The 6 Best Heated Bird Baths
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in December of 2016. Give your feathered friends a helping hand during cold spells by adding a heated bird bath to your yard or garden. They use very little power, but provide avian wildlife with a way to stay clean and hydrated, even when it's freezing outside. In addition to being economical and reliable, the models we've chosen happen to add a splash of color and style to your outdoor space, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 13, 2020:
You might enjoy watching your feathered friends come by to a see-through bird feeder or a hummingbird feeder in your yard, but don’t forget to also provide a way for them to stay hydrated, especially in the winter months. These bird baths all feature sturdy heating elements, some of which are removable, like that of the newly added API 400. This basic model features a faux terra cotta bowl and a powder-coated, three-prong metal stand. It’s cheap to operate, thanks to a built-in thermostat that only turns it on when necessary. The Farm Innovators All Seasons also comes on board today, and this attractive choice boasts a scalloped design that’s made to resemble concrete. The pedestal and basin are two separate pieces, so you can easily remove the top for cleaning, as needed. It holds up to a gallon of water and stands 29 inches tall. You can buy it with confidence, thanks to its three-year warranty. Leaving the list today are the faux terracotta Farm Innovators BD-601 and the cedar Songbird Essentials 57332, which are no longer available at this time.
Our list has several options that can be mounted directly to a fence or a deck. In addition to a set of legs for placement on the ground, the Farm Innovators 3-in-1 comes with a clamp for adhering it to a patio railing or a post. It’s been tested to work in temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, and can be purchased in either terracotta or green. The Allied Precision Industries 600 is another option that comes with a mounting clamp, and it can accommodate a good number of birds at once, thanks to its diameter of 20 inches. Its rim is designed like a perch, so that birds can grasp it easily and comfortably with their talons. It also works well with a pedestal, although you’ll need to purchase one separately.
October 21, 2019:
Coming onboard today is the Songbird Essentials 57332, which is constructed from attractive cedar, so it’s sure to match many a backyard deck or fence. Its rim is large in diameter, so it can host a whole flock of feathered friends together. Due to its wooden construction and sturdy build, it is on the more expensive end, but you can rest assured it’ll take a lot to blow this well-made selection over. Its heater automatically turns on when the temperature hits 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also joining the selection is the Songbird Essentials SE995, which can be mounted to a deck rail or attached to a post that’s inserted into the ground. This one holds more than a quart of water, and its basin can be detached easily when it needs to be cleaned or refilled. This year-round choice has a cord that tucks away nicely for use during warm weather months.
Leaving the list in this update is the API 670 Pedestal, amidst reports that the plastic layer peels away from the rest of the basin, and the basin itself often does not stay level with the pedestal, causing it to sit on a tilt and lose water. In addition, we say goodbye to the Farm Innovators Model FS-1 which, unfortunately, is known to leak – and it too has a coating that tends to peel away.
If you’re looking for a bird bath that incorporates a fountain (and is energy efficient, to boot), check out our list of recommended solar bird bath fountains.
Duncraft All-Seasons This sturdy pedestal model reliably provides open water for birds when their natural sources are frozen solid. This energy-efficient choice is thermostatically controlled, so it won’t turn on until the air’s temperature drops below freezing. The heating element is nestled safely between two layers of white resin. Its six-inch cord is located underneath the basin, and it’s easy to attach your own outdoor extension cord by running it up inside the pedestal. You can add stability by filling the hollow pedestal with some sand or gravel. duncraft.com
Ground Heated Birdbath Keep your ground-feeding feathered friends like sparrows, doves, and starlings healthy and hydrated with this low-lying device. Its bowl features a larger capacity than many, holding up to two quarts of water. It’s made of both steel and plastic, with a 75-watt heater that kicks in only when necessary to keep water from freezing. Its four feet provide stability. gardeners.com
The Importance Of Having A Bird Bath
Okay, so you're not going around sniffing the birds in your yard, but even so, you might want to consider installing a bath for them.
It can be pretty demoralizing to move into a new house only to discover that all the birds in your backyard are filthy, with terrible body odor. That's when you realize: you need a bird bath.
