Temperatures are beginning to drop and before we know it, the snow will fly and St. Nick will be heading down the chimney. While we all get into a frenzy come the holiday season, it is still a great time to tinker with some last minute additions or maintenance to your backyard to help migrating birds and aid in attracting wintering birds for the upcoming season.
As always, there are three main needs you need to satisfy as a birder to successfully attract birds to your backyard throughout the year; food, shelter, and water. In keeping with the last need, this article will address a few key tips that will not only help you as a birder but most importantly, help migrating birds as they pass through on their long journey this fall.
Move Bird Baths Around
As the wind and rains pick up, leaves are falling quickly this time of year. Where possible, attempt to move your bird baths away from deciduous trees as their fallen leaves will quickly decay and will inevitably contaminate the water.
Prune and Trim Surroundings
In the event you are unable to move your bird bath, simply prune or trim the surrounding foliage as best you can. Again, any leaves or other debris that is able to land in your birdbath will decay and ruin the water supply. Often times, large shrubs that are too close to bird baths also make for great ambush sites for would-be predators.
Keep it Clean
With the number of leaves being released by trees this time of year, it is almost inevitable that your bath will contain some debris, no matter where it is placed. The difference being the amount of time you will need to invest in cleaning it. With daily maintenance, a small number of leaves can be picked out by hand, if you were so inclined. Otherwise, it is a good idea on a weekly basis to go out and completely clean and refill your bird baths to ensure the very best water offering possible.
Keep them Full
This is a no-brainer, but at this time of year, particularly for those migrating, water is so vitally important. We all lead busy lives, but with the increase in traffic heading through your area this time of year, you might find that your bird bath needs to be refilled more than usual. Keep an eye on it and do your very best to keep your baths full throughout the fall season.