“Water, water everywhere but not a drop for me!”



Years ago, I had a dream that I was in my studio working on a story. I heard a tap at my back door. I stood up and went to the door. I remember thinking that one of the neighborhood children must be there asking me for help finding one of their soccer balls constantly kicked over my fence.


When I opened the door I looked around my large backyard with all its heavy shrubs and my wife’s flower beds, but spotted no children. Perhaps, I thought, someone is playing a trick on me. The kids are always up to something and kidding around is part of life on my street. Perhaps my wife could speak to some of the other women on the street and see what could be done. Honestly, I work at home and could use a little more peace and quiet.


I pulled on the handle and closed the large wooden door. Just as I turned towards my studio, there was another tap.


This time I opened the door and looked down more closely. A bundle of brown and black fur moved near my shoe. Two small animals were resting there. Their eyes were on me. They were chipmunks and one had no tail.


Now, this is the funny part. My mind received a message. How that happened I do not know nor understand. Be that as it may, the message was in good English and in a courteous tone.


The chipmunk with no tail asked, in a chuckling sort of voice, “Can I have a drink of water from your kitchen faucet?”


After I recovered from surprise, I spoke, “Sure.” Then I added, after glancing around the large backyard, still wet from morning dew, “What happened to the water out back?”


He nodded that he understood me and sent his mental answer, “It is polluted.”


Needless to say, and even though I was not a little surprised at the pollution, I asked him to wait a moment. I rushed to my kitchen and fetched a saucer of cool water. I put this in front of them. They stood on hind feet, front paws on the side of the small glass dish. They gulped and licked the water.


After a minute, the one with no tail rubbed his mouth with his front paws and sat back satisfied. Apparently chipmunks don’t spend much time doing any one thing. He chuckled again and sent his mental message,


“Thanks. This warm weather makes me thirsty especially when I run around chasing my girl.”


“What happened to your tail?”


He replied over his shoulder as they ran away, “My mom said the bad water she drank caused me to be born without a tail.”


When I woke up I went to the back door and looked out. The yard was the same as always. I placed a bowl of fresh drinking water on the ground and watched as the chipmunks came to drink. I didn’t see one with no tail and I didn’t get any mental messages.


Later as I began studying better methods of providing wholesome drinking water to animals, I attended a meeting of my bird watching friends at the suburban home of the club president. It was a colorful get-together with about fifty birders, both men and women and a few children. There was the usual collection of imitation of bird sounds with human callers showing their latest voices. I remember one caller voicing a plaintive nuthatch which was delightful.


I was in a conversation with several of my friends when an older gentleman joined us. We were talking about my new favorite subject, providing fresh water to wildlife, and he asked me, “It’s foolishness. Don’t you think that birds can find water?”


Well, he was a distinguished birder, known for achieving a life list of hundreds of local birds he had seen. I didn’t want to start an argument. I did reply, “I know that they can find some kind of water around the yard.”


He replied, “That’s the whole point. Nature takes care of itself.”


Then I asked him a more pointed question. “Would you drink from the puddles on your lawn?”


He smiled at me as he realized I’d just pointed out the whole issue. He walked away without answering.


These days, each morning I go to my backyard and place fresh water outside for the wildlife. I always look around for a chipmunk with no tail. He’ll be a descendant of the one I dreamed about. If I should spot him, I’ll look into his eyes, give him a wink, and let him know that I’m trying.


Something to remember:


Water covers 71 percent of the earth’s surface. Of this 96 percent is in the oceans and about 2 percent is in groundwater. 2 more percent is in ice and the rest is in the atmosphere. Only 2.5 percent of this water is fresh and almost 99 percent of that is in ice or underground, not easily available to animals. Less that .3 percent is in rivers and lakes and the atmosphere. A tiny bit more is carried in plants and animal bodies.


Here’s another interesting fact. About 70 percent of the small portion of the water on earth that is drinkable by animals is used in human agriculture including animals raised by humans to be eaten.


