5 Good Locations for Wildlife Water Sources
Updated: Aug 1, 2018
If you'd like to welcome animals to your yard, whether those animals are birds, pollinating insects, or mammals like skunks, it is greatly beneficial to provide a water source. A terra-cotta dish, glazed on the inside, works well to hold the water and can be found at nurseries. But where do you place the dish in your yard? Here are five ideas that maximize wildlife benefit, viewing opportunities, or both.
1. Under a rainpipe near some bushes or other cover. If you have a rainpipe on your house, garage, or outbuilding that often drips, you can place the dish under it and you won't even have to fill it! This will work best if you site the dish within a yard or two of low-growing bushes, such as the ones you might have planted in front of your house or beside your driveway. Animals can travel between the bushes and the water dish instead of having to go out in the open where they are in easy reach of predators.
2. In a vegetable or flower garden as a water source for bees and butterflies. Locate the dish in a sunny spot and float enough wine corks in it to cover the surface of the water. Bees and butterflies will rest on the corks and drink from the water with their probosces (mouthparts used for sucking nectar or water.)
3. On a raised platform as a birdbath. While this option may not benefit mammals, and is best combined with another dish placed on the ground, it will provide a place for feathered visitors to bathe out of the reach of predators such as cats. It is also more easily observed from a window than a ground-level bath.
4. Near a hose or water faucet in your garden. Whenever you water your plants, you can also refill the dish and keep it fresh for birds and other predators of snails, slugs, and "pest" insects.
5. Near, but not under, a birdfeeder. It will be easier for birds to find, and if the birdfeeder is in a good viewing spot, you will now be able to watch birds drink and bathe as well. Just don't put it directly under a feeder, since you don't want birdseed to collect in the water and ferment.