Weekend Activity: Set Up a Winter Bird Bath

It seems logical to drain your bird bath when the weather turns icy cold, but birds that stick around Ohio year-round still need water in the winter. While it’s not critical to always keep bird baths ice-free in the winter, your backyard birds might find it helpful to have access to a bit of water when everything else is frozen over.

The easiest way to provide water in the cold outdoors is to replace it daily, or a few times a day, to prevent freezing. Another option is to keep the water moving with a small mister or dripper that can be placed in the bird bath. If you want to keep the bird bath completely free of ice this winter, you can go a step further by equipping your bird bath with an immersion heater. But whatever you do, never add antifreeze to your bird bath, as it could harm the birds.

Learn more about maintaining bird baths throughout the winter and consider giving it a try! Your backyard birds (and other wildlife) will thank you: allaboutbirds.org/attract-birds-with-birdbaths/


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Jamey Emmert
Jamey Emmert, a native of southeast Ohio, serves as a Wildlife Communications Specialist for the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s NE Ohio district and is stationed in Akron. After graduating from Hocking College with an Associate Degree in Wildlife Management, she began her career with the Division in 2003. Jamey’s responsibilities vary greatly and include serving as a liaison between the Division and the news media, conducting informational workshops and programs connecting Ohioans with the outdoors, creating educational exhibits at various events, and partnering with educators who want to provide educational experiences to others regarding conservation of our natural resources. In her spare time, Jamey enjoys traveling, deer hunting, fishing for anything with gills, searching fields for ancient artifacts, gardening, and birding all in between coats of pink nail polish. You’ll likely find her outdoors and at any given moment next to her husband, Greg, and canine companion, Sophie.
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