Photos and Story by Michele Ray
One of the best investments in my garden is my Dripper-Mister from Backyard Bird Shop. I purchased it over 6 years ago and it has brought me hours of joy watching all the birds attracted to it.
Drippers are a means of supplying fresh water to a birdbath. It attaches at the faucet and has a small hose that runs to the dripper apparatus and a valve to regulate the drip. Most drippers come with a “Y” attachment, so you are able to split your faucet. This allows you to run your garden hose and have a dripper. The small tubing can easily be hidden under mulch or buried in the lawn. I run my dripper about 8 months out of the year and have not found it to impact my water bill.
The first week that I set up my dripper I attracted Cedar Waxwings to the bird bath. Prior to installing the dripper, I had never seen them in my garden. Birdbaths and drippers are a nice way to bring in non-seed eating birds. All birds need water, but not all birds eat seed. By adding moving water you can bring in dozens of new species that you may never see on a bird feeder. Birds are attracted to the water movement that the dripper creates. Birds associate moving water with fresh water. This spring, I set up my Bird Cam, a motion activated digital camera, and counted 13 species of birds at my birdbath with the dripper in one day. Some of my favorites were the Yellow-rumped Warbers and Western Tanagers. The best way to attract both of these birds to your garden is with water.
The dripper I am using, also has an attachment to create a mist. Although, I don’t use it as often, it is especially attractive to the smaller birds like Bushtits and hummingbirds.
Besides attracting the birds, the dripper keeps my bath full and fresh on hot summer days. Before adding the dripper I often found my bath to be a dirty puddle of water or dry by the end of a hot day. Now, my bath says full and much cleaner with the fresh water. Drippers come in a few different styles and there is one to accommodate most any birdbath. Add a dripper to your birdbath and watch the birds flock to it!