Friday, July 15, 2016

Water for Wildlife

We used to say "It will rain until the 4th of July,"
and year after year this has been true.

But last year started with one of the worst snowpacks in history.

In June, instead of rain we experienced record heat and desiccating winds.

Our home is ringed with sloughs, puposefully left as natural refuges for wildlife. But last year there was no water in those channels.

How far would birds have to fly to find water, leaving their young behind?

I set thrift store serving bowls in shady places in the garden.

Clean rocks provided places to perch and made them shallow for a bird to bathe in.

Some were set up a few feet from the ground, others I left on the ground for the quail. (We have no cats)

Impatient, I kept an eye on them.

Would they find them?
Use them?

Oh yes.

Keeping them filled was quite a task. The birds loved bathing in these, so they needed regular sloshing out as well as re-filled.

As I heard news stories about birds dying in the drought, I was glad to do my part.
This flicker came several times a day to the bowl in the magnolia --- sip ---
--- swallow
 So far this summer we have had our early summer rains, 
but as the temperatures rise I will renew this commitment to our birds and other wildlife.

Even though they did eat every single one of my raspberries.