"A heated bird bath!" a friend of mine said while laughing. He thought we were offering our birds some sort of spa. That is, until I told him what I've written below.
Now he's more likely to share the information with others and start helping the birds during tough wintry weather.
Heated Pedestal Baths
Heated Ground Bath
Heated Deck Mounted
Scallaped Deck Mounted
Probably the best way to attract birds in winter is with water. Not only will more birds visit but you'll get an even greater diversity of birds coming to your yard.
Providing water in winter is even more important than doing so in summer. Open water sources can be difficult to find in winter.
All bird lovers place feeders out for the birds in winter and more experienced bird watchers offer more than one kind of seed. But only a few understand the importance and results of adding a heated bird bath during winter.
Offering water is the single most important resource you can give birds in winter. If you've never offered a source of water during winter do so today. You'll be rewarded with a wide variety of birds throughout the cold winter months.
Learn what your options are.
Birds need water both Summer and Winter. Much of a birds energy is wasted searching out open water sources in winter.
By providing a heated water source you'll not only be helping the birds, but you will also increase the variety of birds visiting your backyard.
Not all birds will come to your feeders, but all birds need water. A heated bird bath will introduce you to birds you didn't know were in your backyard during winter.
You'll need a power source. Most newer homes have a GFCI installed on the outside of the house. These are those "plug ins" you use when using outside electrical tools.
If your home doesn't have any, contact an electrician to install one. This is fairly inexpensive and no homeowner should be without one on the front and back of your home.
There are two ways to keep water opened and warm for birds during winter. The first, simply add a birdbath heater/de-icer to your existing bath. If you already provide water for birds during summer, just add one of these units to your birdbath and plug it in.
A word of caution, not all bird baths can have water in them during the cold of winter.
The material may crack with expansion and contraction. Concrete shouldn't have any water in it during winter. If you're not sure, the following option may be better for you.
The second way to provide warm water for birds in winter, is with a complete Heated Bird Bath These are birdbaths sold as a complete unit with the heating element built into the bowl. (see top) Just set it next to your feeders, fill with water, and plug it in.
One of the nice things about the all-in-one unit is that you don't have to look for your heater when winter arrives. (Hopefully you're better organized than I am.) You can choose from a variety of baths. Some clip on to your deck railing and others can be placed on the ground as nature would supply water.
These make perfect gifts for the bird lover. Most bird watchers have bird houses and bird feeders and a ton of books. Far too few have a heated bird bath. Once you've experienced h attracting birds this way, you'll never want to be without one.
This isn't an easy question to answer as there are several factors to consider. But, depending on whether you're running a 50 watt thermostatically control heater or a 150 watt heated bath 24 hours a day the cost could be anywhere between 3 - 9 bucks a month.
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