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Bird Bath Basics

Types of Bird Baths

 In general, bird baths fall into one of three main categories: Pedestal, Hanging, and Ground. Of course there is a great deal of variation within each category, but these are the three types that you are most likely to encounter.

Allied Precision Deluxe Pedestal BirdathPedestal Bird Baths and fountains are what many of us picture when we hear “bird bath”. Pedestal baths generally have two pieces (a top and a stand), though they can be one solid piece.  Pedestal bird baths are relatively easy to move around, giving you the flexibility to find the spot where your bird visitors use it the most.  Pedestal bird baths also provide some protection against predators like cats that use tall grass or small shrubs as cover.


bird-bath-basics-hanging-bird-bath.pngHanging Bird Baths are generally made of three or more chains or rope attached to a wooden/metal base that holds the bird bath tray, though the chains/rope are attached directly to the tray on some models. Hanging feeders are popular because of their versatility and can be hung from anywhere a hook can be secured like a tree, a dedicated pole, a gazebo, or even a building overhang. Adjusting how high the bath hangs is simple, but make sure to place it in a spot that is easily accessible for regular cleaning and re-filling.


Farm Innovators Four Seasons Ground Bird BathLike their name implies, Ground Bird Baths are placed directly on the ground, mimicking the place that birds find their water in nature. Ground bird baths are very simple which makes them easy to re-fill and clean. Don’t hesitate to experiment with one or more type of bird baths to give all of your feathered visitors a place to rinse off and replenish!


Bird Bath Placement

First and foremost, make sure to place your bird bath in a place that you can see! After all, it’s not as fun to attract beautiful birds to your backyard or garden if you can’t enjoy viewing them. Also, placing your bird bath near vegetation like a small tree will give the birds a place to preen after they wash off. If the birds are having a hard time finding your bath, sprinkle some seed nearby to give your bird visitors a reason to investigate. Adding an accessory like a water-wiggler, fountain, or mister can also attract birds to your bird bath.

Bird Bath Use & Cleaning

You should plan on changing the water in your bird bath at least once every two days (daily if possible) in order to make it a desirable and healthy place for your feathered visitors. Simply pour out the old water and refill it with a hose or small bucket. Be careful not to overfill your bird bath. Two to three inches of water is enough for all types of birds to get a good drink and rinse - any more than that and the bath may become dangerous for your visitors. To clean your bird bath, simply use a small amount of mild detergent or a non-toxic enzyme cleaner and a brush to scrub the bath and accessories, give everything a good rinse, then refill the bird bath. The birds will thank you by making your backyard or garden a frequent stop on their journeys!

Bird Bath Accessories

Outfitting your bird bath with accessories like Water Wigglers, Drippers, Misters, & Fountains is an easy way to attract more birds to the bird bath, decrease the spread of disease carrying insects, and make your bird bath available to your feathered friends year round. In nature, water that is moving – even slowly – is usually cleaner than water that is standing. Water wigglers, fountains, misters, and other accessories create movement in your bird bath which attracts birds who are looking for the clean water that they need to stay healthy. Water moving accessories also prevent the spread of disease carrying insects like mosquitoes which lay their eggs in stagnant water. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 5,700 cases of West Nile Virus were reported in the United States in 2012 (the most recent year of final data available), and unfortunately almost 300 people died from the disease. Adding a water moving accessory to your bird bath is an easy and inexpensive way to attract more birds to your bird bath, and to help protect yourself, those around you, and your bird visitors from diseased insects that take advantage of standing water.