Attracting Birds to Water

Birds are always on the lookout for water. They pick up the sound of dripping water from a distance and are immediately attracted to it. Add a waterfall or fountain to natural or man-made water features in your yard. Attach a birdbath dripper to your birdbath. These devices achieve two objectives: they keep the birdbath full and they attract the birds to drink. They are also water savers in multi-tiered birdbaths where the lower tier recycles the spillage back to the top tier.

Backyard Water Sources

In addition to natural springs and streams birds normally depend on backyard water sources such as puddles, hollow stumps and plant foliage that trap rainfall. However, they will drink and bathe in almost any shallow container that holds fresh water. Set out a terra cotta saucer, an aluminum pie plate, a plastic dishpan, trash can lid or flea market find that is roughly 14 to 20 inches in diameter. Place the container either on the ground or on a secure table, stump or railing. If you have a water feature in your home landscape such as a small reflecting pool, fish pond or water garden, birds will certainly visit it for drinking and bathing.

The depth of the available water, whether it is in an official birdbath, a puddle or a water feature in the yard, is important. Small birds bathe in very shallow water only one or two inches deep. Larger birds such as robins, prefer three or four inches of water. Establish more than one fresh water source to accommodate them all.

Landscape Water Features

Water gardens, reflecting pools, fish ponds and containers holding aquatic plants are becoming more and more popular and are a great source of water for pest eating songbirds.

Access to the water is important in ponds that do not have naturally sloping edges with shallow areas. Put a rock, a sturdy branch or statuary of some sort in deeper areas to provide a perch for small birds. A waterfall that tumbles over rock ledges makes a perfect shower and drinking fountain for birds of all sizes. The sound of the falling water will attract birds.

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