Providing a supply of fresh water is one of the best ways to attract birds to your garden and landscape, but this becomes a challenge in winter when water sources freeze over. If you want birds to come, you’ll need to make your bird bath or pond available to them every single day of the year.
Birds sometimes struggle to find water in freezing conditions or dry spells, especially in urban settings. So, if you do put water out for them every day, they will find it and they will appreciate it. But you don’t need a big fancy pond or an expensive bird bath to attract birds. Any open container will work — even an overturned lid.
A rock placed in the middle of the container will give birds a place to land and drink, and they’ll jump into the water to bathe, too. The water should be replaced and containers should be scrubbed out whenever they become dirty.
If freezing is an issue where you live, there’s no reason to become discouraged. There is a simple fix: a de-icer, available online and at bird stores. Look for one that is appropriately sized for the area you are trying to de-ice. They range in size from bird bath de-icers to pond de-icers.
It’s not just birds who benefit. Wildlife of all kinds will be on the lookout in winter for fresh water, and you’ll be doing nature a favor by ensuring animals have a source that never freezes.
Do you provide drinking water in your yard for wild birds? Let us know in the comments below.
Links & Resources
Some product links in this guide are affiliate links. See full disclosure below.
Episode 20: Gardening for the Birds with Margaret Roach
Episode 76: How to Create a Bird-Friendly Yard
Episode 134: Bird Population Decline and What Gardeners Can Do to Help
Episode 142: Why Our Plant Choices Matter: Nature’s Best Hope, with Doug Tallamy
joegardenerTV YouTube: How to Protect Birds in Winter
joegardener Online Gardening Academy™: Three popular courses on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, diseases & weeds; and seed starting!
joegardener Online Gardening Academy Master Seed Starting: Everything you need to know to start your own plants from seed — indoors and out.
GGW Episode 526: Backyard Birds
GGW Episode 604: Creating Certified Wildlife Habitats
Corona® Tools – Video sponsor and Brand Partner of joegardener.com
*Disclosure: Some product links in this guide are affiliate links, which means we would get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the prices of these resources have been increased to compensate us. None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here. The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship. At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Park Seed, Exmark, and Wild Alaskan Seafood Box. These companies are either Brand Partners of joegardener.com and/or advertise on our website. However, we receive no additional compensation from the sales or promotion of their product through this guide. The inclusion of any products mentioned within this post is entirely independent and exclusive of any relationship.