5 Best Bird Baths - Sept. 2022 - BestReviews (2022)

If you enjoy taking care of your neighborhood birds, one of the best things you can do for them is place a birdbath in your yard.

Not only will it give you hours of entertainment watching your feathered friends, a birdbath will provide a place for them to drink and bathe. This is especially important if you don't live near a permanent body of fresh water, such as a river or a lake.

But with so many options available, how do you pick the best birdbath? It can be tough to sort the wheat from the chaff, particularly if you're not yet sure which type is right for you.

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Your garden birds need water for drinking and bathing just as much as they need food. A well-placed birdbath will provide this for them.

Types of birdbaths

One of the primary decisions you’ll need to make is which type of birdbath you’d like to have. There are pedestal birdbaths, hanging birdbaths, ground-level birdbaths, and deck-mounted birdbaths.

Pedestal birdbaths

Pedestal birdbaths feature a bowl that sits on top of a pedestal, plinth, or even a specially designed stake in the ground.

Pros:

  • Pedestal birdbaths are raised up from ground level, which makes many types of garden birds feel safer and more likely to visit.

  • The elevated level of a pedestal birdbath helps deter cats and other predators who might otherwise stalk birds while they're bathing.


Cons:

  • A pedestal birdbath made of lightweight material could be blown over by the wind or knocked down by squirrels or large birds. Some people stake their pedestal birdbath to the ground to prevent this from happening.

  • You need to have a level spot in your yard in which to place a pedestal birdbath. Otherwise, it could tilt or tip over.

Price: Basic plastic or resin pedestal birdbaths start at $20 to $30, while highly decorated ceramic models can cost $100 to $200.

Hanging birdbaths

Hanging birdbaths are fitted with a chain and hook and can be hung from a tree or a special stand.

Pros:

  • Hanging birdbaths tend to be fairly compact and inexpensive.

  • Some types of birds prefer hanging birdbaths that are suspended from a branch. The close proximity to a tree helps birds feel safer.

  • You can find some very attractive hanging birdbaths.


Cons:

  • Hanging birdbaths tend to be quite small, so fewer birds can use them at once.

  • If placed in a tree, a hanging birdbath may collect a lot of fallen leaves. As such, it may require frequent cleaning.

Price: Small, basic hanging birdbaths can cost as little as $10 or $20. Large, ornate hanging birdbaths are also quite affordable, rarely exceeding $50 or $60.

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Ground birdbaths

Ground birdbaths are essentially bowls that are placed directly on the ground, without any sort of stand.

Pros:

  • Ground baths are great for attracting larger birds, such as doves or crows, as they generally prefer bathing on the ground.

  • Ground bird-baths don't require any kind of stand, so there's no chance of anything falling off or tipping over.


Cons:


Price: Most ground birdbaths cost between $20 and $70. The price depends heavily on extra features, size, and design.

Deck-mounted birdbaths

Deck-mounted birdbaths attach to a clamp that screws onto the top of a railing.

Pros:

  • Deck-mounted birdbaths are generally very sturdy and stable.

  • A deck is a comfortable and convenient place for humans to sit and watch birds.

Cons:

  • Cats can easily jump onto the railing of a deck and walk along it to get to the birds.


Price: Small deck-mounted birdbaths start at around $20, whereas large, heated models can cost in excess of $100.

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We look at the size of birdbaths in our research. While larger models can fit multiple birds at once, smaller models work well for yards and gardens with limited space.

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Pedestal, hanging, ground-level, and deck-mounted are the three main types of birdbaths on the market. We scrutinize each one, pointing out its features, pros, and cons.

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When we assess a birdbath, we analyze the depth, which typically ranges from one to four inches. Whether a consumer chooses a shallow or deep birdbath depends on the types of birds that are likely to visit.

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Birdbaths come in a wide selection of styles, including classic, vintage, and elaborate. We take this into account when we advise readers about their options.

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We stress the importance of cleaning a birdbath in order to prevent the buildup of bacteria that can be harmful to birds. We advise consumers to choose models that are easy to keep clean.

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Birdbaths are made of metal, ceramic, plastic, resin, or glass. We evaluate each one and alert our readers of its durability and characteristics.

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In our guide, we note that some birdbaths are heated. This is a feature that’s ideal for bird lovers who live in regions with cold winters.

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When we look for birdbaths to recommend, we check to see if they are easy to set up. We also want to know if they are stable once in place so they aren’t likely to fall or tip when birds are in them.

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Our guide includes tips for selecting the best place to put a birdbath. We note that the area should be both enticing and safe for birds.

