Monday, September 27, 2010

Cheap Baths & Overgrown Gardens = Birds

A few years ago I started a small perennial flower garden hoping to attract more birds and butterflies. I've neglected to weed the garden properly this year but the birds don't seem to mind. Wrens, finches, sparrows, catbirds, chickadees and even a few warblers have been having a field day looking through the tangled mass of plants for things to eat.
Another popular attraction has been this birdbath which I made from a terracotta dish and wire plant stand. It was meant to be a temporary replacement for my cement birdbath which broke last year but it seems to get as much use as the old one. Goldfinches seem to be one of the more common visitors.....
but the House Finches and House Sparrows probably take to prize for hogging the bath.
I was happy to see the more timid Tufted Titmouse stop by for a quick drink.
This past week my yard has been filled with chickadees. I've counted as many as six at a time. Smaller birds like chickadees seem to prefer a shallow birdbath.
You can never have too many chickadees. A couple of years ago during a field trip we saw several hundred chickadees land on an island as they made their way down the Connecticut River. What a sight that was!

click to play

Here's a video clip of one of the birds in action. They seem to be just as excited as I am about the start of the football season.

12 comments:

Lana Gramlich said...

I put out a large, leaf-shaped buffet dish (w/3 section,) for water this past summer, when it was getting really hot & dry. It's been great watching everyone getting drinks. I had to laugh the other day when a big ol' blue jay tried to have a bath. The dish is only an inch deep, at most!

Susan W. said...

I just got a new one this summer. It looks metal but is plastic. My husband had to glue it to a tile because it was so light it tipped over all the time. Then the really hot weather hit - and it melted a little more each day! Bad investment.

Larry said...

Lana-It's funny how little it takes to attract birds-something as simple as a buffet dish probably worked as well as some expensive bird baths.

Susan W.-I made the same mistake with one from a discount store-same deal-looked like metal-mine tipped over and when I tried to stake the base down the plastic cracked-I threw it out after a month.

Ruth said...

I had to laugh at the commentary on the video clip. I don't think your bird cares two hoots about the game :-). My backyard birds bring me the most enjoyment of any birds I see.

troutbirder said...

Cool birdbath. To me it looks a lot more authentic that the cheapo plastic ones and will have a longer shelf life and the concret one that always crack.

Chris said...

Wow excellent Larry... I guess the bird do actually love when we do not care about our garden because then it is more natural ;-) Beautiful post mate...

Larry said...

Ruth-I beg to differ Ruth because have studied the reaction of the birds in my yard. When the Patriots score the birds are lively and excited-when the opposing team scores the birds become lethargic.

troutbirder-If this one breaks it won't take much to replace it.

Chris-It odes seem to work that way to some extent-although choosing certain plants does help.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Our birdbath is a winner for all the wildlife. Even the squirrels will scamper up or jump up to get a drink. We even have water bowls on the ground but some prefer the large birdbath.

I like the way your garden grows and it is apparent the birds do too.

Harold Stiver said...

You have a great mix of guests. I don't know if you put the birdbath out in winter but it is a big attraction then. You can get small heaters that keep them ice free.

Jen said...

Wow, not bad at all for a makeshift birdbath! You could sell those!

dAwN said...

Hee hee..Football and Birding..what could be better?

Larry said...

Abe-It sounds like a regular water park for the birds over your way.I may add a few more birdbaths myself.

Harold-I have a heater that I used on the bigger birdbath but swill have to get a bigger dish to use it I think.

Jen-thanks!

dawn-If only I had the barbecue going I would be all set.