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Keep It Moving, Keep It Moving

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Carolina Wren on a Bubbler
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Birds are attracted to water, especially moving water. At no time of the year is this more true than during migration. Birds that are “out of their element” count on cues to find the things they need the most. The sound of moving water is like a beacon to these birds in need. Moving water can be provided in several different ways.

If you already have a bird bath of some type, the simplest way to get the water moving is by adding either a “bubbler” or a “dripper". Bubblers do not add fresh water to a system, they simply recirculate the water that you have. Bubblers are generally made to look like a rock and have a pump to pull the water up so that it can cascade down over itself. They do require electricity to operate. dripper does not require electricity, but does require a connection to a water supply.

Drippers, as the name implies, provide a steady dripping source of water. We do have one recirculating model that does not require a water source but most do. Some customers are scared off of drippers when we tell them they have to be hooked up to a water source but they really are very simple to operate. They come with a Y-connecter that fits on an outside faucet. They also come with 50 feet of hose and a control valve. The amount of water that is “dripping” can be finely adjusted. Another favorite water mover is the mister.

Misters are similar in many ways to drippers but instead of dripping water, it emits a fine spray of water into the air. Misters with a base can be used in a bird bath. Those without bases can be set up to spray into a birdbath or snaked into a bush or tree and allowed to spray into the vegetation. Birds will sit in or fly through the spray or catch water droplets as they fall from the leaves. This is a great way to water plants.

If you don’t have a water feature or are looking to add one, you can set up a system with pumps, waterfalls and/or cascades built in. Molded plastic and fiberglass models can be placed on decks and patios or landscaped into your garden. We sell larger “pond” and multi-pooled stream kits that can be constructed with far less effort than one might imagine. As you already know, we have had a dry winter, a dry spring and all forecast are for a hot, dry summer as well. Water will soon be in critical demand by birds and other wildlife.

By Mark McKellar