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July 17, 2014 / Rae Spencer

Watering the Robins

Robin May 26

One of the features missing in our yard is a proper bird bath. I frequently pause in front of bird bath displays at home improvement and garden stores, but I always find an excuse to move on without buying. My most recent excuse has to do with our robins, who seem perfectly content to bathe in plant saucers.

Robin May 26

Robin May 26

As the summer has gotten hotter, the robins have started following me around the yard while I water the flowers, waiting for me to fill their saucers. Then they line up and take turns splashing about, sometimes returning three or four times before the water level gets too low for splashing.

Robin July 8

The yard’s smaller birds, even the rabbits and squirrels, hang back and wait for the robins to leave before they approach. I’ve tried adding more saucers, but each new saucer only multiplies the number of robins that flock toward our yard when they hear me turn on the hose.

Robin July 8

Robin July 8

Robin July 8

It’s almost enough to make me want a swimming pool, so I could do some splashing of my own.

Robin July 8


  1. jeanryan1 / Jul 17 2014 12:46 PM

    What a sweet ritual. What a happy post.

  2. Kami / Jul 17 2014 8:34 PM

    I love seeing birds utilize human spaces and things for their own purposes! These photos really capture the delight these little guys take in your version of a birdbath. What a great gardener you are to remember these other living parts of the landscape and their water needs.

    • Rae Spencer / Jul 18 2014 1:48 PM

      Thank you! I’m still searching for a solution for the chickadees, who prefer to stay higher off the ground, but at least the robins are satisfied.

  3. timelesslady / Jul 17 2014 8:56 PM

    Amazing photographs! I enjoyed seeing the robins enjoying their baths. 🙂

    • Rae Spencer / Jul 18 2014 1:46 PM

      Thank you! Robin bath hour is quickly becoming my favorite part of the day.

  4. Sandy / Jul 18 2014 12:20 PM

    Another post from your magical yard — will try a dish bath for my creatures. And yes, watching a robin splash is gleeful.

  5. bardessdmdenton / Aug 8 2014 2:05 PM

    This is so precious! The saucers seem to be working just fine … I think the smaller birds like shallow puddle-like sources of water rather than large deep birdbaths. I read somewhere that shallow is better, to prevent the chance of them drowning.

    • Rae Spencer / Aug 9 2014 4:46 PM

      I’m trying a smaller, shallow saucer right now for the chickadees. I haven’t seen any of the birds use it yet, but we are having a very rainy spell here. None of the birds have been seeking water for over a week, because there is water everywhere.

  6. Women of Wise / Aug 11 2014 9:49 AM

    Happy birds!

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