Ask the Bird Lady: the bird bath is frozen

Thursday, January 12, 2017

One of the many kinds of bird bath
heaters at Wild Birds Unlimited
A reader asks:

My bird bath is frozen. How can I provide water for the birds to drink in the cold weather are we having?

Bird Lady Christine Southwick responds:

Liquid water is at a premium for all wildlife during times of freezing temperatures.

Any container about 1-3" deep, like a flowerpot guard, can be put out with water, and it will take a little while before it freezes. If you can put it on a porch or covered area with an incandescent light near it, the water will stay liquid longer.
Wild Birds sells half a dozen
varieties of suet

Wild Birds Unlimited
in Lake Forest Park Town Center (next to Mod Pizza on the south end), or the Seattle Audubon Society office and Nature Shop in Wedgwood at 8050 35th Ave, sell bird bath heaters.

That is the best way since those heaters only come on when the temperature drops and stays on while needed. But if all the heaters are sold out, the pan of water trick will help. Birds need to bath even in cold weather in order to keep their feather in great insulating order.

Also, now is an excellent time to put out a cake(s) of suet. You can buy a $4.00 holder (with the smaller holes), and for a couple more dollars a cake of suet (not dough -- suet has more instant calories which equals warmth). You can hang it anywhere. If you have lots of squirrels, hang is securely. Squirrels will eat some, but the birds will get most of the benefit.


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