Anna’s Hummingbirds at the Waterfall: Birds Can’t Resist Moving Water

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If you want to attract birds to your yard you need three main attributes, food, shelter and water. For most song birds, a water source is essential for both drinking and bathing, and if you have a choice, running water is your best bet. Birds can’t resist moving water, as demonstrated by the Anna’s Hummingbirds () in the video above. It’s been almost ten years since we built a water feature off our back porch and we love it.

Evening Grosbeak at Waterfall

Ponds and Waterfalls

The sound of running water is not only soothing to the soul, it attracts all kinds of birds and other critters, especially if you live in an area that has few water sources available.

A water feature like this, with a pond, does require quite a bit of maintenance, especially if you add fish to the pond. There is an alternative however if you want to have all the benefits of the soothing sound of the water and the visual waterfall, without all the maintenance. It is called a pondless orvanishingwaterfall. This is how it works.

Instead of a pond at the bottom of the waterfall, the water cascades down a short stream and dumps into a pondless basin where the water pump lives. It pumps the water though a hose back up to the top of your waterfall where the process starts all over again. The pump chamber and pump are covered with rock and the flowing water disappears into the rock.

Vanishing Waterfall

The great thing about this flowing water system is that all you have to do is fill up thebasin with water occasionally or include an automatic fill valve and you’re good to go!

Pondless Waterfall

Even a water fountain that includes some splashing water will attract more birds than a simple bird bath, but a bird bath is better than nothing. To prevent smaller species of birds from drowning, make sure to place some rocks in bird baths and water fountains if they are too deep (over 2 inches).

Water Fountain

Here are some of the birds that have enjoyed our water feature over the years, starting with the

(Spinus tristis)

American Goldfinch at Waterfall

House Finch() Female

House Finch at Waterfall

(Oreothlypis ruficapilla)

Nashville Warbler at Waterfall

Pine Siskin()

Pine Siskin at Waterfall

Western Scrub-Jay(Aphelocoma californica) Juvenile

Western Scrub-Jay Juvie at Waterfall

(Zenaida macroura)

Mourning Dove at Waterfall

White-breasted Nuthatch(Sitta carolinensis)

White-breasted Nuthatch at Waterfall

Black-headed Grosbeak(Pheucticus melanocephalus) Juvenile

Black-headed Grosbeak at Waterfall

(Bombycilla cedrorum)

Cedar Waxwing at Waterfall

Evening Grosbeak() Male

Evening Grosbeak at Waterfall

(Regulus calendula)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet at Waterfall

and one of my favorites, the Acorn Woodpecker() Juvenile Male

Acorn Woodpecker at Waterfall

To see more great bird photos, check out Wild Bird Wednesday and The Bird D’pot!

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

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