How to Get Birds to Use A Bird Bath?

Planning to incorporate a bird bath in your garden and wondering if birds will actually use it? It is certainly a great option for exterior home decor, but it also serves the main purpose of attracting all kinds of birds to your area.

If you’re trying to figure out how to get birds to use a bird bath, our research will put your mind at ease.

three birds on brown round concrete pot during daytime

Quick Answer

The most common ways to ensure birds visit your bird bath are by setting it up in the shade, using rocks to vary the depth of the water, maintaining cleanliness, adding a fountain that incorporates running water via a water pump, buying a thermostatically regulated water bath, constructing nest boxes on your property to provide shelter, and choosing the right location and structure.

But how exactly do you achieve each of these steps? Let’s dive right into the details of how you can get birds to use a bird bath.

Common Ways to Invite Birds to Use a Bird Bath

The main reasons birds tend to visit bird baths are the need to preen and drink water – preening is the process by which birds clean their feathers by bathing in water.

Cool, clean water provides birds with the opportunity to cool down, drink, and engage properly in the pruning process by which they can remove any parasites or insects hiding in their plumage.

Setting up an appealing bird bath can invite all sorts of birds to visit your back garden, especially those that do not usually appear in search of food.

Water, especially running water, is key to capturing our feathered friends’ attention because they are enticed by the motion of ripples and the sounds of sprinkles and splashes.

Let us now consider the exact methods you can employ.

  1. Set it Up in The Shade. The main reason the birds are visiting your bird bath is to clean and cool themselves, and direct sunlight can have the opposite effect of warming up the water in the bird bath.
  2. Use Rocks For The Foundation. By providing a platform for the birds on which to stand, you allow them not to completely submerge themselves into the bath, which can be a deterrent.
  3. Create a Shallow and Deeper Section. You can invite different-sized birds to participate in their ritual by allowing for varying water depths. Care must be taken to ensure that the deepest part is two inches deep at most.
  4. Ensure Cleanliness. You will find that bird baths can easily become dirty and unhygienic due to dead insects and bird waste. Fill the bird bath with fresh water every so often and clean it out with detergents if needed.
  5. Incorporate a Fountain. Birds are attracted to moving water, and you can invest in a water pump or buy or create a proper fountain bird bath.
  6. Invest in a Thermostatically Regulated Bird Bath. In medium-cold climates, you can consider setting up a warm water bath to invite in birds that are looking to warm up.
  7. Construct Nest Boxes. By allowing for nesting areas, birds can be encouraged to live in your backyard and are more likely to visit the bird bath in your garden.
  8. Choose the Right Location. Find a sheltered area surrounded by greenery, and keep the bird bath’s platform closer to the ground.
  9. Choose the Right Structure. Provide a perching platform for the birds to ensure they have a stable surface from which they can drink water and scurry off quickly when necessary.

How to Keep Bird Bath From Freezing

Birds need access to water year-round and if your bird bath is thermally regulated, you can expect visits to continue.

It is harder for birds to find access to clean drinking water in winter, although you can expect them to use water from creeks and melted snow.

There are certain methods you can employ to ensure your bird bath doesn’t freeze in winters.

  1. Pour hot water into the frozen water bowl to facilitate the melting of ice.
  2. Implement a solar sipper that keeps water above freezing temperatures.
  3. Place a metal sheet on bricks layered underneath the bird bath and place a night candle below the sheet. This will heat the plate up and keep the water warm.

Importance of Water for Birds

Birds require much less water than mammals due to a lack of sweat glands, which means they lose less through perspiration.

For most birds, water is obtained through drinking and by eating foods such as berries and worms; however, certain birds have dry diets and therefore need to drink more.

The majority of birds drink by immersing their bills in water and tilting their heads back to swallow. A small minority of birds like pigeons can, however, drink continuously.

Choosing The Right Material For a Bird Bath

There are many options available for choosing a bird bath, some of which are constructed using ceramic, concrete, and stone.

These would look good in any backyard, but there are other alternatives worthy of consideration if you’re opting for a contemporary edge to your exterior designs.

You can choose plastic, fiberglass, and metal as non-traditional options, and if you’re considering making use of your bird bath year-round, it would be ideal for making it frost-proof to ensure your structure doesn’t break.

Fiberglass and cast-iron are winter-proof materials with high durability, but concrete would start to crack and be at risk to collapse.

Metal is slippery and smooth, but you can apply sandpaper to make it slightly textured and therefore easier to perch on.

You should ensure that the material is somewhat rough or textured so that birds find it easier to find their footing.

Types of Bird Baths

The main types of available bird baths are called pedestal bird baths, hanging bird baths, ground bird baths, and mounted bird baths.

Pedestal bird baths: are the most readily available option and include a large basin attached to a pedestal. It is suitable for placement in gardens and patios and usually pretty heavy to move alone.

Hanging bird baths: are suitable for little birds because they hold a smaller quantity of water and are generally suitable for rooftops and gardens.

Ground bird baths: have platforms closer to the ground and are generally preferable to birds because they are similar to naturally occurring water sources.

Mounted bird baths: are ideal for balconies and rooftop terraces and are easily mounted on a wall.

Where to Purchase Bird Bath Fountains

Garden stores usually have a limited selection of items available and you are unlikely to find a fountain there.

You can, however, purchase them online, where you can expect to find one for 100 USD to 500 USD, excluding shipping costs.

The price mainly depends on the size, design, construction material and other details.

It may be worthwhile to buy one that comes with a warranty or guarantee in case it is damaged or malfunctions later.

Take Away

Bird baths are great not just for attracting birds but also for the overall aesthetics of your garden or balcony.

For nature enthusiasts, promoting nature comes first. It can be a heartwarming scene to find birds joyfully engaging in their rituals and using the very practical artificial structure referred to as a bird bath.