I caught a blue jay taking sips from my watering can the other day and knew that was fine for the bigger birds but I needed something for the little ones?? What can I whip up in a hurry?
Summer Bird Bath and Winter Bird Feeder
My garden is for the birds, for any of the plantings and trees I take them into consideration. They provide them with both food and protection but we do sometimes have dry spells in Summer that make it a little more challenging for them to get access to nearby drinking water. If you provide the access they'll definitely take advantage of the offerings so now I had to come up with ways to help them get water.
One size Doesn't Fit All
Practical but Not Pretty
I have used leftover food trays in the past, it was fine but it got dirty fast and my dog might drink from it if he was desperate and I didn't want that! He also might try to pee on it...no point in hiding that fact!
I came up with a quick plan on the fly, I gathered the supplies I figured I'd need and sprung into action! I have a red oxide primer, chocolate brown spray paint, a small ceramic bird, a few smooth pebbles, E6000 glue, a brown, plastic charger plate and an old, fibreglass flowerpot. Missing from this photo is a pool noodle because as I said I came up with this quickly and altered the plans as I went along.
Spray and More Spray
I washed the flowerpot first to remove dust and dirt, then I flipped it over and laid it on a rock situated far in the back of my yard. I sprayed two coats of the primer followed with about two of the brown top coat but hmmm, that looked rather boring! What now?
I saw the circle design in the charger plate and click, click...a pool noodle slice popped into my head. Cut off just a slice...we are not using the full noodle, they are too precious to waste.
I worked a little bit on the technique before I managed a better system to do this so I'm saving you that frustration. I'd add a tiny amount of brown spray to the area I wanted the circle to stamp, press it over wet paint immediately, let it sit there. Spray your next space like you'll see a fresh spritz here to the right of the circle...I'm moving there next.
Lift and Shift
As I lifted off the pool noodle stamp I saw that it would remove some of the top paint layer to reveal that lighter, primer layer that I sprayed on first....it was PERFECT! So spray and smooch on the noodle, spray next spot, shift noodle and smooch again... thats it!
Not Boring Anymore
Look at that texture and the two tone color.....I did it! I got the exact look I wanted! Winner, winner Barbecue Dinner! *NOTE: USE COLORS TO HIGHLIGHT your project, I just used these specific shades to coordinate with my colors.
That little wee bird was sold as a flowerpot sitter, it had feet that would clamp over the edge of the flower pot. Well, I removed his legs long ago but he'll be able to sit on the smooth rock I chose and tilt to get a drink. I used E6000 glue, I wouldn't use anything else when it comes to securing rocks or glass together it's easy to use, dries fast and really seals the deal for my projects.
Propped in Position
I placed another temporary pebble underneath his chest to hold his position until the glue dried. As I mentioned before I want it to look as if he's taking a sip of water.
Taking a Sip
So the glue has dried, the pebble wasn't glued onto the plate nor was the plate glued onto the flowerpot because this will allow me to remove these pieces to clean them. Please, please keep the water fresh and clean. I added about a cup of water to fill it so I'll be able to spray it off and refresh it easily with my garden hose.
Circles Match Up Perfectly
I am so pleased with the finish on the flowerpot it looks as if it was a purchased set how the finishes are so coordinated. Its not only pretty, it serves a purpose in my garden throughout the seasons.
This is where the idea really sprang from I guess, on those really cold days when I get so many birds visiting my feeders I use this station as an overflow. These are Red Crossbills and they are one of my favourite birds to visit my garden. Here the base was cropped out of the pic because the flowerpot didn't look so pretty against the charger plate.
Here it is sitting at the front of my shrub bed, it gets morning sunlight and afternoon shade.
Two Watering Holes
I now have two water stations set up for the birds. The watering can is kept full for those who want a really big chug-a-lug of water and the new station is for the smaller birds to slurp up or splash in! I can't wait to see them use it!
It really looks sweet from afar too I think and for a just an half hour of my time it was so worth it to carry out my plan.
Here it is seen from behind in the early morning sunlight, I do think if nothing else it adds a little charm and whimsy and gardens need that too.
The birds provide me with hours of free entertainment and I've even managed to tame and hand feed a few species! They reward me with so much joy, love and wonder, so why wouldn't I put in a little effort to make their life better? I hope this has inspired you to always, always especially now during these trying times to be kind to our feathered friends.