As winter moves across the country, we all see more challenges feeding our birds. One of the main challenges is providing water. If you’re able to provide water where you can plug in a bird bath heater, that’s great! Especially, if you’re able to have your bath far enough away from the house to reduce the chance of window strikes when the occasional predators come by. For me, the bird bath is almost at the back of our property where there is enough cover for birds to flee to if they have to. Unfortunately, this means running a long extension cord which is not practical or safe when snow and freezing rain hits.
My Process Is Simple
I’ve been feeding birds in my back yard for thirteen years next month. I figured out a long time ago I was going need a way to get liquid water out once a day since I couldn’t have a bird bath heater. My solution: a rubber mallet. That’s right, the same thing you’d use to put your hubcaps back on. When I go out to feed my birds I take the mallet with me. I then just unscrew the bath from its pedestal, set it on the ground edgewise and bang away! I have a resin bird bath so I’ve got to be careful about cracking it but this will work with any kind of bird bath.
You don’t have to break up every piece of ice either. In fact, I would recommend you keep whatever doesn’t fall out easily just so you don’t risk cracking the bath.
What If My Bath Doesn’t Unscrew?
No problem! You can safely break up the ice with the bath upright. Just take the broken pieces out as you go. The only caution I would give you here is if you do have a one piece resin bath, make sure NOT to hit it hard enough to break the bath away from the pedestal. I’d also advise that you remove the ice you loosen rather than trying to break it up further by striking it after it’s loose. You can start on the light end of contact and hit a little harder until you find the force that cracks the ice well before you’re damaging your bath.
Why Not Use A Regular Hammer?
Good question. The answer can be explained by having you visualize something. Imagine you have a five pound weight in one hand that you want to lay on top of your other hand. If that weight is spread out in the form of a plate, you can safely place it on top of your other hand without injury. If, on the other hand (pardon the pun) the weight is a three foot long spike, I’m pretty sure you’re going to get hurt putting that on your other hand. So, without any messy physics lesson here, let’s just agree a bigger surface and a substance that also absorbs as it spreads out the force is best. Hence, the rubber mallet to the rescue! I’ve not tested this theory but I’m pretty sure a regular hammer can crack any surface it strikes or at least put a hole in it. That’s death for the bath.
The Added Bonus
The cool thing about the rubber mallet is that it can be used for other back yard feeding tasks. Have freezing rain on a feeder? You can probably knock if off with the mallet without worrying about damaging it. Just this morning, I had my Brome Squirrel Buster that was not letting anything get peanuts because the frozen rain was putting weight on the feeder and causing it to close off. Just a few taps around it got it working again. Closing for squirrels but letting woodpeckers get some much needed food.
What Tricks Do You Have Up Your Sleeve?
Do you have something you’ve been doing for years in your back yard that you think others could benefit from? Tells us about it by leaving a comment below! Also, if you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to share it with others, please use the buttons below to send it to your friends and family who are bird feeders.
Enjoy your time with your back yard friends! All of them!