Many people feed birds, but far fewer provide water for them. Birds need clean water to drink and bathe in. Water is especially important in winter when the natural supply is frozen - as well as during dry periods in summer.
Water for birds increases the amount of visitors to the garden by 50%
Birds satisfy their need for water through their diet or by drinking. Many birds that feed on insects cover their needs through their diet, while birds fed on seeds have a dry diet and therefore need to drink more. If you give your birds water you will increase the amount of visitors by 50%.
The birds need to drink at least twice a day
Since birds have no sweat glands, they need less water than mammals. But they lose water through breathing and through their excrement. Most of the small birds need to drink at least twice a day to cover their lost fluids.
Water is available to birds in the wild in the form of shallow streams and puddles. Forest birds can drink water droplets that collect on leaves. Swallows and murres that spend their days in constant flight may swallow water droplets as they fly.
How do the birds drink?
Most birds drink by dipping their beaks into the water and then leaning their heads back to swallow. However, pigeons can dip their beaks and drink continuously.