Sunday, July 10, 2011
I live in the mid-Atlantic which means the summers are long and hot. This year we have had a good amount of rain which makes it easier on all the plants and animals. When a week goes by without rain in such high heat, the animals begin their search for water. There are a few springs in our woods and the deer seem to be able to get through marsh grass to those.
I have two bird water baths. One in front and one in back of my yard. Birds rely on these often, both for drinking and for bathing. Yes, they do drink their own bath water! It is fun to watch them splash and shake the droplets every which way.
I keep the bird bath in the photo above clean. Washing it with hose water and little bleach every so often, but certainly spraying it out at least once a week and filling with fresh water. We are on a well, so I do not have to worry about city chemicals, either for me or the birds.
I have read that the 3% of birds that are marine species have salt-control systems because they spend so much time away from fresh water. They can remove the excess water by using larger kidneys, oily lipids that break down in the digestive system to produce water, and salt glands that sit in bony pockets over the eyes that are important for the excretion of sodium chloride. They must cry very salty tears!