On any given hot day in our garden there is a constant stream of birds coming in to drink from our various bird baths. Even on mild days we can be entertained for hours at a time watching the parade of birds as we sit in our sun room just a few metres from several of the bird baths. It is a wonderful distraction – but not so good when I have a writing deadline to meet.
About a half dozen honeyeater species come to the water on a regular daily basis, including the Spiny-cheeked honeyeater shown in today’s series of photos. The individual shown in the photos looks particularly stressed by the heat. We’ve had a record breaking series of hot days and heat waves this summer and the heat really takes its toll on our bird life.
I’ve said it on a number of occasions on this site before: the one really positive thing you can do to encourage birdlife in your garden is to provide fresh water for them to drink and bathe. Be sure to keep the container clean and topped up daily using fresh water. Forget feeding them; this is discouraged in Australia (for a whole range of reasons), but provide water and plenty of it.
There are several benefits:
- It helps the birds to survive on hot days.
- It attracts more birds to your garden.
- It helps you to observe them at close range and if seen through a window nearby, the birds are completely safe.
- The birds really do enjoy it.