How To Keep Wildlife Hydrated During Drought
Quenching the Thirst of Our Wild Neighbors: Giving Wildlife A Helping Hand in Drought-Stricken Times
Today I’d like to share something bigger than the best waterproof pet beds - a topic that’s as close to my heart as my pets - helping nature thrive with Wildlife Watering Stations!
I’m as obsessed with our backyard wildlife as I am with our pets. From the deer that raise their young in our meadow to the turkeys that roost in our trees, from the bats that eat our mosquitoes to the toads that live in our patio garden - it’s like one big, happy family for me.
Why Wildlife Watering Stations Matter:
Right now much of the US is experiencing record heat, as well as a severe drought. In my corner of the Shenandoah Valley it’s worse than I can ever recall, leaving wildlife parched and in need of a helping hand. As devoted pet parents, I believe that our compassion should extend to the wild creatures whose spaces we live in.
Here's what I’ve been doing around our property:
1. A Tub of Water for the Larger Visitors:
Down in our meadow I have a big ole' tub of water for the deer, foxes, opossums, and other critters who call our meadow and woods home. It’s like the neighborhood watering hole, where everyone from the deer to the raccoons can belly up to the bar.
2. Shallow Saucers for Pollinators:
In our flower gardens, I've set out shallow dishes of water specifically for our beloved pollinators. Surprisingly, I've observed an array of pollinators - from butterflies to at least 4 kinds of wasps and other essential insects - using these water dishes to cool off and refuel for their next flight. (And I’ve never been stung while gardening!)
3. Birds of a Feather Splash Together:
My feathered friends aren't left out either! Birds are regular visitors to both the large tub and the shallower dishes in our flower gardens. It's like a feathery pool party out there!
4. Welcoming Toads in Saucers:
Come nightfall, our resident toads bathe in the water saucers I've placed around our garden. These saucers serve as safe soaking havens for these amphibians, ensuring they stay moist and comfortable all night long.
How To Create Wildlife Water Stations:
1. Add Rocks:
When you put out a wildlife water dish, remember to place a few rocks inside. This way, even the tiniest creatures can access the water source and escape safely.
2. Include a Climb-Out Aid:
For larger water tubs, like the one we've placed for squirrels, possums, and others, consider adding a large stick or rock. This will enable these critters to climb out should they accidentally take an unexpected dive.
3. Prevent Mosquitoes:
It’s crucial to either use a solar bubbler (for larger tubs) or refresh water daily. This not only keeps the water clean for wildlife but also helps prevent mosquitoes. You don’t want your water stations turning into buzzkill zones!
By taking these simple steps to create wildlife water stations in your garden and yard, you play a vital role in preserving local wildlife during extreme drought.
Thank you for being a part of the Janery family and for extending your love and care to all creatures, big and small, feathered and scaled.