Sunday, May 31, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere

I'm fortunate in that while I live in a moderate desert climate, the Provo River, Utah Lake, and Great Salt Lake are nearby and draw in millions of birds of hundreds of different species that I can observe quite easily. In the next week, I'm traveling to even better water attractors -- the Great Lakes region -- where I hope to do some magnificent eastern birding that will be just as exciting as the birds I find here at home. When I return, I will undoubtedly have updates for my life list as well as stories and photos about the birding life in the Midwest.

This leads, however, to the June poll on water. Summer is a thirsty season for birds, especially with Utah County temperatures regularly reaching 90 degrees, and my concrete birdbath can dry out in the course of a day if I don't refill it regularly. I'm happy to do so, of course (and a neighbor will be keeping an eye on it while I'm away), but I can't wait to add more water features to the yard as part of my bird sanctuary landscaping. Birds love water, and as wiser birders than I have mentioned, not all birds will eat seed or nest in birdhouses, but they all need water. In a recent poll on improving your backyard, water features were the top response for landscaping wish lists, so now I'm curious: what types of water features would you like to add to your backyard?

Personally, my plans are for a small waterfall with appropriate basins for birds to bathe and drink. I don't want the upkeep of a large pond, but I wouldn't mind adding a few more birdbaths as well, though they can be a hassle to keep clean and filled. What water would you like to see in your backyard? Vote in the poll today!

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