Wildlife doesn’t have much left to drink, does it?

Thomas Hollyday 8/22/2017

Tho9mas Hollyday, inventor and writer

olar Sipper® Products for Consumers   2016

Solar Sippers were invented by Thomas Hollyday, writer o f nature articles, activist for water resources for animals, and author of many Chesapeake Bay mysteries and romances available at Amazon Kindle.


                      “The Solar Sipper is simply the best all season non-electric drinker.”

                                    “A remarkably simple and effective water device”

                          “Far better than any open dish in preventing harmful bacteria”

                                     “Absolutely safe and provides fresh water”

                               “Energy efficient way to heat and cool the water”

                                            “we ship all over the world”


Join our team at Happy Bird Corporation in helping animals get fresh water. For twenty eight years our outstanding and ingenious solar heated design has satisfied the hygienic and portable needs of wild birds, pets, wildlife and poultry. Profits from its sale have promoted awareness of water for animals.



     Check out our prices on Amazon Solar Sipper.  See our storefront at


Happy Bird book newsletter August 2015



The latest of our nature books, wildlife cartoon books, and the River Sunday Romance Mystery Series



Water for Backyard Pets and Wildlife by Thomas Hollyday

 cover water for backyard  no 2



This is the first book on the subject that we’ve seen anywhere. A winner for a book collection and for gifts. Check it out and we know you will agree this is a handy book.

You should sell the print version of this book in your store or have it in your nature library. Clean water is the best gift you and your customers can give to animals. .


Remember your backyard is nature’s playground. You do your best to make sure the birds have seed, and that the environment is safe for everyone. But are you really providing the best watering options for your pets and wild friends? This book will ensure that you create the ideal habitat for all animals that come to visit you!



Email for review copy and prices   tomah@solarsippers.com











Nature’s Viewpoint by Thomas Hollyday

 natures viewpoint cover 1115




Want to know what the backyard nature creatures really think? Boston Cartoonist Thomas  Hollyday is loved for his simple insightful creatures. In The Nature Viewpoint  he records the hilarious comments of his imaginary nature realm drawn  from his childhood on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  A recognized humorist with a fluid line, his playful  wildlife drawings  guide us through the  year with some of the funniest most poignant cartoons anywhere.Thomas Hollyday’s funny animal cartoons have given us good laughs when they have appeared on the national scene He was voted to membership in the prestigious New York Cartoonist Graphics Artist Guild. Chuckle at this collection of his thoughtful and very amusing drawings, penned in his unique, easy to understand and simply drawn style.


Email for review copy and prices tomah@solarxippers.com







Slave Graves by Thomas Hollyday






















                                      Ghosts are hiding below.


An archeologist tries to save a colonial site against racial and financial violence. Maggie his feisty coworker is sure she’s found something amazing. A clean mystery for the family.


                      Get your FREE Ebook copy to introduce you to Tom’s Kindle books



Read his book blog   https://achesapeakewriterblog.wordpress.com/







Email for review copies   tomah@solarsippers.com






CONTACTS for Thomas Hollyday and Happy Bird


Upcoming bookshows in MARYLAND



Look for this author’s books at the Eastern shore Writers Association booth at the Baltimore Book Festival, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, September 25-27, 2015



Upcoming bookshows in MASSACHUSETTS


Check out Tom’s books at the Boston Writers SIG booth at the Boston Book Festival, Copley Square, Boston, Massachusetts



Where to buy our books


Thomas Hollyday Ebooks are sold at Amazon, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, Itunes.


Paperbacks are available at Barnes and Noble and selected independent bookstores

Oregon: Powells,

Maryland: Mystery Loves Company, Easton News Center,

Massachusetts: Wellesley Books.



