This winter I will again be participating in Project Feeder Watch sponsored by the Department of Ornitholgy at Cornell University and the Audubon Society.
This birdwatching activity is a lot of fun and contributes to the continuing collection of data on the activities of the birds of North America.
For years I have used a heater in my water garden to provide a water source for creatures visiting my backyard in the wintertime.
In the Winter of 2010-2011 I came to fully realoze the critical value of liquid water when there is a long cold spell with below freezing temperatures.
On really cold days, I observed a steady stream of birds and squirrels getting a drink from this water garden. Tracks told me the nighttime visitors to the watering hole included deer, fox, opossom and possibly a coyote.
I even observed birds taking a bath at temperatures well below freezing---the "polar bears" of the avian world.
So if you want to improve the habitat in your backyard, put in a water garden with a heater. The creatures who visit will thank you and you will enjoy the view.