[TN-Bird] Birds attracted to water drip, including Chat

  • From: Shawna Ellis <yodergoat@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Tn Bird List <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2012 23:19:34 -0500

Paris, Henry County TN
late May to present

We added a small concrete basin situated on the ground to our front
yard about a month ago. Into this, we rigged a hose to drip. We were
inspired to do this after seeing the number and variety of birds
attracted to a little trickle of water in a roadside ditch in mid-May
at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park.... in one area we had seen a
Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Black-throated Green
Warbler, Northern Parula, and two Chestnut-sided Warblers, all of
which gave us incredibly long extended looks as they bathed and then
preened... virtually a "warbler hour" as opposed to the usual "warbler
second." We also saw a Lousiana Waterthrush and a Philadelphia Vireo
at that trickle. Not long after that, we watched many birds in great
variety come to drink and bathe in a puddle in the Camden WMA. So I
was determined to add some water to the yard, and to do more than just
set out a pan or birdbath, which had never yeilded much in the past.
Thus, the drip.

I knew it would attract birds, but I was surprised that birds came the
very first day I had it going! We've been very pleased with the number
of species which have visited it. Some are common feeder visitors, but
others usually do not come into our front yard although they are
definitely around.

Unfortunately, we don't have an ideal sitation for watching the drip
from indoors because of the configuration of our windows. So we must
stand at the kitchen sink to see the "feeder tree" and the water. We
can sit on the porch and watch, but that makes some birds nervous. So
our viewing times are limited. Considering that, we're thankful that
we have been at the window at just the right moment to see some birds
which are too shy to come while we are out on the front porch. It has
become a habit during supper time for one or the other of us to glance
out the window to see what's there, and our daughter also keeps her
eye on it.

We've seen these common feeder birds bathing and/or drinking many times:

Northern Cardinals
Tufted Titmice
Blue Jays (the first to visit)
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (catches the drips to drink)
American Goldfinches (we also have droves of them on the feeders)

These following birds are common in the immediate vicinity but don't
usually come directly into our front yard:

Brown Thrashers (a pair which has a nest next door, the most luxuriant
and frequent bathers)
Eastern Bluebirds (a whole family bathes together, frequently)
Carolina Wren
Brown-headed Cowbird
Eastern Phoebe (a juvenile)
Orchard Orioles (a pair that nests next door, male is timid, female is bold)

And this following bird has been a real treat... we have heard one in
our yard on rare occasion but have never seen one in the yard. And
it's a bird we've only caught fleeting, obscured glimpses of
elsewhere, although of course we hear them. But now, to our delight,
we have seen it multiple times in the last few days for beautiful
extended views and photos:

Yellow-breasted Chat

This bird likes to come between 4:00 and 6:00, and will come more than
once in that time... or mayhap there is more than one bird?

Also, we have had a Prothonotary Warbler hanging around since we put
in the drip. I haven't actually seen it at the water, but it seems
like more than a coincidence... we had never seen this species in the
yard before in 16 years at this location, and I lived for 18 years
before that just across the road and never saw one in the yard for my
whole childhood. Makes one wonder!

In any case, we are so glad that we set up this drip! It has added a
whole other element to watching yard birds! A couple of days ago,
there were four different species all vying for their place at the
water basin at the same time (I think it was a Carolina Wren, Eastern
Bluebird, Tufted Titmouse and Yellow-breasted Chat) while various seed
eating species were gathered on the feeders.

Shawna Ellis
Paris TN
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  • » [TN-Bird] Birds attracted to water drip, including Chat - Shawna Ellis