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The attraction of birds is a #gardengoal in Bee Better gardens. To become Bee Better, your garden must make a commitment to helping the birds, bees, and butterflies. Today we are featuring a homemade bird bubbler to fulfill your wildlife requirements; although a birdbath will do. Moving water adds an additional value.
STILL WATER VERSUS MOVING WATER
Water is an important component of a Bee Better garden. While birdbaths are useful, and the Bee Better Teaching Garden has several, a constant source of clean water is paramount. For our resident birds, still water, like that in a birdbath, works well if cleaned often. Resident birds are familiar with their turf—where the berries are, seeds, fruit, and water. But what about the migratory birds? They benefit from the help of moving water. In unfamiliar territory, the sound of water, even as little as a bubbler provides, draws them in.
Did you know birds are three times more likely to die in winter for the lack of water than the lack of berries and seed? @HelenYoest Click to Tweet!
WHY MOVING WATER
Moving water is a bird magnet. The sound of the bubbler will directed to birds to the source. While resident birds are also attracted, the sound ensures migratory birds can find the water as well.
Moving water is also stays cleaner. There are two main reasons for this. 1) The pump circulating the water aerates the water, helping to clean as it moves.
2) Also, the reservoir tub capacity is big, so the debris falls to the bottom. We used a 50-gallon capacity tub, but the tub can be any size, greater than 40-gallon capacity. The tub should be emptied (with a vacuum pump) and cleaned every year or two.
A reservoir tub, at least 40 gallon capacity. We used a kidney-shaped, 50-gallon pond tub, and formed the shape to our liking. Pond liner material will also work.
One or two stackable rocks, each drilled with a hole. The number will depend on how high you want the stone to be. Our top stone had undulating surfaces to create tiny pools for the birds to bathe.
A four-foot, 3/4-inch exterior diameter, 1/2-inch interior diameter, vinyl tube.
18 pieces of 3- or 4-inch diameter PVC pipe, cut 1/2 inch shorter than the depth of the reservoir tub.
Wire mesh also known as hardware cloth
Submersible fountain pump rated to 120 gallons an hour.
Excavate the soil to the shape of the tub. Dig deep enough so the tub is about one to two inches above the soil. This will keep rain from washing in additional debris.
Group PVC tubes into three and stand upright in the bottom of the tub. We tied ours together in groups of three to make it easier to hold together before adding the wire mesh and rocks.
Run an electrical cord from the pump to the outlet.
Cut an opening in the hardware cloth, in an open area, not on top of the triplet of PVC. This will allow they pump to be inserted and maintained as needed without dismantling the bubblier.
Add landscape cloth over the bubbler to give the desired shape.
Top dress the mesh with river rock or other rock to give the bubblier a natural look.
The hardest part is drilling the hole for the rocks. While it can be done with a hammer drill and new drill bit, this is something you may want to have professionally drilled. One of our landscape crew, Rigo, did the drilling. It was hard but he was determined.