5 Types of Bird Baths for Your Backyard

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Photo by Dan Loran on Unsplash

For those of us who live on the lake, birdwatching is a fun and accessible hobby. From your back porch, you have a front row seat to every migration season. Just get out the bird book and binoculars, and you’re set for an enjoyable afternoon! When attracting birds to your lake house, a few bird baths can go a long way. Besides adding aesthetic appeal to your yard, bird baths serve a dual purpose — drinking and preening. Preening refers to self-grooming. Much like a cat, birds go through a self-bathing process to remove dust and parasites from their feathers. Since most birds preen throughout the day to keep themselves clean, your bird baths provide a much-needed respite for our aviary friends. 

If you’re not sure what type of bird bath to invest in, you’ve come to the right place! Check out these 5 different types of bird baths for your backyard.

Ground Bird Bath

Photo courtesy of Backyard Boss

Let’s start with the lowest elevation. This simple bird bath model is essentially a basin of water resting on the ground. Usually a circular or oval shape, this style mimics water sources in nature, such as lakes and ponds, which have no elevation. Some benefits of this type of bird bath are its lack of complexity (you could easily create a ground bird bath from an unused ceramic plate), its ease in portability, and no chance of damage. Plus, the low elevation is perfect for larger birds like quail, grouse, or ducks. However, keep in mind that ground bird baths are more risky for predators, and more susceptible to leaf litter.

Hanging Bird Bath

Photo courtesy of Duncraft

For the most elevated bird bath option at your lake house, a hanging bird bath is ideal. Essentially, this is a shallow basin hanging from a chord or chain, typically attached to a pole or tree branch. Because this type of bird bath is the smallest, its water capacity is limited, and the design options are fewer. You’ll also want to be mindful of higher winds which can cause these small baths to fall. Despite these considerations, there are several advantages to hanging bird feeders. For small birds, this type of bath is the safest because the height protects them from predators. They’re also simple to DIY with saucers.

Pedestal Bird Bath

Image courtesy of MyGardenLife

When you picture a bird bath, a pedestal bird bath is likely what comes to mind. By far, these are the most popular and as a result, there’s tons of available designs. Usually made from ceramic, granite, or plastic, the downside of pedestal bird baths is their bulkiness and their difficulty and cleaning. However, the benefits outweigh the costs. For one, their taller height prevents squirrels from climbing and interfering with the birds’ safety. Aesthetically, they blend seamlessly into an elegant garden look. Any magazine-ready backyard may feature a high-quality pedestal birdbath.

Heated Bird Bath

Photo courtesy of Seabird Sanctuary

Depending on where in the U.S. you live, wintertime often means that birds’ water supply is frozen. So, during this time of year, they’ll be searching for lukewarm water for drinking and preening. To help them out in these cold times, consider investing in a heated bird bath, especially during the upcoming season. Contrary to what you may expect, a heated bird bath does not actually produce hot water. Instead, it keeps the water at a temperature warm enough to avoid freezing. In the winter, a heated bird bath will be especially helpful when most birds’ water supply is frozen. If you purchase a bath with a built-in heater, all you need to do is plug it in. If you’d like to convert an existing bird bath to a heated one, simply purchase an immersion heater.

Fountain Bird Bath

Photo courtesy of Walmart

If you want to attract more birds to your backyard, a fountain bird bath is a sure-fire way to do so. Birds are highly attracted to the sound of water, and a bubbling fountain will alert them to the presence of your bath. With this type of bird bath, a solar powered fountain is particularly popular. Rather than electricity, it’s powered by the sun’s energy, making it a sustainable investment. 

We hope these tips are helpful! Soon, you’ll have birds flocking to your lake house in no time.

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