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Birds use birdbaths for bathing and drinking. We take this into account, as both are good reasons to add a birdbath to a yard or garden.

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Questions to ask before buying a birdbath

If you have a potential purchase in mind, you may appreciate knowing the answers to these questions before you buy the bird bath.

What is the birdbath made of?

Birdbaths are made of a range of materials, including ceramic, plastic, metal, and glass.

  • Ceramic birdbaths are heavy, stable, and durable. However, unglazed ceramics are hard to keep clean, and they can be expensive.

  • Plastic or plastic resin birdbaths are inexpensive, easy to clean, and may feature intricate molding. On the downside, they're not very durable; the resin may crack in freezing temperatures. Furthermore, they are so lightweight that they easily blow over in the wind.

  • Metal birdbaths are durable and attractive. If the finish is too smooth, however, there may not be much grip or traction for visiting birds.

  • Glass birdbaths are nonporous and easy to wipe clean. However, they can break easily if they fall, and they can get slippery.

How deep is the birdbath?

Birds only need to be partially submerged while bathing, so your birdbath shouldn't be too deep. Smaller birds – sparrow, finches, cardinals – prefer baths with a depth of just one to two inches. Larger birds prefer a depth of three to four inches.

If you want to attract a wide range of birds, you can find birdbaths with areas of different depths, or you can place rocks in the water to create shallower areas.

How big is the birdbath?

Some birdbaths are larger than others. The size you choose may depend on how many feathered visitors you regularly get, the size of your yard, or your personal preference. A large birdbath can be used by more birds at the same time, whereas a more compact model may only accommodate one large bird or a few small ones.

Do you like the style of the birdbath?

Birdbaths vary in style from plain to ornate, and from vintage-style to modern. Choose one that you like the look of and that's in keeping with the size and style of your yard. Style might not be the most important factor, of course; your main objective is to keep your feathered friends happy. But you should still choose a birdbath that you will like looking at.

Tips

  • Choose a birdbath that's easy to clean. Regular cleaning is essential to remove bacteria and avoid the spread of disease between your avian visitors.

  • Choose a birdbath with texture. Your birdbath should have a bit of texture to it so your feathered friends can have good traction on the bath’s surface.

  • If you live in a cold climate, consider a heated birdbath. Your feathered friends can enjoy this type of bath year round.

  • If you live in a warm climate, consider a large birdbath. A birdbath that holds more water will not evaporate as quickly as a smaller birdbath.

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Most birds prefer baths that have a shallow slope down to full depth so they can wade in the water.

FAQ

Q. Will a birdbath attract more birds to my yard?
A.
It might take some time for local birds to discover your new watering hole, but ultimately, it will attract more birds to your yard – and likely other species, too. Water can be in short supply both in summer and winter, so your birdbath could save lives.

Q. Are there any useful accessories I can buy for my birdbath?
A.
If you don't have a heated birdbath, you can purchase a small water heater designed for use in birdbaths that's invaluable in freezing temperatures. You can also buy pumps and drippers that add some motion to the water; this helps attract birds and discourages insects, such as mosquitoes, from laying eggs in the water. Finally, you can get a mister for your birdbath. A mister sprays a fine mist of water; some bird species, notably hummingbirds, can't seem to get enough of it.

Q. Where should I position my birdbath?
A.
Think carefully about where you place your birdbath. The idea is to attract more birds to it while helping keep them safe. Generally, birds feel safer with some cover nearby, so you should position your birdbath fairly close to some bushes, shrubs, or trees to encourage use. However, cats can take advantage of this cover to stalk birds while they bathe and drink. Therefore, you shouldn't position the birdbath too close to any bushes.

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FAQs

What kind of birdbath is best for birds? ›

The best birdbaths mimic nature's birdbaths—puddles and shallow pools of water in slow streams; they're shallow with a gentle slope so birds can wade into the water. Look for one that won't break and is easily cleaned.

What is the ideal bird bath? ›

A good bird bath has a simple, sturdy construction, but is light enough to make it easy to clean and refill. It needs to have shallow sloping sides with a shallow approach to water. To allow different species to bathe, provide a sloping bath, so the water is between 2.5cm and 10cm (1-4 inches) deep.

What color bird bath is best? ›

Any bright or primary colors are the best colors to paint bird baths. These colors include red and pink to attract hummingbirds, orange to attract orioles, blue to attract bluejays, and yellow to attract goldfinches. Drab camouflage colors like green can attract skittish birds. However, white scares birds away.

