where to put water for birds

Birds need fresh, clean water for drinking and bathing. Most birds drink water every day. They also seem to enjoy bathing to clean their plumage and remove parasites. Providing water improves habitat for birds and other animals, and increases your chances of observing their fun behaviors up close! You can attract more birds to your balcony, roof patio, or yard by including a birdbath, and few things are more attractive to them than a clean, well-maintained one.

Good birdbaths are similar to shallow puddles, the natural birdbaths in the wild for birds. Choose a shallow container that is easy to clean, such as an old frying pan, shallow baking pan, or plastic lids of large containers. If you have a yard, you could dig a shallow hole and line it with plastic or some other waterproof material. Although birds prefer water basins that are on the ground, consider if cats are a danger. If you think that a birdbath on the ground might be too tempting to cats, put the birdbath three or four feet off the ground. Place some sand in the bottom of the bath and arrange a few branches or stones in the container, so birds can stand on them and drink without getting wet. This is especially important in the winter when keeping body heat is essential for survival in the cold.

You can try an immersion heater for keeping the water from freezing in a birdbath. These heaters are safe and cost pennies a day to operate or you could try putting a light bulb in a plant pot and place the water basin on top. The light bulb will keep the water from freezing.

To keep the water fresh, remember to change the water in the birdbath and clean it every couple of days. Try to clean the birdbath before the water becomes stale, and clean the bottom and walls immediately if you see green algae. Keep the birdbath full of water and then enjoy the feathery visitors having fun at your “puddle!”

Learn more about providing water for birds from the Great Backyard Bird Count (PDF).

Celebrate Urban Birds strives to co-create bilingual, inclusive, and equity-based community science projects that serve communities that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from birding, conservation, and citizen science. The project seeks to promote better science through equitable knowledge sharing, increased access, centering missing voices and experiences, and intentionally advocating for community ownership and scientific research leadership. Together with participating communities, the project has co-developed processes to co-design, pilot, and implement scientific research and programming while focusing on race and equity.

2780_nwf3072zmEnjoy four seasons of birds visiting your yard with this nature-inspired, ground-level birdbath. The realistic-looking birdbath provides a vital source of water for birds but also other wildlife, such as box turtles, tortoises, rabbits and toads. It has a built-in, thermostatically controlled heating element that ensures an ice-free source of water for freezing temperatures. When temperatures are below freezing and liquid water is all frozen but there’s no snow on the ground, birds literally have no water source. A heated birdbath like this one can be a lifesaver. Energy-efficient, it operates on just 70 watts. Cord discreetly tucks away when heater is not in use.

2780_nwf2836zmNot all birds will visit a birdbath. Hummingbirds in particular enjoy flying through a mist of water. Watch and enjoy your backyard as it becomes a community of hummingbirds and other birds as they fly through and bathe in this mister. The small white mister nozzle will easily attach to any garden hose and spray out a fine mist of water for your feathered friends to enjoy.

This birdbath has three different mounting options. It can be attached to a post and placed up off the ground. It can be clamped to a deck railing, which is great if you have limited space or live in an urban area and don’t have a yard. It also has short legs to place it right on the ground. Like our other birdbaths, this one also has a thermostatically controlled heater to offer clean, fresh water year-round.

Here are four different water features that we offer via National Wildlife Catalog. I’ve personally reviewed each of these water features to make sure the design is high quality. Even better, the proceeds from the sale of these water features go directly to support the National Wildlife Federation’s conservation programs.

The plastic basin on our pedestal birdbath is colored like terracotta and is lightweight, easy to empty, and maintain. It includes an attractive metal pedestal that fits into the ground firmly. Additionally, it has a 60-watt heater that is concealed beneath the surface and is tested to -20°F. It is thermostatically controlled to only run when necessary. The power cord can be tucked beneath the bowl during warm weather.

Remember to clean and replace the water in the birdbath every few days to maintain the freshness of the water. If you notice green algae, clean the birdbath’s walls and bottom right away. Try to clean the birdbath before the water gets stale. After adding water to the birdbath, watch the feathered guests having fun in your little “puddle.”

Celebrate Urban Birds works to co-create community science initiatives that are equity-based, inclusive, and bilingual in order to benefit communities that have historically been marginalized or excluded from citizen science, conservation, and birding. Through fair knowledge exchange, improved accessibility, highlighting underrepresented perspectives and experiences, and consciously promoting community ownership and scientific research leadership, the project aims to advance better science. The project has co-developed procedures to co-design, test, and execute scientific research and programming with a focus on racial equity alongside participating communities.

Birds need fresh, clean water for drinking and bathing. Most birds drink water every day. To keep their feathers clean and free of parasites, they also appear to enjoy taking baths. A birdbath will draw more birds to your balcony, roof patio, or yard because they are drawn to clean, well-maintained ones. Water also enhances the habitat for birds and other animals, increasing your chances of witnessing their entertaining behaviors up close.

Learn more about providing water for birds from the Great Backyard Bird Count (PDF).

Shallow puddles, which naturally serve as birdbaths in the wild, are comparable to excellent birdbaths. Pick an easy-to-clean shallow container, like the plastic lids of large containers, an old frying pan, or a shallow baking pan. You could dig a shallow hole in your yard and cover it with plastic or another water-resistant material. Even though birds favor ground-level water basins, think about whether cats could pose a threat. Place the birdbath three or four feet above the ground if you believe that it would be too alluring for cats to be on the ground. So that birds can stand on the branches or stones and drink without getting wet, fill the bath with sand and arrange a few of them inside. This is particularly crucial in the winter, when maintaining body heat is necessary to survive the cold.


Where is the best place for bird water?

Place your birdbath in the shade if possible, to keep the water cooler and fresher. Having trees nearby will also provide branches on which they can preen.

Can I put water in a bowl for birds?

Therefore, If you want to feed your birds some water, put out a large shallow bowl plate with an edge that they can perch. While some bird owners encourage their birds to drink from bowls, other bird owners prefer using a water bottle because it reduces the risk of contamination.

What is the best source of water for your bird?

What type of water is safe for birds? We are often asked whether tap water is safe for birds. The short answer is yes – generally speaking, if your tap water can be consumed by humans, it can be used in a bird bath. However, if you’re still not sure, bottled spring water or filtered tap water will work too.