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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
Not to change the subject back too quickly, but just getting back on here...
I envision your dispenser on top of a decorative plant stand.
Keep in mind before you do anything, that the drips need to be *just the right height* for making a nice sound.
I experimented with just an upside down 2liter bottle (that I'd screwed a sport top on the end of, so I'd have greater control of drip speed/amount) and found that when I first hung it, it didn't make a sound. I then raised it and lowered it, until it made just the right sound.
You may want to play a bit with yours, first, to figure out how tall you need it before you make or buy something for it...just a thought.
Eq, you EVER get around to doing any of the hyperturfa stuff? I'm dying to make a leaf one and yesterday I saw a family with a HUGE ruburb plant... I think I'm getting closer to "lift off" on this project!!
the drip systems are very simple to put together. they come in a kit or you can buy ala carte, the pieces you need. If you need a timer, there are simple ones to ones that have many programs. the programmable operate on 4 aa batteries. they supposedly last about 6 mo.the timer screws onto the faucet first. then you have 1/2" black tube that you put through fitting that screws into timer or directly into faucet. you take the end of the tube and place it through a 2 circle plastic fixture that essentially folds it like you would a hose to stop the water. to branch off with water lines from the mainline black 1/2" is a small 1/4" flexible hose. you use this little plastic tool that looks like a sharp pencil. it pokes a hole into black 1/2" mainline. A small plastic fitting goes into the 1/4" tube with the other end that snaps into your hole on the 1/2"mainline. the other end of the 1/4" flexible tube has the "emitter" of your choice. spray, drip, 1 gal per hr, 2gph, 180 deg spray, 1/4 turn spray, etc. whatever you choose. they also have "goof" plugs to patch holes in 1/2" mainline if you say go from 10, 1/4" lines to 5. u plug 5 unused holes. very simple.There are other optional items like pressure regulators, filters etc. but they all just screw in like you would screw in a hose to a faucett.
Oh SURE... easy for you say Len!!! I think based on your description that it is one of those projects that I enlist the help of the hubby if I ever get that far! But thanks for trying to educate me on the simplicity of the job!
Quoting: the drip systems are very simple to put together. they come in a kit or you can buy ala carte, the pieces you need.
Does a rental husband come with the kit to help us with assembly? Just curious as what you described isn't sounding all that simple to me. I sit around here and struggle with those Erector set kits for kids aged 12+ because pieces always seem to be missing and then some roll off the table never to be found again. I think I'd have to pass on creating my own drip system. Somehow I get this vision of disconnected 1/4 inch hoses splurting out water all over the place when I screw up assembly. I thought you could be the drip systems already assembled?
I had to buy one cause i bought 45 bands of roses that i had to pot and water. I was dreading it. I'm getting to the age that i don't want to have to concentrate and study instructions to assemble something. But it did surprise me how easy it was. I generally don't buy anything anymore that you have to assemble. I bought a garden wagon only because they had a display model already assembled and let me buy that one, so i bought it. lol I have to tear out the foreign language instructions before i even get started because i will study them for 5 min before i decide it's the wrong language, and keep refering to the wrong language ones.
" i will study them for 5 min before i decide it's the wrong language, and keep refering to the wrong language ones." OK, NOW I feel better Len!! Thanks, I was beginning to feel very inadequate for NOT being able/willing to follow your instructions.
Don't you hate that when they include so many other languages that the directions end up being 10x as thick as what they should be. I definitely don't like to concentrate and study directions either and I long ago learned to ask if the display model was available for sale. Most are if its toward the end of the season.
Actually, a classmate and I were critized for NOT using the "proper technical language". We content that since we need to communicate with the public a WHOLE lot more than other professionals, why not use the language the public can understand??? That did not win us points with the professors/professionals!
Yes, kinda!! Of course I KNOW a lot of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) people hanging out in this DG crowd!! Personally if your obsession is plants and flowers, I think you are "normal" and have a healthy does of "interests". How is that for denial and rationalization??
Quoting: Personally if your obsession is plants and flowers, I think you are "normal" and have a healthy does of "interests". How is that for denial and rationalization??
Oh my, I'll have to share this one with my husband. A healthy dose of interests is what I have? Good that someone put a name to that. I've been waiting a long time for somebody in the know to come along to toss a label on me.
Everyone together now-
"We don't have a problem"
"It's everyone else who has a problem"
"We know we don't have a problem because we can quit plants any time we want"
Now, off to order some more plugs for delivery next spring for around my stepping stones. Psst... bought another water feature for my birds earlier this season already. No assembly required!
Mine are not "professional" but I do have about $300 total wrapped up in all the molds. They are back in Walla Walla, WA, about 260 miles from here. I will make arrangements to pick them up the next time I'm headed "home" to visit family in Tri-Cities (about 300 miles). I generally go about once a month. I won't set up shop per se, I will just make some benches, etc for enjoyment and sharing.
And yes, I would still like to make a flagstone path at some point. The stepping stones are still fun to make, they make great thank you gifts for me to share with other gardeners and I might "make due" with them until I have the money to do flagstone.
I broke down in the spring and purchased one of the water dripper hose kits. Not only have the birds enjoyed it, but I've used it to water my pots by moving it around during the day while it slowly mists water on to the dirt. So much easier than the hose, and no plants were harmed by the force of water. Earlier this month when the hummingbirds were very active here, they would fly back and forth through the mist. Now that was worth the cost! I found it online cheaper than at the store, and put it together myself, so it isn't hard! It is very light weight, so I've had the added benefit of not lugging around and rolling the hose. Cathy