A few weeks back I began to hear clattering on my front porch. Peeking out from the kitchen window I spied a juvenile jay immersed and splashing around in the large stainless steel water bowl that I leave out for the dog. The bathing jay is a frequent visitor now. I was curious who else was using the dog’s bowl so I kept an eye out- at least for the daytime visitors.
So far I have noted a chipmunk, squirrel, bees, chickadees, nuthatches, juncos, and the stray cat that recently took up residence in the barn. I would imagine that there are nighttime visitors as well. Besides having water to drink, birds like having water to groom themselves.
I try to keep our 2 birdbaths full but they are shallow and in the summer heat they evaporate quickly. The dog’s bowl is at ground level, in the shade all-day and deep enough to retain water longer.
A large shallow bowl actually can function better than an official birdbath. Look for a bowl at a thrift store if you don’t have one on hand. Even if you are an apartment dweller you can provide this on a balcony in a shady spot if possible. Clean and change the water 2-3 times a week, especially if it’s in a sunny location. Providing a large rock in the bowl can act as an island for the small birds to perch on. Put it in an easily observable place if you can.
We humans often forget that we have paved over or altered the natural habitats of wild critters. It can be especially difficult for them to find water, especially in the summer. In the spirit of reciprocity, we need to make offerings to help them in their survival. Besides creating habitat, you can be entertained by the activity at the water hole for almost no cost!
Also blogging at byalannapass.com