More Water

Having a bird collection in a normally dry state during a drought calls for pre-planning and special measures. Last time I talked about waterers and splash dishes. This post is to address the excess use of water with birds.

080716 one small drink of water

The situation would be different if I could pour a glass of water for each bird, measuring out exactly the amount they need. As yet, there is no way to do that. So the splash dishes are emptied and washed and refilled. The tube waterers are emptied and scrubbed and refilled. The open water dishes — well, you get the idea.

080716 water bottle

Meanwhile, my plants outside are gasping for a drink. There has to be a solution, but emptying each dish individually would take too much time, not to mention opening and closing the door repeatedly. More chances for a bird to get out.

The outside waterers are not a problem, as I have planters around all the aviaries. I just dump the water, now with extra guano, into the nearest potted plant. Viola! The biggest splash dish in the cockatiel aviary is too difficult to move when full, anyway, so I tip it out into the eucalyptus pot. The smaller splashes go into palm tree pots and smaller plants.


No, the bucket should be empty.


I bet you are shouting at me right now because the answer occurred to you some time ago. Get a bucket. Keep it near the kitchen because you walk that way to the sink for each one of the bowls. Why didn’t I think of that sooner?

080716 cheap bucket

Well, possibly it’s tied in to the idea that California is a desert, but there’s this huge river from Colorado that we can divert to meet our needs. So many dots on the river’s timeline led us to this predicament, long before the drought became a news item. In 1859, irrigation of the Imperial (more sand than you will ever need) Valley for agriculture began. In 1875, John Wesley Powell released a summation report of his trip down the Mighty Colorado. And in 1923, six out of the seven states involved approved the Colorado River Compact. It’s not pretty.

080716 colorado river

Weather predictions show that non-coastal California is only going to get hotter and dryer. While those seem to be good conditions for native birds and plants, and the odd flock of feral parrots, it does not bode well for humans or animals that rely on them for food and water.

080716 rain

So the bucket brigade remains a solution for keeping the flock watered and the plants as well. Not a bad process to stick with year-round, actually. I love the fact that I wandered across in researching this blog, that the excess water expected from the Colorado River, the water that does not exist, is known as paper water. Rock, paper, scissors, water. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.


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