hypertufa/2003030744004525.html
http://www.gardenmolds.com/pages/resources/concrete.html
http://www.flower-press.com/hypertufa.htm
http://www.all-about-planters.com/articles/hypertufa_pots.html
http://union.osu.edu/mgarden/articles/hypertufarecipe.htm
http://www.backyardgardener.com/tufa.html
http://www.tranquil-lake.com/hypertuf.htm

Here is one mix I saved that looked interesting (easy)-

Peat moss- 2parts, Sift through finger to remove all lumps
Portland cement - 1 part
Sand, vermiculite, or perlite - 1 part

Feast your eyes on this-
http://uk.msnusers.com/GardenJunk/hypertufa.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=39189&LastModified=4675555636723374304

I am getting the hang of this new computer after all!

Lookie what I found a link to-
http://www.concretegardenleaves.com/concrete-leaf.htm

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

Hey, I might even have all of those ingredients on hand already.

Funny you should post that elephant ear link at the end... I purchased a great book on concrete garden ornaments last year and one of my To Do items is a bird bath/puddle made with an elephant ear leaf.

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