Most of our discussion about attracting birds with moving water has focused 
on bubblers -- probably because the Tower Grove Park bubbler and others 
(e.g. the Terpstras') have been so successful. While we are at it, perhaps 
we should also be considering the merits of drippers and misters.

A famous dripper is that maintained by the Houston Audubon Society at High 
Island, Texas. I don't remember it exactly, but as best I remember it was a 
narrow pipe hanging by a cord or rope at the back of a small clearing. The 
open end of the pipe was at least 6-8 feet off the ground, and drops of 
water dripped slowly from it. If there was a breeze, the water dripped onto 
surrounding vegetation. In any event, it eventually reached the ground, 
creating a muddy area onto which a Solitary Sandpiper landed one time while 
I was watching.

The High Island dripper was so effective that Houston Audubon had bleachers 
set up from which birders could watch the clearing in which it was placed.

 The sound of dripping water is said to attract birds. If the water drips 
into a bird bath or onto a flat boulder like the TGP bubbler it could also 
provide a place for birds to drink and bathe.

(Whether the sound of dripping water is more attractive than the sound of 
bubbling water may be a topic for discussion. If the issue is dripping vs. 
seeping, I'm betting that dripping creates more attractive sound. )

Misters are said to be effective because they wet leaves, permitting small 
birds like warblers birds to "leaf bathe." Wet leaves also create bright 
reflections, which attract birds. Hummers apparently enjoy bathing in the 

Another famous dripper/mister is the fountain at Fort Jefferson, Dry 
Tortugas, FL.

Drippers and misters, and combinations thereof, are sold commercially. See and

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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