So I don't have the fanciest bird bath on earth, but really, do the birds even care? All I did was buy a sturdy clear plastic drainage dish for plants from Lowes for $3.99 and filled it with warm water so that it would last awhile outside before freezing into a 12" ice puck. It's nice and shallow so it works perfectly for the birds.
I didn't buy the $20 heater for the bird bath because I have no where to plug it in out there and did not want to run an extension cord. So in this weather, I go out several times a day to replace the frozen water, but yesterday, I thought, "Gee...what about those hand warmer packs?" I have a whole box of them and I doubt I would ever be able to use them all before they expire. Not exactly the cheapest way to do it, but one pack last eight hours! While it does not keep the whole bird bath from freezing up it does keep the center from freezing completely. What I do is I activate it and place it under the dish. What works well about this dish is that it has built in feet so it is elevated off the ground...just enough space for a heat pack and for air to get under it to keep it going!
I see why the top of my feeder empties out so quickly....the squirrels! I saw a crow here for the first time. He better leave all the shiny stuff in my yard alone! Some little bird was brave and stayed on the tree while I checked on things. He even let me watch him for a bit flitting around and eating!
Anyhoo....I am getting sleepy...woke up early to go to Handmade Arcade. What a zoo it was! I'm starting to think the early shopper pass wasn't such a bad idea afterall....!