“Bathing is especially important in cold weather in order to keep feathers in top condition. Research has shown that a chickadee with well-maintained feathers can sustain a 70 degree layer of insulation between the outside air and its skin”. Wild Birds Unlimited
I have a bird bath that is over fifty years old. It once sat in the yard of my grandparents in McDonald, Pennsylvania. I remember peering into it, so small that my eyes were level with the rim, fascinated by the mirrored bottom. Leaving this heirloom outdoors in the cold is not an option. The constant freeze and thaw of winter weather would likely crack it. Still, birds need water in the winter as much as they do in summertime. I decided a solution would be to replace the bird bath with a Rubbermaid trashcan lid. The plastic should expand and contract during freezing weather without cracking. The lid is also very light and will be easy to empty out and change. When the water in the lid freezes, I can pour on a bit of hot water for thawing, without worrying about cracking.
The birds accepted the lid as a substitute for the fancier bird bath. Within a hour or two of setting up the bath a little sparrow took a quick dip. Oh Happy Day