In my last birding column for The Record, I wrote about birds' need for water in winter -- to drink and to bathe.
When the local outdoor water supply freezes up, a friend of mine adds an especially designed birdbath heating element to a big bowl, and he is in business.
The trouble is that these things cost from $50 to $60. Dan and Lyn Boyle have a nifty solution: For the past four years, they have put out water in a heated dog bowl.
Lyn writes: "Because the bowl is deep we don't fill it to the top. We place a large rock to the side to make room for bathing (it needs adjusting in the attached photo).
The photos were taken last week; the second photo is blurry because my husband was so excited - the Cedar Waxwing was a first for our Pequannock yard (he was traveling with a small flock of Robins).
"I don't know if the dog bowl would be less costly than the heated bird bath, but it does work."
I just bought a heated dog bowl at Petco for $30. We'll see how it does...
(Thanks, Lyn and Dan!)