The heat wave is stressful not only for people but also for animals. On asphalted or cobbled surfaces, there are fewer and fewer drinking and bathing places available to birds, where they could quench their thirst in hot weather or cool off by bathing. That’s why it’s important to help them: make bird feeders and bird baths!
Most of our birds have to drink and even bathe several times a day, which poses an even greater challenge for them in the increasingly dry summers and snowless winters. ” The heat wave especially affects the fledgling chicks that have left the nest, because they are not yet familiar with the watering places in the area,” warns the Hungarian Ornithological and Conservation Association (MME). Fortunately, we can easily help with this, and you don’t even have to spend a lot of money: all you need is a few unused but clean flower coasters or bowls, and the bathing birds will come to your house, and we can enjoy the view.
A little thing that can save a life
The best bird feeder is about 40-50 cm in diameter and 4-7 cm deep. A bowl deeper than this is already dangerous for smaller birds. It is not necessary to buy a separate drinker: the plastic flower coaster is perfect for the purpose. This site also allows even larger birds to bathe in it in addition to drinking. In the summer heat, bathing is also vital for them, because it allows them to cool down quickly and keep external parasites under control. If the drinker is 5-10 cm deep, it is worth adding a protruding branch or a larger stone with a sloping side, where the birds can stand comfortably and safely and control the water depth when bathing.
If you live in a place where there are a lot of cats, it is worth placing the drinker higher, for example on the windowsill, as this way the birds are not in mortal danger – and by the way, you can enjoy a fantastic observation experience. If you live in a house with a garden and would like to help not only the birds but also other animals, put another drinking bowl on the ground for them. Thirsty lizards, hedgehogs, frogs, or stray cats can easily find it.
Change the water daily
At first, we should try to place the drinker as openly as possible, since the glitter of the water is the key stimulus for the birds, on the basis of which they will find the drinking and bathing place. It is important to replace the drinking water with fresh water every day, which, in addition to protecting the health of the birds, prevents mosquitoes from using the drinking water as a breeding ground for their larvae. The mosquito only lays its eggs in stagnant water; if we change the water daily, we will not have such a problem. The evaporated water can also be replaced by refilling it during the day.
It doesn’t matter how deep
Water deeper than 5-10 cm is dangerous for smaller birds, so never use a deep barrel, bucket, or container full of water as a drinker. Thirsty birds are attracted by the glitter of water like a magnet, and while trying to drink or bathe, they can slip into the tank, from which they cannot escape due to the water-soaked and heavy plumage, and they drown. If we are thinking of building a garden pond, let’s create a shallow coastal area where the birds can bathe safely.
They feather after bathing
Plucking and arranging feathers after bathing is an important part of a bird’s life. Dense bushes are best suited for this, so if possible,
PUT THE DRINKER IN A PLACE WHERE THERE ARE BUSHES THAT PROVIDE BOTH A GOOD VIEW AND COVER.
It is even better to provide some overhanging branches: the birds like to sit on these to sunbathe after feathering.
If you don’t live in a house with a garden, but in an apartment, or if you want to create a bird feeder at your workplace, pay particular attention to secure fastening. The website of the Hungarian Ornithological and Conservation Association (MME) shows in detail how we can create safe and full-value watering places for birds.