Every summer, I make a special effort to keep plenty of fresh water in my yard for the local wildlife. I do have a bird bath which is frequently used, but I also keep a few small dishes with fresh water for any little creatures who might be thirsty. I recently filled the dishes on my deck with water and seed, a songbird mixture containing sunflower seeds and peanuts (which blue jays find irresistible) . As I was watching a blue jay feast on the peanuts, the water must have been so appealing that he decided to jump right in for a bath. Luckily, I had my camera nearby so I was able to capture some photos of this little cutie cooling off on a warm summer day.
Here he is with a belly full of peanuts, cocking his head to the side as if he was pondering the pool of water next to his lunch.
I thought he was going to take a drink, but instead he hopped right in.
And here he is, all fluffed up and squeaky clean! Pretty handsome little guy, isn't he?
Birds aren't the only creatures who take advantage of the water I provide on hot days. For the Wildlife Feeding Stations I featured in my last post, I made sure to design them so that generous humans could offer food AND water to the critters in their region. A little squirrel has started visiting the one I kept for my own yard, and he made sure to gulp up plenty of water after he filled up on sunflower seeds. Here he is, sipping away!
If you're interested in attracting little animals to your home, here's a link to a post I wrote a few years ago with tips on how to turn your space into a woodland wonderland. And even if feeding the animals is not a responsibility you'd like to take on, I'm sure a little bowl of fresh water on a hot day would be much appreciated by your local wildlife.
For all of my readers who are in the midst of summer right now, I'm wishing you lots of sunny days, ripe watermelon chilled in the fridge (my favorite summertime treat), and maybe a snowcone or two before the season is over!