Monday, November 11, 2013

Water features

A great way to attract birds to your yard is to put out water features.  The best ones have running water of some sort- such as a cascade or mister.  Even a hole in a hose running over the basin can do the trick.  Having such moving water can greatly increase the amount of traffic a bath receives.

Baths should be shallow, and ideally be on the ground near plant cover.  If they are elevated, try to make them seem like they are part of a raised ground surface, such as a ledge or embankment.

One great advantage of water is that it can attract birds that will never be attracted to feeders.

To whet your appetite, here are three pictures from a yard in Harahan that is well equipped with water features.  The first remarkable photo shows a crowd of seven Tennessee Warblers joined bathing by a single Northern Parula- taken late last month.  The photographer said more than twice this many Tennessees were clustered in and around the bath at once.  The other pics are of a male Wilson's Warbler (yellow), and a shot of a male Summer Tanager (red) bathing with an Indigo Bunting (brown and blue).  Notice the natural settings simulated by these baths- not just a pedestal out on the lawn!

Good birding!


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