Supply Water for Wildlife

Wildlife need sources of clean water for many purposes, including drinking, bathing, and reproduction. Water sources may include natural features such as ponds, lakes, rivers, springs, oceans and wetlands; or human-made features such as bird baths, puddling areas for butterflies, installed ponds or rain gardens.



The easiest water source to install in your garden is a bird bath. Be sure to change the water 2-3 times per week during warm weather when mosquitoes are breeding, so that any eggs laid in the water don't have time to hatch. If you live in a climate with cold winters, consider buying a small heater available at wild bird feeding stores to keep the water from freezing.


Climate change is threatening our sources of clean water by increasing temperatures and reducing rainfall in some areas, causing drought conditions and lower water tables. In other areas, increased rainfall and extreme weather events such as tornadoes and hurricanes cause flooding and erosion of natural ecosystems and can pollute local watersheds. These problems highlight the importance of providing a constant source of clean water for birds, mammals, fish and other wildlife in their different habitats.

Certified Wildlife Habitats not only provide water for wildlife, they use sustainable gardening practices that help ensure our human demands on water are kept to a minimum.

What water sources do I need to certify?

Your habitat needs one of the following sources to provide clean water for wildlife to drink and bathe: Birdbath • Lake • Stream • Seasonal Pool • Ocean • Water Garden/Pond • River • Butterfly Puddling Area • Rain Garden • Spring

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