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For Irresistible Yards, Just Add Water!

Want to make your yard irresistible to birds?

Try adding motion and sound to your birdbath! Motion on the water’s surface or the sound of falling water is like a magnet to birds because they instinctively equate moving water with natural water sources that are cleaner and healthier than stagnant water. The sound of moving water also lures birds that otherwise wouldn’t frequent your feeders—like warblers, Cedar Waxwings and American Robins—to drop in for a visit. Intrigued? Here are a few ways to get your birdbath water moving.

WaterWigglerWebWater Wiggler™

The Water Wiggler™ does just as its name promises: it agitates two small floaters on the surface of the water, creating ripples in your birdbath. The classic, battery-powered model wiggles continuously for months on two D batteries and is also available in a model that plays sounds of a gently babbling brook. Or, skip the batteries and select a solar-powered model of the Wiggler. Not only will Water Wigglers™ make your birdbath irresistible, but they’ll also help prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs.

A goldfinch takes a shower under a mister.
A goldfinch takes a shower under a mister.

Misters and Drippers

Misters and drippers are another way to get your water moving. They require no electricity; just hook ’em up to an outside water source and regulate the flow of water by adjusting a small valve.

Drippers are just that: they drip into a birdbath, providing the sound and water movement that birds love. Misters spray fine droplets of water into the air. They’re a big attraction for hummingbirds, which love to fly through fine mist! Attach the mister to a tree branch or vine or hang it over a shepherd’s hook and aim it towards a shrub or tree.

Tips for Using Drippers and Misters

  • Don’t worry about water that spills over onto the ground around baths with drippers and misters—birds often bathe in the small puddles and use the mud to build their nests. Butterflies enjoy these mud puddles too.
  • It’s a good idea to place your mister in an area with lots of cover so birds feel safe while bathing.
  • You can use a faucet timer from a garden center or hardware store to program when to turn misters and drippers on and off.
  • Try placing your mister in a location where the water will collect on nearby leaves and drip down to a birdbath underneath. Then you’ll have a mister/dripper combination!

By Wayzata Manager MELISSA BLOCK