Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bird bath gets a workout

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.
Male cardinal

There was much splashing and flapping of wings as he bathed.
Male cardinal

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.
Homemade bird bath

Suddenly, Ladybird appeared for a dip. She kept an eye on me, though.
Female cardinal

She flapped her wings a few times, but more gently than Mister.
Female cardinal

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.
Lady grackles

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.


  1. I have a bird bath on the ground that is used by small birds and squirrels, and of course the stock tank pond gets some use too since we have a rock shelf so they can wade in. Squirrels will perch on the edge of the tank for a drink, and I'm fairly sure raccoons visit at night since plants get knocked to the bottom of the tank regularly.

  2. I love the idea/s, and the narrative. Makes me want to put more out. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I love it. And you are so patient getting all of these pictures. I do have a bird bath right near the pool and I love it. It is red but sort of hidden.

  4. I really need to get one out in mine. With it being so dry this winter, i'm sure we'd get lots of visitors! beautiful photos!