Snow and ice blanketed our fair city, which puts a strain on wildlife as well. Critters expend more energy trying to stay warm and forage for food, when winter doesn’t offer a lot of options.

winter-bird-care

Nesting box, currently unoccupied

Thankfully many neighbors have bird feeders for our local feathered friends, but fresh water can be scarce when the temperatures drop. Birds can conserve water during these times, but providing fresh water on cold days will draw them into your backyard.

snowy-birdbath

Frozen water means few resources for birds to quench their thirst

After making the mornings rounds to visit the chickens, I spent a little time getting our birdbath into shape for visitors. The first step was digging out the snow and thick coating of ice.

empty-birdbath

Shoveling off 8″ of snow and ice from the birdbath

I heated some water so it was warm enough to melt the snow, but not too hot to scald thirsty birds.

warm-water-birdbath2

Warm, but not scalding, water for the birds

It takes just a couple minutes, but clean and fresh water can be a very easy way to invite feathered friends into your backyard. Pretty soon there were frequent visitors again to the water source.

warm-water-birdbath

A warm spot for fresh water available for our feathered friends

I, on the other hand, was inside the house sipping my tea, enjoying the wildlife show and feeling far too lazy to grab the camera.

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