do hummingbirds go in bird baths

Unlike many backyard birds that regularly visit bird baths for necessary sips of cool, fresh water, hummingbirds do not typically drink from backyard water sources. They do, however, still need some access to clean water. It is easy to attract hummingbirds with water or baths that meet their specialized needs.

Hummingbirds meet their dietary fluid needs from the nectar they drink, whether it is from flowers or supplemental feeders. These tiny birds still need other water available for bathing and preening, however. Their bills and plumage can get coated with sticky pollen and stray drips of nectar. Water is also essential to stay clean and keep their feathers in top shape for efficient flight. A quick bath can also help hummingbirds keep cool on hot summer days.

Make Your Own Bird Bath

Try a DIY bird bath if you’re in the mood to make something yourself or can’t find a bird bath you love in stores or online. Building your own bird bath is a fairly simple project, and you can tailor it to fit the size, style, and climate of your garden.

Expert advice: If you’re going to construct a bird bath from the ground up, you might as well maximize the hummingbirds’ access to water. Paint it a bright color and ensure its extra shallow!.

Keeping Water Sources Safe

Regular cleaning and sanitization of a traditional bird bath is necessary to protect visiting birds from illness or parasite infestation. Similarly, hummingbird water sources must be properly maintained in order to remain safe for these tiny guests. Every nozzle needs to be routinely inspected to make sure it is directed as needed and flowing correctly. It’s also important to measure the total depth of any standing water, like that in a fountain. Hummingbirds can have a better depth if there are pebbles or river rocks added to break the surface if it is too deep.

Water sources should also be safe from predators. A hummingbird that is bathing might not be as aware of danger and would be more open to attack. Predator guards can be put in place, or water sources can be placed in open spaces where bathing birds can see clearly and unhindered, to help keep them vigilant against marauders.

Whatever water you provide hummingbirds, it should be sterilized and cleaned in the same manner as you would any traditional bird bath. By doing this, any contamination of the water from dirt, feces, or other debris will be avoided. Additionally, it will reduce the growth of algae and insect infestations that could impede water flow or endanger hummingbirds. Ideally, during the hottest part of summer, when birds will be using them most frequently, clean water sources once a week.

Add Misters, Drippers and Fountains to Bird Baths

Because hummingbirds are small birds, they love water features that make bathing easier for them. A mister, dripper, water fountain, or solar fountain can be added to give hummingbirds access to flowing water at a volume that they can actually handle.

Whether the mister is attached to your bird bath or not, aim to place it directly next to a leafy plant when you add one. In order to bathe, hummingbirds will actually rub their bodies against damp leaves.

The mister itself will make noise that attracts hummingbirds. Dewy, sparkling leaves will also catch hummingbirds eyes. Hummingbirds can also take direct baths with a mister, but only if the mist is not too strong. The softer the water flow, the better.

To your current sprinkler system, you can also add misting sprinkler heads. Just make sure there isn’t enough water flowing so hummingbirds can use them.

Fountains are another great addition to a hummingbird bath. There are usually extremely shallow areas in fountains where water barely spills over. Hummingbirds love to perch and bathe on these lips, ledges, and edges.

Like fountains, bird bath drippers provide small birds like hummingbirds with a gentle, enticing stream of water. Hummingbirds can choose to bathe directly under the water source or by rubbing against a damp object by placing drippers next to rocks or foliage.

Hummingbirds are drawn to the sound of water drippers, just like they are to fountains and misters. Happy Gardens offers an extensive assortment of dripper fountains that can be integrated into nearly any type of bird bath.


How do you attract hummingbirds to a bird bath?

Drippers: A dripper splashing on a rock or broad leaf will create a damp surface for hummingbirds to bathe. If the drips are small enough, a hummingbird may even stand right under the dripper for an impromptu shower.

Do hummingbirds drink out of bird baths?

Most birds visit bird baths to quench their thirst, but hummingbirds do not drink much plain water. The nectar hummingbirds drink provides for nearly all of their hydration and nutrition. But hummingbirds do need birth baths to bathe!

Do ruby throated hummingbirds use bird baths?

Hummingbirds typically do not visit bird baths to bathe, but fly through water spray, instead. Misters provide a fine spray of water that hummingbirds, as well as many other bird species, will enjoy flying through as they ‘shower’.

How deep should a hummingbird bird bath be?

They will sometimes use a common bird bath, but they won’t use one to actually bathe if it means they have to get into it and if it is more than 1/4-inch deep. They prefer dripping water, like after dripping onto a mound of smooth gravel or into a very shallow basin.