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Feeding the birds is a special treat during the winter. Many bird species seek out the extra calories and readily take advantage of our offerings. Sunflower (either in or out of the shell), thistle or niger, white millet, cracked corn, beef suet or suet cakes all have their groupies. Shelter is nice as well and most feeders do better if near shrubbery. But, an often overlooked winter offering is water.
Birds need water year round and in the winter it is often more difficult to find. Using a heated bird bath, actually a heated drinking dish, makes life easy for you and the birds. There is no chipping of ice, boiling of water, or daily maintenance with a heated bath – or the guilt of knowing that they would like water and you’re not providing it. Heated water costs pennies a day and is a great addition to a bird-friendly yard.
I clamped our heated water dish to the corner of the deck rail this winter and have been able to enjoy close-up views of the birds as they drink. None have bathed yet; but they drink all day. The other day I clicked a few images through a double-pane slider as birds came and went about eight feet away. The pictures are not perfect but they give you the idea of what is happening in our yard. Take a look…..