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Putting water in your backyard can help animals during the drought

Little critters get thirsty.

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Rainfall season is all but over, and San Diego is suffering from a major drought. That lack of rain is putting a huge stress on the chaparral. 

Now imagine being an animal looking for water. We as humans can put water out to help the little critters and get a personal look at nature.

"I've devoted my property to being a good neighbor to our wildlife friends," Ernie Cowan said. 

Cowan's "Mount Whoville," as he calls it, is in North Escondido and it's a sanctuary for all wildlife in the area. 

"Wildlife is very resourceful but when there's no water there's no water. So, the addition by homeowners is critical to helping wildlife prosper and survive the long hot summer," he said. 

He has multiple water locations around his home, and the animals are drinking it up

"As you can see from the pictures everything from snakes... of course, squirrels, lizards, bobcats, coyotes and just about every bird uses the water," Cowan said. 

The water source doesn't have to be fancy, either. 

"It doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as a saucer, or you can make a small fountain," he said. "It's simply a pot that holds the water, an aquarium pump, some tubing to bring the water into the dish, the birds enjoy it," he said. 

Bees also like to cool down with the water.

"In the summer, water is critical for the bees, what they're doing is taking this water back to the hive to cool the queen," Cowan said.

By providing water, Ernie attracted a very special guest: California quail.

"When we added water then they started to bring their babies in every year and about a week ago they first arrived with about 30, walnut-sized baby quail," he said. 

Once you start putting out water, don't stop.

"The key is to keep it filled consistently," Cowan said. 

That can be as simple as a dish in your backyard with water. 

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