find out more

Photo © Al Tuttle

Can I water my planter while a nest is in it?

Generally, we recommend against watering planters when they contain an active nest. Water can reduce the temperature of eggs rapidly, and damp nest material is a less effective insulator. Nestlings are also susceptible to changes in temperature. If a bird nests in your planter, we suggest using watering tools that deliver water directly to the roots. These are often made of glass or plastic and look like a sphere with a long tube attached. You can fill the device with water, stick it in the soil, and the water slowly releases into the soil below the surface. This keeps water from pooling and potentially reaching the nest contents, and also reduces the number of times you need to disturb the nest since the devices don’t need to be refilled every day.  Win-win!

Return to FAQ list

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology