On a recent warm December day, the homemade bird bath got quite a workout. It's made from a hunk of old ash tree stump and a large planter saucer. It cost virtually nothing and works great.
First, I spied our resident male cardinal taking a dip.
There was much splashing and flapping of wings as he bathed.
Then he flew off. A few seconds later, I heard Mister call his mate. It's a short, distinctive "chip" sound. I crept a bit closer to the bird bath.
Suddenly, Ladybird appeared for a dip. She kept an eye on me, though.
She flapped her wings a few times, but more gently than Mister.
The next visitor was a mockingbird, but he just stopped by for a drink, not a bath.
Last came the grackles. The males didn't bathe, but they did like to wade right in and drink, one sip at a time, angling their heads back to swallow.
The lady grackles were apparently informed they had to drink from the saucer on the ground. I've seen squirrels drink out of this dish, too.
Without a bird bath, our garden would not have qualified as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, and we're diligent about keeping it clean and filled, even in winter. Do you have a bird bath in your garden? Who are your frequent visitors?
Words and photos © 2009-2010 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.