Most people think of bird baths in the summer, birds splashing around on hot summer days. We know they need more to drink in the heat of summer.
However, the winter time is very hard on birds as well. The air is very dry, taking moisture from the birds with every steamy breath. Available water is frozen as ice or frost. Eating this lowers their body temperature, so more energy is used to raise it back up. They really need water to drink, not bathe. And they don't need to drink as much. Have you ever noticed, in winter, birds come to the birdbath to drink, not splash around & throw out all the water. Only on warmer days do they generally take a bath.
As humans, we can put water out when we refill the bird feeders, but it may promptly freeze. It's more of a hassle in winter, but with such a desperate need for water, an unfrozen bird bath can bring in more birds than birdseed. To combat the cold, you can buy a bird bath deicer to keep the water unfrozen. They are not all the same. There are different wattage heaters for different temperatures. A cheaper, smaller heater is not a good idea in the far north. It will run too much and die too soon, but they would be fine farther south. A more expensive heater with more wattage is more economical for the frozen north. Your birds will thank you with lots of activity and beauty.
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