Ask for wholesale and retail prices   tomah@solarsippers.com



Subscribe to our FREE newsletter at solarsippers.com. To aid in adjusting your mailing, please advise your original email listings. Be patient. The mail list computer takes time to adjust listings. 

great review on amazon

A question of survival for our wildlife, April 17, 2015

By Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States)

This review is from: Water for Backyard Pets and Wildlife (Kindle Edition)

Thomas Hollyday is a well-known writer of mysteries – there are 6 volumes in his River Sunday Romance Mysteries Series – but he also is concerned about the environment and has published two books on the latter subject. One of the reasons Thomas’ book works so well for readers is the mater-of-fact neighborly way he has of expressing himself. In a very tender little preface he discusses a dream he had that changed his attitude, and then ties his dream into the content of this book: `So, after weeks of thought on this issue of animals and water, I decided to invent a water dish that would provide fresh drinking water to wildlife. It was one that was easy to use, portable, and worked in every season without electricity. I sold this device, the Solar Sipper, in markets all over the world. With the funds from this project, I began to champion preserving clean water resources for wildlife. These days, each morning I go to my backyard and place a Solar Sipper filled with fresh water outside for the wildlife. I always look around for a chipmunk with no tail. He’ll be a descendant of the one I dreamed about. If I should spot him, I’ll look into his eyes, give him a wink, and let him know that I’m trying.’ In his introduction he offers many facts, most of which we haven’t considered: `The purpose of this little book is to look into all the issues affecting drinking water for backyard animals. One thing is for sure. If our outdoor friends could get access to the safe water that our indoor pets enjoy, they would be a lot better off. That bowl of clean water next to the pet food dish is not always present in the back yard environment. You see, the indoor water passes the test of our town municipalities and water commissions. Before it enters the pipes to our house, it has undergone a bevy of corrections to make sure it is absolutely safe. If a new disease enters the water supply, the commission treats it immediately. This may not be true in all countries but it is for sure in the United States.’ And from this opening he addresses taking Inventory of our backyard habitat, noting Waterer Type (`outdoor animals deserve the same care as indoor animals. Clean their water dish and add clean water daily with the food’), Analyze the construction of the Watering Device, Analyze where animals drink, Heat and Cold out in the yard (and how to regulate that), and then he offers Government-based websites and Private Organization websites from which to gather information. This is a sensitive caring book by a man who cares about not only how humans are going to survive the current environmental crises, but also how we are responsible for assuring that our precious wildlife, often dependent on us, are treated equally! A must read for everyone who cares. Grady Harp, April 15

Happy bird Corporation Nature Newsletter March 2015

Happy Bird Corporation NATURE NEWSLETTER

                           March 2015


(The latest about nature books, Chesapeake and other fiction, Solar Sipper animal drinking products, water resource issues, and wildlife cartoon books)





New Book on providing drinking water to backyard animals


       Our Solar Sipper retailers will enjoy this publication for their book and pamphlet sales. A 3rd edition of Happy Bird Corporation Tips on Watering Wild Birds in Waterers and Birdbaths is available at our EBAY store.  It’s great for wild bird lovers and pet fans who want to improve the watering of their furry and feathered friends.


      A new chapbook Watering Backyard Pets and Wildlife will be published in the spring of 2015 to draw attention to the need for fresh unpolluted water for wildlife. This short book provides ways to inventory your backyard for water and references to learn more about animal needs.


New Fiction, Poetry and Non-fiction


       Contractor Heaven   

Lynette Hartwig’s extensively researched guide to the world of hiring a contractor for your home updates.

     They   Sue Ellen Thompson  “The poems in They tell the story of a mother, her aging father, and her transgender child.”


     Family Secrets  Dr Fran White “Prompted by the powerful theme of South Pacific, Brandy Grey confronts her past of abandonment and lies and determines to close the chapter that has been haunting her entire life, the carefully hidden secret of her heritage.”


     A Week in Beijing   Meg Eden “This book of twenty-one poems charts the narrator’s relationship with the mysterious Beijing, a woman who personifies the city for which she is named.”


        Happy Bird Corporation will show its Chesapeake titles at the famous Gaithersburg Book Festival, Gaithersburg, Maryland .May 16.


