Attracting Wildlife in Winter: Keep Water from Freezing



Freezing temperatures mean water sources can be hard to find for backyard wildlife. Help wildlife this winter by providing a birdbath or other water source! How do you keep the water from freezing in the frigid temperatures? If you haven’t already purchased one, consider getting a heated birdbath. These baths have heaters in a basin and will keep water ice-free all winter long.

Already have a birdbath that you love? Follow these steps to help keep the water thawed:
1. Put the bath in an area that gets a lot of sunlight. Even in the winter, the sun will help to warm up the water.
2. Place a few black river rocks, a black plate, or a sheet of black plastic in at the bottom of your basin. The
black colors will absorb more heat, keeping your water thawed.
3. Add a bubbler to keep the water moving so it won’t freeze. You can also float a small ball in the basin
which will be pushed by the wind, breaking up any ice that forms.
4. Add a heater. There are many outdoor water heaters that can be added to a birdbath and keep it from
freezing.

No matter which strategy you use to keep your birdbath ice-free this winter, be sure NOT to add any chemicals or antifreeze to the water, which are toxic to wildlife. Keeping your bath full and clean will help keep your water thawed and wildlife happy!

Learn more about attracting wildlife to your yard in the winter: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/wildlife-wa…/attracting-wildlife

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