Currently, scores of species of songbirds are migrating northward. Many of these birds will pass over and even stop in our backyards. However, since many of these birds rarely visit feeders, they are often only seen by those among us that have time have learned their vocalizations and take the time to scan the bushes and treetops surrounding their homes looking for these magical birds. There is, however, another way that you can catch a glimpse of these often rarely seen birds; they can be attracted with moving water.
Although many of these birds will visit a birdbath, those birdbaths that are equipped with a mister or dripper are far more likely to attract these long-distance migrants. The reason for this is the sight and sound of moving water act as a magnet to both resident and migrant birds alike.
Some of the simplest ways to create moving water range from hanging a hose of a limb and allow the hose to slowly drip water into a birdbath or pan. You can also punch a small hole in the bottom of a bucket or soft drink container full of water and hang it above a birdbath.
I personally have had better success in attracting birds to my birdbath using misters and drippers. The best misters and drippers are engineered specifically for birds use. They vary widely in price and design. While they all work, the ones that I prefer permit me to adjust the flow of the water passing through them. I often use this feature to adjust the nozzles so that they emit both a mist and water droplets. This creates ripples when the droplets fall onto the surface of the water below. When it is windy the mist is often blown away from the birdbath. When this occurs, I simply adjust my mister nozzle so that it emits only droplets.
If you want to catch a glimpse at some of the warblers, tanagers, vireos and other songbirds that may be stopping in your yard, go ahead and install a mister. Even after the migration has passed, a mister will help attract backyard residents throughout the entire year.
These devices are readily available at stores that specialize in birding supplies.