Okay, so you're not going around sniffing the birds in your yard, but even so, you might want to consider installing a bath for them. It's something that can potentially benefit both you and them in the long run.
The most common reason why people get bird baths, of course, is because they simply enjoy watching the birds. You may be surprised at the variety of birds you have in your neighborhood, many of which you may never have noticed before. A bath will bring them out of the woodwork (literally), much more than a hummingbird feeder would.
Once your feathered friends discover that you have a spa on your property, they'll pay you back in a big way: by eating pests. They'll take down tons of caterpillars, flies, mosquitoes, and beetles — and you won't even have to douse your yard with poisonous chemicals.
All of this pest control should do wonders for your garden. Not only that, but the birds will aerate your soil as they go pecking around for worms and other creepy-crawlies, so don't be surprised if your grass starts to look better than ever before.
Bird watching is extremely calming, so if you find yourself needing a way to unwind after a stressful day at the office, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better activity than sitting out on your back patio. In addition to having a unique plumage, each species will also exhibit its own unique behaviors, and watching them can be fascinating as well as educational — especially if you start to attract migratory birds.
If you get a high-quality model, you'll find that it really dresses up your property to boot. You'll no doubt want to show it off to your guests, and it may inspire you to remodel the whole backyard, adding fountains, ponds, and a whole lot more.
Also, it can really boost your home's resale value once you tell the realtor you've added a few more baths to the property.
How To Choose The Right Bird Bath For You
You might think that choosing a bird bath is the easiest thing in the world — just find some sort of receptacle and fill it with water, right?
In reality, there are quite a few considerations that go into finding the perfect option for your needs, so don't just purchase the first one you come across.
The most important thing to keep in mind is what kind of birds you're hoping to attract, as this will determine the size of the bath you need. Larger baths can obviously accommodate larger species, but they'll also give smaller birds plenty of room to drink without crowding them.
Don't let algae form, as this is bad for the birds and generally unpleasant to look at.
Also, bigger birds tend to like baths that are lower to the ground, while their tiny brethren prefer to be up high, where they can scope out the terrain (and avoid cats), so factor that into your decision.
The downside to a larger bath, however, is that it's more difficult to clean — and yes, you'll need to keep it clean. Don't let algae form, as this is bad for the birds and generally unpleasant to look at. Plus, stagnant water can attract mosquitoes.
Of course, you can always opt for an electrical model that keeps the water filtered and running. Some are even heated, so you won't have to worry about it freezing over in the winter.
When it comes to the depth of the bowl, don't go off the deep end. Look for one that's about one to three inches deep; any deeper than that, and you risk drowning your visitors. After all, it's difficult to bathe and tread water at the same time.
If you follow these tips, you're sure to have the most popular bird pool on the block. Good luck getting them to pay their club dues, though.
How To Attract Birds To Your Backyard
There's nothing more frustrating than going through all the trouble of making your yard bird-friendly, only for those stupid jerks to not even bother showing up. Fortunately, there are some actions you can take to minimize the risk that your fowl friends will end up ditching you.
As mentioned above, the most important thing is to keep your bath clean and well-maintained. Birds don't like drinking or splashing around in dirty water any more than you do, so make the pool inviting if you want them to stop by.
Fortunately, there are some actions you can take to minimize the risk that your fowl friends will end up ditching you.
Offering them food while they're visiting is a smart idea, as well — it's just part of being a good host, after all. Put up several feeders in your yard, with a variety of layouts. Some birds like platforms while others like hanging models, so try to accommodate them all.
While you're at it, give them a place they can feel safe. Planting trees and shrubs will help, as well as installing nesting boxes. This can help offer them sanctuary from predators, and who knows — they may even encourage them to start a family there.
You can kill two birds with one stone by installing plants that produce seeds, berries, nectar, or other things birds love to munch on.
With a little bit of planning, you can make your yard into a bona fide bird sanctuary — and it doesn't even have to cost much. And once you see how much it adds to the vibe of your home, you'll realize that all of these additions added up to one thing that wasn't just for the birds.