By Adoriam DeWalt
Hello! My name is Adoriam DeWalt and I am an Ambassador of Girl Scouts. I am working with Houston Audubon on my Girl Scout Gold Award to talk about the war on birds. I hope you find this information helpful as we try to be more bird-friendly!
Why birds matter
Birds are important to people, animals, and the environment. They are significant pollinators of many native plants, a top food source for humans and animals, and a natural navigator for sailors. They graze on a range of insects, rodents, and other small animals, ultimately helping to balance populations.
According to Cornell University, 53% of grassland birds have disappeared due to loss of habitat and an increase in infrastructure. Although this may seem unfixable, over 55% of Houstonians own some form of backyard that could serve the purpose of becoming more “bird-friendly”. Being bird-friendly means helping birds in your space by implementing water sources, safe and adequate shelter, or bird food in order to help make birds’ lives easier since they are always under the threat of predation. In order to have a good understanding of bird-friendly spaces, I will show you how to make a bird water system.
See the video below for more detailed instructions and information:
DIY Water Feature
I installed a small bird bath supplied by the owner of the garden I worked with for my Gold award project. In this article, I’ll show you how to create a drip system and provide linked resources for videos and other information.
You will need the following:
- A hose
- Safe area for birds
Find a location on your property with a small opening in the ground where you may set a bowl to collect water from the system. This could be the side of your house near the hose, a little bushy area where birds can rest while drinking water, or the side of a tree. The idea is to establish an open environment where birds may enjoy themselves while being safe when they relax their guard while sipping water. Also, ensure that the location contains an item, such as a second tree/bush or an installed pole, from which the hose can lie.
Take your outdoor hose and hang it over the object next to the main open area. The end of the hose where the water comes out should be halfway to the ground from the hanging point.
Insert a bowl directly under the hose where the water would fall off to. Next turn on the hose to where water only DRIPS and NOT RUN. see images below for details.
We’re all done!
Keep in mind that you want to clean the bowl of your drip system once a week to keep dirt and bacteria from building up. Below I have additional resources, videos, and other ways to make water systems for birds.
The purpose of this article is to better educate people from all backgrounds and all ages to better understand the epidemic going on in Houston and how we can be more aware of the harmful things we may do daily. Doing our part to recognize the problem and take an initiative to fix it, is the solution to everything.
BirdFriendlyHouston: Create Inviting Habits
Blog: How to DIY a Dripper for Birds
Audubon: Why Native Plants Matter
Below is a downloadable copy of the instructions.
Learn how you can be bird-friendly at home by visiting www.birdfriendlyhouston.org