Friday, July 26, 2013

GMG's Friday Find: Birds Need Water Too!

Mason Jar Wild Bird Waterer
It's mid-summer and bird activity is certainly at its peak.  The hummingbirds are visiting my feeders often during the day, and the rest of the bird population in and around my yard gather at the feeders morning and late afternoon to crack and enjoy the sunflower seeds.

It seems an idyllic scene, the bird calls, the variety of birds...but there's something else these lovely creatures need.  It's water!  About 70% of a bird's non-fat body tissue is water that needs to be maintained to avoid dehydration.

How much water does a bird need?  Well, how many crackers can you eat without having a drink?  Most small birds need to drink at least twice a day, and all the seed-eating birds need to drink more because of their dry diet. Edges of ponds and streams are a good source of water for birds, and an even better choice, especially for viewing, is a wild bird waterer.  It's fun to watch the birds drink in their own unique manner.  Swallows and aerial species swoop and scoop beakfulls of water, while other birds drink by dipping their bills into the water and throwing their heads back to swallow.  Some birds, like pigeons and doves immerse their bills and drink continuously (reminds me of some people I know). 

Birds need water for bathing too.  It is essential that their feathers stay in good condition and bathing in water dampens their feathers, loosens dirt and makes their feathers easier to clean. When preening, birds carefully rearrange feathers and spread oils from the preen gland so they remain waterproof. This traps an insulating layer of air underneath feathers to keep them warm, similar to waterproof or water-resistant clothing we wear to keep us dry and warm.

Droplet Bird Waterer
There are lots of ways to water your birds, and Perky-Pet® offers waterers, combination feed and water products, as well as bird baths that you'll enjoy displaying in your yard. Place the waterer in a shady spot, preferably near a tree or shrub.   I love the Droplet Bird Waterer, and I can tell you the birds love it too.  I'm not sure if they think it's as pretty as I do, but they love sitting and sipping from the teardrop design.

As the summer months wind down and cooler weather sets in, be sure to keep plenty of fresh water available for the birds.Your backyard birds, as well as migrating birds, will be happy as a lark  Happy bird watching!

~Peggy
Garden Media Group


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