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Water for the Birds

 
Terry WigingtonPremier Member - Click for more info
Terry Wigington
Posts: 75
Joined: 17th Oct 2010
Location: UK
quotePosted at 11:56 on 1st December 2010
Here we are again, fighting the weather to keep the bird baths available for the birds.
Many folk put out food for the birds at this time of the year but they also need a good supply of water.
Thought I might share a couple of ways I use to stop the water from freezing.
Below the bird feeder in the centre of the garden I place an old Brabantia food warmer, bought from Charity shop for 50p many years ago.
This has provision for 2 nightlights, Placing a 2" metal tray on the top, there is sufficient heat to stop the water from freezing.
I light the candles first thing in the morning and they usually last until lunchtime, I then sometimes 'top-up' for a few hours in the afternoon.
I get nightlights from £1 shop, big bag for (you've guessed it £1).
The actual bird bath is located fairly close to my garage and as I have an 'outside' power supply, I have wired in a Tropical Fish tank heater, the type with built in thermostat set to maximum.
This is immersed at the bottom of the bird bath and again is sufficient heat to stop the water from freezing (so far in 6 years never had it freeze up completely, but been pretty close, so if especially cold you have to keep an eye on it.
Hope of some help....for the birds!!
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Sue H
Sue H
Posts: 8174
Joined: 29th Jun 2007
Location: USA
quotePosted at 13:46 on 1st December 2010

I have a large heated bird bath, and three unheated ones. It really is more important to provide water for birds than food. It's also important to keep water and food stations clean. I clean my water stations every time I refill. 

Love the birds! 

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Sue H
Sue H
Posts: 8174
Joined: 29th Jun 2007
Location: USA
quotePosted at 22:44 on 19th August 2012

It's summer time here in the desert, and I also want to point out that its good to have a bird water bath available all year round, whereas the food you don't necessarily need to put out during the summer months, when for some birds, their diet changes from nut and the like to incects. 

So, hot weather means get more water out for the birdies.  

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Edward Lever
Edward Lever
Posts: 676
Joined: 22nd Dec 2005
Location: UK
quotePosted at 06:42 on 20th August 2012

I agree, many people forget about the birds needing a ready supply of clean water for drinking and bathing, all year round. My neighbours concentrate on putting out feed, so I keep our bird-bath topped up instead. It is a metal basin on a stand, which is high enough to discourage predators like cats, and is also quite shallow which means the birds feel safe. Also, since it is above the ground, any ice in winter soon melts, once the sun is up.

A bonus for photographers is that a bird-bath provides many photo opportunities. 

 

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Ron Brind
Ron Brind
Posts: 19052
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
Location: England
quotePosted at 08:32 on 20th August 2012

Confusing because the birds that I know won't drink water, unless there is a large Whiskey added to it.

And where do you guys find these birds prepared to let you take photo's of them in the bath Edward?

Oh well, such is life! lol

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james prescott
james prescott
Posts: 25955
Joined: 11th Jan 2010
Location: UK
quotePosted at 08:54 on 20th August 2012

I have a fresh supply of water daily for the birds,its nice to observe the antics whether feeding or bathing.

One thing i never do is feed them -there is plenty of seeds,berries,and insects this time of year -i may throw some broken biscuits soaked in      fat when it is really bad weather,a lot of people throw bread out -that is the worst thing you can do it bungs their intestine up.

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Edward Lever
Edward Lever
Posts: 676
Joined: 22nd Dec 2005
Location: UK
quotePosted at 09:42 on 20th August 2012
On 20th August 2012 08:32, Ron Brind wrote:

And where do you guys find these birds prepared to let you take photo's of them in the bath Edward?


Ah Ron.....if only....they are stictly the feathered variety these days....and this is a family-friendly site after all.....Smile
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cathyml
cathyml
Posts: 23275
Joined: 25th Jan 2010
Location: South Africa
quotePosted at 18:26 on 20th August 2012
I was told off in no uncertain terms by an African headmistress complaining about people who put out food for the birds - then they moved and the next people didn't put out food!  The birds starved as they had never had to fend for themselves!!  I have never fed the birds since, but I do keep the bird bath filled up for them!  And this winter it has frozen over a number of days, but melts quickly once the sun is up!
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james prescott
james prescott
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Joined: 11th Jan 2010
Location: UK
quotePosted at 18:45 on 20th August 2012
it must be hard for the ostrich  and vultures cathWink
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cathyml
cathyml
Posts: 23275
Joined: 25th Jan 2010
Location: South Africa
quotePosted at 18:57 on 20th August 2012

Not too many of those flying around here James, thankfully.  

Mind you ostriches can't fly anyway!! hehehe 

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