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> Birding Center > Wild Bird Information > Attract Birds with Water

Attracting Birds with Water

Feeding birds is only one way in which to attract birds to your yard. Providing water is just as important and you will even see a greater variety of birds.  Many types of birds will never visit your feeder but will be attracted to the birdbath. Birds are not fussy about the type of containers you use and are happy as long as the birdbath is placed near cover and contains water no more than 2 1/2 inches deep.

Water in Winter

  • Heaters are inexpensive to operate and open water can usually be provided for as little as 10 cents /day.

  • Use of a thermostat reduces costs even more.

  • Using a heater is perfectly safe.

  • The entire bathing area does not need to be kept ice free in order for the bath to be used.

  • You can solar heat your birdbath by placing the bath on the south side of your house to receive full sun and reduce heating cost.

  • NOTE: DO NOT add glycerin to the water to prevent it from freezing.  It coats the birds' feathers so they can't fluff them out to stay warm.

                      Click here for a selection of heaters
Click here for a selection of low-priced birdbath heaters

Providing birds with a source of drinking water becomes increasingly important as natural water sources begin to freeze.  It is just as important to provide drinking water in the winter as it is to consistently provide a source of food.  This is easy to accomplish with a birdbath heater.  You can purchase a bath with a built-in heater or add a heater to your existing bath. 



Make it Yourself

Adding a source of water to your yard is simple. You can either purchase a ready-made birdbath or make your own with supplies that are readily available. Here are a few quick and simple ideas:

  • A plastic garbage can lid turned upside down and placed on a shallow hole to make sure it doesn't tip over. 

  • Place a clay flowerpot saucer on a tree stump.

  • Stack three clay flowerpots upside down with the largest on the bottom and smallest on the top.  Then use a large clay flowerpot saucer for the water dish on top.  Use paint and stencils for a decorative touch.

  • Turn-over a 55-gallon drum and pound an indentation in the bottom so it holds about 1-1/4 inches of water.  You can then paint it to blend into your yard.

              Keep it Clean!

No matter what type of birdbath you use it is very important to keep it clean.  Frequently clean the bath using a used S.O.S. pad or scrub brush and rinse the bath well before refilling it.  

For a more thorough cleaning pour a mild bleach solution into the bath and let if soak for 15 minutes.  Be sure to cover it so the birds can't drink or bathe in the solution.  Then rinse the bath thoroughly before refilling it with fresh water. 

Daily cleaning works best and takes only a few minutes to accomplish and will keep your birds happy and healthy.