Where should a bird bath be placed in a garden? ›

Place your bird bath well away from any thick shrubbery where cats and other predators could hide ready to pounce on birds as they drink or bathe. An ideal location would be close to some branches where birds can escape to if they feel they are in danger.

What is the easiest bird bath to keep clean? ›

The five most common bird bath types are hanging, ground, deck-mounted, wall-mounted, and one-piece. Hanging baths can be placed on a sturdy tree branch, pole, or deck. They're easy to clean and ideal for small areas. Ground baths are the easiest to install and move around.

Should I put rocks in my birdbath? ›

Putting stones or rocks in your bird bath will provide a shallow and non-slippery perch to more readily attract small birds. Whether they come to your bird bath for a drink or a bath they may enjoy some strategically placed stones in your bird bath.

What should I look for when buying a bird bath? ›

A birdbath that includes a dripper, mister, water spray, bubbler, or fountain is a better choice to attract a wide range of bird species. Furthermore, moving water will minimize insects and algae growth, which will keep the bath cleaner with less maintenance.

Is it better to place a bird bath in sun or shade? ›

The Right Location Really Does Matter

In addition, it's best to keep your bird bath out of direct sunlight so the water doesn't get too hot and undesirable. Placing a bird bath in a sheltered, shady spot can dramatically reduce the evaporation rate of the water so it will not dry out as quickly.

What is the safest material for a bird bath? ›

A concrete or stone bird bath is often the better choice. Moving Water: Running or moving water is more likely to attract wild birds to bathe compared with still, stagnant water.

How often should I change the water in my bird bath? ›

Birdbaths should be cleaned when the water is changed, which is approximately every 2 to 4 days. During the summer months, the water will evaporate more quickly requiring more refills and possibly more cleanings.

What color are birds most attracted to? ›

Favorite Colors

Birds are attracted to the color red, according to a Chicago zoo authority. Birds protect their nests by flashing red and use the color to attract mates. Adding a touch of red to your feeder will attract more birds, though some seed-eating birds prefer blue or silver feeders.

Why do birds not like my bird bath? ›

Birds might not use your bird bath for many reasons. Many birds dislike deep water, slippery surfaces, wide-open locations, and dirty water. Other birds possess a serious distaste for warm water, highly placed basins, no staging or preening perches, and stagnant water that doesn't move.

How long does it take for birds to find a bird bath? ›

On average, it takes birds between 2 – 4 weeks to find a bird bath. If the bird bath has been in your garden for longer than a month, there could be another reason the birds aren't using it.

What is the best height for a bird bath? ›

* The bath should be easily seen from the sky, so birds flying overhead can spot it. * Mount it about 3 feet high, which is usually the case if your birdbath comes with a pedestal. If you must keep a birdbath on the ground, it should be at least 6 feet away from places where cats could lurk. * Put it in a sunny spot.

How far away from a bird feeder should a bird bath be? ›

Keep bird baths away from bird houses, feeders

If you already have a bird house and a bird feeder in your yard, keep this rule of thumb in mind: six to seven feet of distance is key... and some experts recommend up to 30 feet of separation!

Do pennies keep a bird bath clean? ›

Some bird baths have a copper basin, but any bits of copper in the water can help. You don't need to go overboard; throw some copper pennies into the water basin like your very own wishing well. Every time you clean out your bird bath, you can wash the copper pennies too.

What are the tiny worms in my bird bath? ›

The stringlike worms that are found in the birdbath are a type of round worm which belongs to the Nemotoda class. Nemotodes require a moist environment. That's why you will also see other types of nemotodes or stringlike worms in the compost bin or moist garden soil.

Will a bird bath attract rats? ›

Do Bird Baths Attract Rats? No. Typically there is plenty of water outside for rats. And most of their required moisture is obtained from foods they eat.

What do you put in the middle of a bird bath? ›

Birds Prefer Shallow Water

Shallow basins are best. The water should be no deeper than 2 inches in the middle and ½ to 1 inch at the edges. Place rocks or stones in the middle of your bath for birds to perch and drink without getting their feet wet.

What do you put in the bottom of a bird bath? ›

Birds can actually drown in a basin if the water level is too deep. That's why we always recommend shallow water levels whenever you fill up the bath. And if for some reason you must fill the water to a deeper level, make sure to use pebbles or pea gravel to line the bottom of the basin.

Do bird bath either hang or place it on a stand? ›

One easy way to provide water is with a bird bath. One question that comes up frequently is how high off the ground that the bird bath should be placed. Bird baths can be placed at any height: on the ground, on pedestals 2-3 feet high, or even hung quite high. Each height has advantages.

