We have just had our first taste of temperatures below freezing on the Great Plains. Many folks may be left with a thin layer of ice on their bird baths. The weather is going to warm, but this is just a reminder of what is to come.
Now is a great time to check that bird bath de-icer to make certain it is functioning properly. After-all, it is easier to address this matter when the temperatures are in the sixties than when they fall to below freezing.
Here is a simple method to test your bird bath de-icer. Unplug the de-icer and place it in your freezer for 30 minutes. This is necessary as the thermostat will not function until the de-icer is in an environment below 32 degrees. Remove the de-icer and immediately plug it in. Give it a minute or two and feel if the de-icer is beginning to warm up. They are designed to either work or not. If it feels warm you are good to go.
If the de-icer does not feel warm after the freezer test check the following:
Is the de-icer covered with a coating of deposits from last year? Try placing the de-icer in a solution of vinegar and water to soak. Then using a stiff brush scrub the deposits off and re-test the de-icer using the freezer method.
If the de-icer still fails to warm up check to make certain the outlet you are plugging it into is functioning. If you are testing the de-icer using an extension cord make certain the extension cord is working properly. Avoid extension cords over 25 feet as the resistance in a long cord may not allow enough energy for the de-icer to work properly.
If after cleaning and making sure the power source is working properly and the de-icer still does not begin to warm up after the freezer test it may be time to replace the bird bath de-icer.
Bird Bath De-Icers at Wild Bird Habitat Stores
It’s November and already we have seen the snows creep steadily closer with accumulations not far off. The days seem even shorter now after rolling back time earlier in the month with the light casting long dark shadows by the afternoon. The trees have become mostly barren with a few leafy blotches of gold, orange, and red desperately clinging on as if to defy the northern winds. Sweet aromas of wood fires drift lazily from chimneys filling neighborhoods. And one last glance out the window at dusk provides silhouetted images of Northern Cardinals at the bird feeders grabbing a few last minute morsels before heading to their nightly roost. The signs of winter are slowly settling in across the Great Plains.