Tuesday, November 16, 2010

De-Ice Water for Garden Birds

The last few days in our part of Staffordshire, England have started with cold and frosty mornings. One of the first jobs to be done by either Mrs Pecker or myself, is to de-ice the water for our Garden Birds.

It is essential in all weathers and throughout the year, that the birds have access to water both for drinking and for bathing. Dipping ourselves into a bath of cold water on these cold days may not be very appealing to we humans, but to birds it is an important part of the daily ritual whatever the weather.

Yesterday morning I happened to see a Wren in the garden, my first sighting of this species of bird this month if I remember correctly. The wrens are such tiny birds and move around very quickly, darting about from place to place, seldom staying out in the open where they can be observed. This time however I was fortunate enough to have spied this one as it was about to begin it's ablutions.

From the Pear tree it hopped across to the gutter on the garage and proceeded to bathe in a small pool of water that had collected amongst the moss growing in there (yes I know it needs cleaning out). Obviously this little bird preferred this more sheltered place to the open location of the bird bath. It splashed away for some time dipping head, wings and every part of it's body into the water. With the bathing complete - or so I thought - it flew back into the Pear tree and there set about preening it's feathers. Birds work hard to keep their feathers in good condition, essential to keeping warm. 

When it seemed that all was complete and much time had been spent straightening feathers by running them through that tiny little beak, this little Wren surprised me by hopping back to the gutter and back into the puddle of water. Here, it once again splashed away to it's hearts content repeating the whole process once more.

So please remember that whether in a bird bath, a garden pond, or any type of receptacle that will hold liquid, it is so very important that there is a supply of unfrozen water for the Garden Birds.

At the weekend I saw a pair of Black Swans with cygnets, you can can see them over at my other blog here >> Life with Woodpecker

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