Are glass bird baths a good idea? ›

Because of these limitations, I don't recommend a glass bird bath with a metal pedestal or stake for use in a yard. On the other hand, if your bird bath will be hanging on a balcony or deck and not exposed to intense sunlight, a glass basin might be the best bird bath for you.

Do birds really like bird baths? ›

Birds love easy access to water for drinking and bathing, and birdbaths help make that possible.

Do hummingbirds visit bird baths? ›

Will a Hummingbird Use a Bird Bath? Most backyard birds love to bathe and splash around in a bird bath, hummingbirds included! Although they occasionally stop at a shallow bath for a dip, these tiny birds prefer to wet their feathers by flying through or sitting under a gentle spray.

Do bird baths attract mice? ›

Water is another reason why mice would be attracted to your land, and this is even more so the case if you have ponds, pools, or even bird baths. Mice actually drink quite a lot of water, although not quite so much as rats, and they almost always look for a nesting spot that is close to a source of water.

Should you seal a concrete birdbath? ›

Birdbaths and fountains are frequently constructed out of concrete and should be treated with a concrete sealer in order to presevere their life, prevent cracking, water penetration and organic growth such as mold and mildew.

Do birdbaths attract snakes? ›

Snakes also have a field day if you have a birdbath in your yard. Not only do birdbaths give them a fresh source of water, but they also attract birds, which are a source of food for many types of snakes.

Why does the water in my bird bath turn red? ›

Bird baths turn red due to the growth of the algae Haematococcus pluvialis. This algae turns red when it's exposed to sunlight, causing a change in water color. Red algae is the most common kind of algae you'll see in an outdoor bird bath.

How do you keep a birdbath full of water? ›

Add ice to the bath each morning – freeze a block of ice in a plastic bowl each night – and as the ice melts, it will refill the bath and keep the water fresh. Reflections off the ice can also help attract birds to the water source, and the cooler water will resist algae and bacteria growth.

Can you use baking soda to clean a bird bath? ›

One of the best ways to use baking soda in the garden is to clean your bird bath. “Shake baking soda into the basin. It removes mold easily and is safe for birds,” says Birds & Blooms reader Stephen Holland. “Cleaning the bird bath isn't my favorite task, but it's more fun when you use baking soda and white vinegar.

What smell does birds not like? ›

Primarily, birds dislike really strong smells because they find them quite irritating. These include peppermint oil, citronella, lemon, cayenne pepper, chili, garlic and vinegar. By using this information, we can apply these strong scents to areas that we want the birds to stay away from.

What kind of bird seed attracts the most birds? ›

The seed that attracts the widest variety of birds, and so the mainstay for most backyard bird feeders, is sunflower. Other varieties of seed can help attract different types of birds to round out your backyard visitors.

What colors can birds not see? ›

As birds are tetrachromats, they see four colors: UV, blue, green, and red, whereas we are trichromats and can only see three colors: blue, green, red.

How deep should a birdbath be? ›

Be sure the water is only about an inch (2.5 cm) to an inch-and-a-half (3.8 cm) deep. 3. Toss in a few large pebbles or a flat stone. These will give the birds confidence to enter the water because it will help them judge how deep the water is.

Do birds like dirty water? ›

Birds need fresh, clean water for drinking and bathing. Most birds drink water every day. They also seem to enjoy bathing to clean their plumage and remove parasites. Providing water improves habitat for birds and other animals, and increases your chances of observing their fun behaviors up close!

Can birds drown in a bird bath? ›

While it's not especially common, birds can, in fact, drown in a birdbath. In these cases, they are often weaker than birds usually are, because they are young or sick. In fact, baby birds drowning in birdbaths is probably the greatest risk.

Do birds tell each other where food is? ›

There are also contact calls, which birds can use to talk to each other when foraging for food. So I would say yes, birds do talk and communicate where food is, in their own way.

What time of day do birds feed? ›

When Should I Feed The Birds? Typically birds like to eat early in the morning so that is when they will be looking for food. Your bird feeder should be full at dawn so the birds will find it first thing when they are searching.

Do birdbaths attract mosquitoes? ›

However, birdbaths attract more than just birds and butterflies. Birdbaths also create the perfect breeding ground for bloodthirsty mosquitoes. Everyone knows that mosquitoes breed in standing water but what most people don't realize is that their birdbaths are the ideal mosquito nursery.

What kind of bird bath do birds prefer? ›

The best birdbaths mimic nature's birdbaths—puddles and shallow pools of water in slow streams; they're shallow with a gentle slope so birds can wade into the water. Look for one that won't break and is easily cleaned.

