You can hike your birdbath’s attractiveness another notch with the sound and sight of moving water. The simplest way to do this is with a dripper.
Birds cue into a water source by sound as well as by sight, and dripping water is completely irresistible to a thirsty bird.
The simplest dripper can be made with a gallon plastic milk jug. Punch a very small hole in the bottom and one near the top to vent air. Hang the jug from a pole or a shepherd’s crook (used to hang bird feeders) a few feet above your bath.
The water should last a day or so before needing to be refilled. If you find that the jug is collapsing, you’ll need to make a larger vent hole in the top.
If you prefer a more permanent setup, there are some good drippers on the market. They have a generous length (usually 50 feet/15m) of miniature plastic tubing that you can connect directly to one of your outside spigots. Some models have a pedestal that sits in the bath to support the dripper tubing, but if the one you buy doesn’t, just use a staked support to hold the tubing up over the side wall of the birdbath.
A small petcock, or valve, on the side of the support controls the drip rate. Add a two-way adapter to the spigot if you plan to use a garden hose, so you’ll be unhampered by the dripper’s operation.
Adapted from Natural Gardening for Birds by Julie Zickefoose and the Editors and Writers of Bird Watcher's Digest. Copyright (c) 2001 by Bird Watcher's Digest. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from Natural Gardening for Birds by Julie Zickefoose and the Editors and Writers of Bird Watcher's Digest.