If you want to attract wildlife to your backyard habitat...provide water.
Especially in the west, where summer temperatures continue to rise each year, water is a vital resource for wildlife. We have a new pair of Cooper's hawks that have recently fledged. Their parents taught them to come to our backyard for water and ...
...to keep cool. For these young birds of prey the option to stand in cool water, helps them cool down. These two have been daily visitors for the past two weeks. At first they stood and watched the house finches and lesser goldfinches on the bird feeder. Now they are beginning to understand that these smaller birds are their prey.
Sometimes they stand in the water for 10-15 minutes at a time. Their mottled feathering really helps them camouflage in the dappled shade.
We provide both still and flowing water in a fountain. We don't want to provide habitat for mosquitoes, so we change out the still water every other day and the fountain's well of water is covered. Mosquito-borne diseases can be deadly to birds and people. Keep your water clean.
Adult Cooper's hawk in birdbath
Previous Cooper's hawk juveniles