What is best birdbath? ›

Best Overall: Alpine Corporation Ceramic Pedestal Bird Bath

This ceramic pedestal bird bath from Alpine Corporation is our top pick because of its attractive and functional design. It's 24 inches tall with a 16-inch upper bowl and comes with a purposefully distressed crackle glaze that creates an antique appearance.

What color should a bird bath be? ›

Any bright or primary colors are the best colors to paint bird baths. These colors include red and pink to attract hummingbirds, orange to attract orioles, blue to attract bluejays, and yellow to attract goldfinches. Drab camouflage colors like green can attract skittish birds. However, white scares birds away.

Where should you position a bird bath? ›

To have the best effect on your bird bath, you must have it placed somewhere with a shady spot. Direct sunlight can harm many plants and flowers, so you may want to place your bird bath in an area that receives indirect sunlight or shade.

Do birds really like bird baths? ›

Birds love easy access to water for drinking and bathing, and birdbaths help make that possible.

Should a bird bath be in the sun or shade? ›

They deserve to enjoy cool waters and a comfortable bathing experience whenever possible. So, take your birdbath out of the direct sunlight and place it in the shade to improve their comfort as much as possible.

Why are birds not coming to my bird bath? ›

There are several reasons that birds won't come to a birdbath: The water in the bird bath is too deep. The bird bath is too slippery. The bird bath is too far from cover.

Will ceramic bird bath crack in winter? ›

Stone, glass, mosaic, concrete, solar, and ceramic bird baths are susceptible to damage as freezing temperatures can cause these materials to expand and crack. Metal, resin, and plastic bird baths are typically impervious to freeze damage and most suitable for the winter use.

How often should I change the water in my bird bath? ›

Birdbaths should be cleaned when the water is changed, which is approximately every 2 to 4 days. During the summer months, the water will evaporate more quickly requiring more refills and possibly more cleanings.

What should I look for when buying a bird bath? ›

A birdbath that includes a dripper, mister, water spray, bubbler, or fountain is a better choice to attract a wide range of bird species. Furthermore, moving water will minimize insects and algae growth, which will keep the bath cleaner with less maintenance.

What can you put in a bird bath to keep it clean? ›

To keep your birdbath fresh, just rinse and scrub it with nine parts water, one part vinegar. Skip the synthetic soaps and cleansers; they can strip the essential oils off of bird feathers. And make sure to refill the water every other day to keep it from bugging up.

Do copper pennies prevent algae? ›

Over time a birdbath can slowly have algae grow in it. However, copper pennies in bird bath may help you solve this problem. Copper has biostatic properties that makes it incompatible with algae. Due to this, a basin, bird bath, container, bathroom sinks, or copper sinks will not trigger algae growth.

How high off the ground should a bird bath be? ›

* The bath should be easily seen from the sky, so birds flying overhead can spot it. * Mount it about 3 feet high, which is usually the case if your birdbath comes with a pedestal. If you must keep a birdbath on the ground, it should be at least 6 feet away from places where cats could lurk. * Put it in a sunny spot.

How long does it take birds to find a bird bath? ›

On average, it takes birds between 2 – 4 weeks to find a bird bath. If the bird bath has been in your garden for longer than a month, there could be another reason the birds aren't using it.

How far away from house should bird bath be? ›

Keep birdbaths a fair distance (maybe three feet or 36 inches) away from your windows to keep your visiting birds safe. These seven tips should help you attract more birds to your garden or yard. Remember, consider predators, keep the water clean, and—above all else—ensure the birds are safe.

Do birds like dirty water? ›

Many birds dislike deep water, slippery surfaces, wide-open locations, and dirty water. Other birds possess a serious distaste for warm water, highly placed basins, no staging or preening perches, and stagnant water that doesn't move.

Should I put ice in a bird bath? ›

Adding a chunk of ice to the bath each morning can help keep it refilled throughout the day as the ice melts, or opt for multiple baths around the yard so birds have several sources to rely on. Winter Droughts: In winter, a frozen birdbath is just as useless as a completely dry one in summer.

Are ceramic bird baths a good idea? ›

Perhaps more importantly, a bird bath not only provides a convenient spot for cleaning feathers, it also provides an easy drink of water. The Sun Pottery Ceramic Birdbath is our top choice because it appeals to a wide range of birds and looks great in your garden.

What can you put in a bird bath to stop it freezing? ›

One of the simplest ways to keep your bird bath from freezing is to simply add some hot water each day to melt any of the ice on top and keep the water fresh.

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