Tips For Attracting Birds To Your Birdbath

Watching birds frolic in a birdbath in your garden is interesting and enjoyable for all the family. Here are some top tips for attracting birds to your birdbath in your garden.


Keep the Birdbath Low. A standard birdbath sitting on top of a pedestal might look good. However, it isn’t the best way to offer birds water. Just think about a majority of natural water sources that are used by birds are near or close to the ground. In nature, that’s what they look for.

A birdbath pedestal can be used for something else – like a figurine or bright lawn globe. There’s so many different options available from cast stone birdbaths, to iron birdbaths.

Put your bath basin either on the ground or on a cinder block, but still within about a foot of the ground to attract more birds to your fountain.

Keep it Shallow

Remember, birds do not take baths in deep water. Make sure the level of water in your bird bath is no more than two inches deep. That is ideal for songbirds to wade in and then splash around. If you have a deep bath basis, place some flat, large stones or pea gravel in the bottom of it so birds have different water level options.

Good footing

Large stones or pea gravel at the bottom of the basin can also provide better footing to bathing birds when they are using your bird bath. That is necessary so that birds don’t feel vulnerable while they are bathing. I see many bath basins for sale that are made out of glazed ceramic. They might look nice but when they are wet they will slipper at not bird-friendly at all. Check out the surface of the birdbath basin once it is filled with water. If it is slippery, add stones or gravel to make it easier and safer to be used by birds.

Well Situated

It is also very important to site your birdbath well. You want to be able to view it from wherever you spend the most time. That might be your patio, deck, or your kitchen or living room window. It should also be a convenient spot for refilling and cleaning. We always put our birdbaths in a location that is in reach of an electrical outlet and garden hose. There is an electric recirculating pump on our main birdbath. Any time you are using outdoor electrical power, make sure to always plug into an outlet with a GFI (ground fault interrupter) that helps to prevent electrical shock.

Nearby Cover

Just like you want to have the birdbath in an area where you can watch it, the birds also need to have protective cover close by (but not too close). That will provide a place for the bird to approach the bath from, and a place to flee to in case anything dangerous approaches them.


In the summer, one reason why birds like to bathe is to cool off. The water temperature in your birdbath can be kept cooler by putting the birdbath in a shady area in your yard. When the birdbath is out in direct sunlight the water will be hot and it will also evaporate a lot faster.

Preening/Staging Perch

Put a stick next to the birdbath (but not on top of it). That will provide an easy landing place for the birds when they are flying from and to your birdbath. It will make your birdbath more approach for the more secretive types of woodland birds like tanagers, warblers, and thrushes, who use a perch as a place for preening their feathers after they bathe or to scan for danger. Don’t put the perch over the bath directly since it will then be used as the bird for a perch to poop from.

Keep It Clean

Insects, stick, feathers, leaves, bird poop and other things will accumulate in the birdbath water. You will need to scrub out the bath basin on a regular basis using an abrasive cleaner and stiff-bristled brush. If the birdbath is really filthy you make need to treat it with bleach water (one capful of bleach in a bucket full of water should work fine). Rinse the bath out well and then refill it with clean water. After we clean our birdbath the birds go nuts.

Keep Your Birdbath Open

In cold weather, water is just as essential. If you would like to continue to provide birds with a drinking water supply, you can use a temperature-controlled water heater (these are most often used with livestock water vessels). Those devices can help to prevent the birdbath’s water from freezing solid. When the weather is freezing cold, it isn’t a good time for bathing for birds, so you might want to only keep a small part of the bath open for birds to drink from. Make sure to use an outwith with GFI.

Add Motion

Moving water makes a birdbath very alluring for birds. In the sunlight moving water sparkles and that catches the birds’ attention. Many more birds started to visit our birdbath after the motion was added to our birdbath water than when it was a still-water birdbath. A dripper or mister fastened to the garden hose (with your spigot turn on low) can provide your birdbath water with motion. An even better solution is to have a birdbath that has a recirculating pump that is built into a large basin. These units frequently have a filter that helps to keep the water a little cleaner. When water is moving is also has the added benefit of preventing mosquitoes from reproducing in it. To reproduce successfully, mosquitoes need to have still water.

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