Activity has likely been a little slow at your bird feeders during October, but birds in our region normally begin returning in mid-to-late November. I bring this up as a reminder to provide fresh bird seed to welcome them back. And, of course, I want you to have the best bird food in town, which is why I wholeheartedly endorse any of the six Wild Birds Unlimited stores in the Houston area.
Even more important, birds especially need water at this time of year. And providing water is the most effective way to get the greatest variety of birds to visit your place. Not all birds eat seed, but they all need water.
The experts at Wild Birds Unlimited emphasize that “moving” water, is a great way to get birds’ attention. As I learned recently, “feather maintenance” is critical for insulation from the cold and protection from rain and winter weather. So, birds need a water source for bathing. They fluff up their feathers to trap warm air next to their bodies … like a down coat protects people. Plus, moving water is also great for deterring mosquitos from laying eggs in a birdbath.
Of course, you can fashion your own moving water source if you’re a do-it-your-selfer, but your local WBU store not only has the best food, they also have the most ingenious water-moving tools - from drippers to Water Wigglers.
Birds also need clean drinking water … a lot of it each day. And finding it can be stressful in times when we don’t get a lot of rain. So, providing water in your back yard gives them easy access. And when temperatures drop below freezing, finding open water can be especially difficult. Putting out warm water with a stick across it for a perch can give them access to it without requiring them to get in and get wet.
So, get over to the closest Wild Birds Unlimited store, and get the right advice and tools to provide neighborhood birds with water and keep it moving. You could be surprised by the wide variety of birds winging into your back yard.