Which bird baths are best?
If you enjoy birdwatching, a bird bath is an easy way to draw many different types of birds to your yard. Since their advent in the 1800s, these garden ornaments have offered local birds a safe place to drink and bathe themselves while you watch from afar.
While most bird baths feature a basic bowl and pedestal design, there are many design elements and factors to consider before purchasing. For a unique ornament crafted from recycled materials, check out the Ancient Graffiti Birdbath.
What to know before you buy a bird bath
Types of bird baths
Every bird bath has two essential components: the bowl and the part that holds it. Beyond those simple requirements, bird baths can come in a wide variety of different styles and are crafted from many distinct materials.
- Pedestal bird baths: Perhaps the most recognizable bird bath style, these garden ornaments feature a bowl placed on top of a plinth or a simple metal stake. These bird baths are highly decorative and usually crafted from a heavy, wind-resistant material.
- Hanging bird baths: These baths are usually somewhat small and held with a chain that’s attached to a tree branch or ceiling hook. Keep in mind that the ornament’s compact size can result in fewer birds using the bath.
- Mounted bird baths: Just as the name suggests, you can secure these bird baths to a porch or railing. This limits where you can place the ornament but offers a closer view of any bathing birds.
- In-ground bird baths: The original bird bath style, in-ground baths are perfectly suited for larger bird species but have reduced visibility compared to other types.
You need to clean your bird bath regularly if you want your feathered friends to return again and again. Without proper maintenance, bacteria could grow and insects might lay eggs in the standing water. To clean your bird bath, start by emptying any old water and leftover debris. Create a solution of equal parts vinegar and water and scrub the bowl thoroughly.
Bird baths are usually heavy and difficult to move, so consider where you plan to place the ornament before choosing a product. You will draw more birds to an area that feels safe and secluded, like under a tree or near some bushes.
What to look for in a quality bird bath
Bird baths can be made from various materials, including glass, plastic, ceramic and metal. Plastic and glass are affordable and easy to clean, but they’re typically more breakable than other materials.
Ceramic bird baths are durable and boast a timeless look, but the porous material is difficult to clean thoroughly. Many modern bird baths use metals like iron or copper. These ornaments are sturdy and highly decorative, but make sure they’re not too smooth for birds to stand comfortably.
Size and depth
Most birds only need a few inches of water while bathing, so make sure your bird bath isn’t too deep. A wider bath will attract more birds at any time but will naturally take up more space in your yard.
Certain high-end models come with a pump that circulates the water in the bath. This feature results in fewer necessary cleanings and more feathered guests since birds are drawn to running water.
How much you can expect to spend on a bird bath
The cost of a bird bath can vary widely depending on the size of the lawn ornament and the materials used. A simple plastic bath will usually cost around $10-$30, while a decorative ceramic or metal ornament will regularly exceed $100.
Bird bath FAQ
Why aren’t birds using my bird bath?
A. After placing the bird bath in your yard, it may be months before local birds discover the new water source. You can make the ornament extra appealing by adding a water circulation pump or by moving it to a more secluded section of the yard.
How deep should a bird bath be?
A. A bird bath should only be about 1 to 2 inches deep. If your bath is deeper, consider adding pebbles or a flat stone so birds can stand comfortably.
What’s the best bird bath to buy?
Top bird bath
What you need to know: This durable bird bath is made from recycled metals and boasts a unique look.
What you’ll love: Handcrafted from recycled copper, iron and stone, this artful bird bath blends an industrial aesthetic with a nature-inspired pedestal. The bowl is also easy to clean and not too deep.
What you should consider: The copper bowl may fly off the pedestal in high winds.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top bird bath for the money
What you need to know: This affordable bird bath is lightweight and weather-resistant.
What you’ll love: Users note that this bird bath is very easy to assemble, with a hollow pedestal that you can fill with sand and gravel for added weight. The bowl has a wide diameter of 20 inches, and the product comes in three color options.
What you should consider: This ornament might fall over easily if not filled with heavy materials.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Bird bath worth checking out
What you need to know: This high-end concrete bird bath is elegant and loaded with features.
What you’ll love: Boasting a timeless, Art Deco-inspired design, this heavy bird bath features a quiet pump and fountain that circulates water without any additional plumbing requirements. The calming bubbling water is great for attracting birds and adding a pleasant atmosphere to your yard.
What you should consider: This bath is expensive, and the porous stone material may be difficult to clean.
Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath and Beyond
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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