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Science & Environment

Prepare Your Bird Feeders and Birdbath for the Season Ahead

Jim Hickcox / flickr

If you are feeding birds. it's nothing to take lightly. As you enjoy the activity and vibrant colors birds provide, then you are obligated to keep feeding steadily. Now that you have started you are committed and must not stop until the middle of April.

Most people find it most effective to feed different types of seed from different feeders. Some even provide cracked corn on the ground for squirrels, and some real squirrel feeders. 

Because birds are so small and weight sensitive, water is also very important to them. When everything is frozen, a liquid supply of fresh drinking water becomes a very big attractant. A standard-size bird bath equipped with a little water heater (sold by most feed and grain stores) that connects to an extension cord works well. The heater only is on when the temperature reaches a predetermined coldness and uses little energy.

Try this simple, yet effective, way to keep fresh water open and available, you will not be disappointed. Hard to attract eastern bluebirds, notoriously beautiful birds, that cause human observers to stare, slack-jawed in amazement, at their amazing color, can hardly pass up a heated bird bath. I have seen a flock flying at a considerable altitude, when one spies the water - and the whole flock will drop from the sky and go for a drink and even a bath. The fact that one can tempt in these spectacular birds is intriguing but even if bluebirds don’t visit, all your other birds will.

This week's Bird Report is a rebroadcast.