     FREE Kindle EBOOK Slave Graves thrilling romantic murder mystery novel!  When Dr. Frank Light, archaeologist, is dragged into the marshes of Maryland, Maggie, his feisty colleague, is sure she’s found something amazing. 




      The Commercial animal Solar Sipper Model 10011 with its 4” larger animal opening has found a home    with backyard poultry and with dog owners. It has the features that count for animals.  Passive solar means that expensive solar cells are not used to convert heat to electricity and to use that electricity to run heaters. Instead it directly radiates the heat from a dark surface to the water that surface covers. It’s simple, inexpensive, and efficient in attracting radiant heat in the same way as solar pipes heating water on a roof. It is competitive to electric powered drinkers and operates in sunlight when animals range outside and like to drink. It has no wires for animals like chickens to peck or chew. Since it only works to about 20 deg. F, it doesn’t allow animals to freeze parts of their bodies as can happen with too hot open water being provided in frigid temperatures. On top of that, like all Solar Sippers, it covers the water to keep out bacteria and it has inner insulation from its three part construction.


     Check out our recent test  videos of these Solar Sipper units 10040, 10008, and the dog  or commercial version Solar Sipper 10011 in operation on YouTube.  These videos show backyard weather down to 20 degrees F.  with some clouds and light wind compromising the sunlight. The Solar Sippers consistently stayed ice free even though an open water dish froze solid.


       Remember, every effort you make to use less electricity keeps us from using fossil fuels to make that electricity, and thus, keeps the climate clean. Go solar!


From our friends in the wild bird and pet industry


      Plow and Hearth is offering a three decker Outdoor Cat House.


      Duncraft promotes a well designed three in one Bird Feeder


      Goldcrest in Mexico MO is excited to report that their 2014 warehouse sale grew to 600 retailers from 46 states and 4 Canadian provinces. Grant Toellner has announced expansion by opening a showroom at America’s Mart. For more, contact grant@goldcrestdistributing.com                                     


Update on World water resource news.        


“The Earth’s freshwater Reserves are Disappearing”  from James Farmiglietti, NASA, in  Business InsiderIn many parts of the world, in particular in the dry, mid-latitudes, far more water is used than is available on an annual, renewable basis. Precipitation, snowmelt, and streamflow are no longer enough to supply the multiple, competing demands for society’s water needs. Because the gap between supply and demand is routinely bridged with non-renewable groundwater, even more so during drought, groundwater supplies in some major aquifers will be depleted in a matter of decades. The myth of limitless water and the free-for-all mentality that has pervaded groundwater use must now come to an end.” Ed. The photographs of the Earth and the charts including those of California are terrifying.




      The National Cartoonists Society  has announced that the incomparable Mort Drucker will be the inaugural honoree of  the “NCS Medal of Honor” at the 69th Annual NCS Reuben Awards taking place in Washington D.C. on May 23rd, 2015. We all know him from his work in MAD magazine.


FREE EBOOK   ATTENTION NATURE RETAILERS:  Get your copy of the free Kindle EBook Nature’s Viewpoint, March 11.   Every nature store, wild bird store and pet store should carry this book in its print version  for YA fans of wildlife and pets. Put it on your book shelf.  Nature’s Viewpoint has placed number one in Kindle Short reads, Humor, and Entertainment.  Also check out Facebook Animal viewpoint cartoons for free use in your pet  or wild bird newsletters




     Happy Bird Solar Sipper Products  are sold by  vendors throughout  the world. Happy Bird Publications including Thomas Hollyday Ebooks are sold at Amazon, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, Itunes. Paperbacks are available at  Barnes and Noble, Powells, and selected bookstores such as Mystery Loves Company, Oxford, Maryland, Easton News Center, Easton, Maryland, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Massachusetts.


     Contact Happy Bird Corporation, PO Box 86, Weston, MA 02493,  tomah@solarsippers.com 


     Subscribe to our free newsletter. To aid in adjusting your mailing, please advise your original email listings. Be patient. The maillist computer takes time to adjust listings.