Sign up for our FREE Email Newsletter

Birding Order Desk











The Binocular Advisor

Summer Birdbath

Kozy Spa BathSometimes fresh, clean water is all it takes to make a bird's day. Makes our day, too.

Water will actually attract more species of birds than feeders will.

Birds such as wrens, catbirds, and bluebirds, who eat insects or fruit, don't visit most feeders. But a birdbath attracts all kinds of birds.

Put your birdbath in your garden, and the birds will find it quickly. Birds will bring their babies to the bath and show them where it is. Like the baby robin getting its first bath at the Four Seasons Bath, below.

Baby RobinA birdbath brings great happiness to a home. It's one of the easiest ways to bring birds up close, where the whole family can get a really good look and enjoy their beauty.

What kind of birdbath is best?

No deeper than three inches at the center. It should be even shallower at the edge. Many birdbaths are way too deep for birds to feel secure.

Rough bottomed
Birds don't like a glazed, slippery bottom. Cement is good, but it's heavy and hard to handle. Some of the new fiber-and-resin baths are amazingly lightweight, and they have a rougher texture, that makes birds feel secure.

Drippy or sprinkly
Water WigglerThe plink or splash of moving water is pure invitation to birds. It dramatically increases the number of species that visit a birdbath.

An easy, inexpensive way to keep the water in motion is with a Water Wiggler. It comes in battery-powered and a solar versions. You add it to any birdbath.

Sun power

Solar SpaThere are also baths available now with solar-powered spray features, such as the Solar Spa bath shown at right.

We have one of these at the Birdwatching Dot Com garden, and we love to watch the birds come visit it. See a full picture of the bath with more details in the sidebar at right.

Where should a birdbath be located?

Cat watching birdbathNot where cats can hide.
Cats like to lie in wait beneath shrubbery or behind a concealing object and then pounce on the birds when they're wet and can't fly well. So put your birdbath at least five to ten feet from such hiding places. Give the birds a chance to see the cat coming.

With an escape route.
The ideal location is under some branches that hang down within two or three feet of the bath. A wet bird can flutter a few feet up to the safety of the leaves.

Pedestal BathOn a pedestal.

It's easy to see from the house, easy to clean, and somewhat safer from predators.

Within reach of a hose.

Make your birdbath easy to clean and refill. But locate your birdbath away from your feeding station, because seeds and droppings would soil the water quickly. Change the water every few days, or even every day in hot weather. Dump it out or squirt it out with the hose. I keep a scrub brush outside with my gardening tools, so that I can brush out any algae that begins to form.

In view from a window.

Place the birdbath where you can see it from indoors. Maybe from your dining room or kitchen.

Or locate it in your garden. Nothing is more decorative.

A bird in the bath is the soul of enjoyment. The sight of it, even a chance glimpse through the window, will provide you too with a splash of happiness.

©2011 by Diane Porter
Photos of birds and cat © 2005-2011 Michael and Diane Porter



Kozy Bird Spa

The Solar Spa
Ultimate Birdbath

The Solar Spa

Other Fun Baths

Four Seasons