|A mourning dove visits a fountain in Mission Viejo. Photo by J.J. Meyer|
Having a fountain or birdbath helps attract species that don't typically visit backyard birdfeeders, such as insect-eaters. All birds are attracted to moving water. In the absence of a pump, small battery powered gadgets such as the Water Wiggler available at garden and nature stores help keep the water moving in a birdbath. Stagnant water can play host to mosquito larvae, which is factor in the spread of West Nile Virus. It’s also important to clean the birdbath every few days, especially in the heat.
Consider adding a mister or dripper to your birdbath for hummingbirds and other species that love to shower. Watching birds fly through a mister is like watching children at a waterpark. Large open rose blooms that collect overspray from misters and sprinklers act as nature’s bathtubs for hummers.