How To Attract Birds
to My Bird Bath

By Richard Worden

how to attract birds to my bird bath
The benefits of having a birdbath in your backyard are undeniable. Birdbaths allow you to take care of your neighborhood’s feathery critters, make your compound more lively, and have the opportunity to be intrigued by our all-too-elusive avian friends in the comfort of your home. However, birds can be picky creatures—simply having a birdbath in your backyard doesn’t guarantee you will have flocks upon flocks of birds gracing in your balcony.

You can attract more birds to your birdbath by placing it in an open spot so it’s easily visible to birds. Consider placing the birdbath closer to the ground to mimic a natural puddle and make sure there’s a perching spot nearby to allow shy birds a place to survey the safety of the surroundings.

Read on for the best tips on how to attract birds to my bird bath.

How do I attract birds to my birdbath

1. Place Your Birdbath in an Open Spot To Enhance Visibility

It’s only natural to want to place your birdbath in a spot where you can view it easily from inside your house or on the patio. However, you must remember that the bath is for the birds. You will have difficulty attracting birds to your bird bath if the chosen spot is ideal for you but not easy to spot by birds flying nearby.

Go out of your way to make your birdbath as visible to birds as you can. That means choosing the location carefully.

Leave a good distance—at least 10 feet—between the bath and any buildings, bushes, or trees. Doing that will increase your success in attracting birds dramatically, as birds are always on the lookout for clean puddles of water in safe-looking areas.

2. Place the Birdbath Closer to the Ground

When most people think of birdbaths, the classic birdbath-on-a-pedestal design is what comes to mind. However, while pedestaled birdbaths can make your yard more aesthetically appealing, they do not have quite the same success rate at attracting birds as ground-based baths do.

To understand why birds prefer ground-based birdbaths, you need to consider the spots they drink and bathe from in the wild: puddles. Nature does not have elaborately-designed baths for birds. Instead, our feathery friends look for clean-looking pools of water to wash and drink from.

A ground-level birdbath is more likely to attract birds because it mimics natural puddles. Moreover, ground-level birdbaths are easier to install and maintain, not to mention cheaper than other designs.

3. Use a Bird Feeder To Lure Birds to Your Birdbath

A bird feeder allows you to use the oldest trick in the book to attract birds. No bird will turn down a free meal. After all, finding water is much easier for birds than finding food.

If your birdbath has not had many visitors, consider installing a bird feeder close to the bath to lure hungry feathery friends. You can be sure they’ll notice the bath once they are done eating and are looking for a drink to wash down the food.

4. Install a Roosting Box To Attract Nesting Birds

Birds have their priorities set straight. Food is the first item on their agenda when they set out in the morning. Next is a pool of fresh water, followed by a safe spot to relax or sleep in/on.

As you can imagine, a spot that offers all three essentials might as well be heaven on earth for birds.

That is why installing a roosting or nest box makes a lot of sense when aiming to attract birds to your birdbath.

5. Keep Your Cat Indoors

Mr. Mittens might not look like it, but to birds, he might as well be the grim reaper. Housecats are so proficient at hunting birds that they are responsible for the extinction of some bird species.

Needless to say, you can’t have a free-roaming cat and expect to attract birds to your backyard. If that’s your goal, please keep your cat indoors. In the same light, take proactive measures to ensure neighborhood stray cats don't have access to your yard.

6. Make Sure Your Birdbath Is 2 Inches Deep at Most

Most of your avian visitors are most likely going to be smaller birds. You want your birdbath to be shallow, allowing the birds to drink and bathe comfortably.

The ideal maximum depth of a backyard birdbath is 2 inches (5 centimeters). That depth ensures the bird always has a sure footing while drinking or bathing.

Deep-looking waters tend to scare away little birds since they might be unable to get out once inside. Consider using pea gravel to reduce your birdbath’s depth if it is more than 2 inches deep.

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Those that live close to or within a city will appreciate my article How To Attract Birds In The City.

7. Use a Birdbath Fountain

Birds are attracted to trickling water sources, such as fountains. Perhaps it’s because the trickling effect mimics rain, assuring birds that the water is fresh. Moreover, mosquitoes and other insects don’t lay eggs in moving water, further guaranteeing birds of its safety.

Whatever the case might be, birds love fountains. You can make one or buy this budget-friendly SZMP Birdbath Fountain on It comes with an adjustable flow rate, a birdbath filter, and LED lights to ensure the bath remains visible to all at night.

8. Place the Birdbath Near a Shade

Shaded spots reduce the rate of evaporation, ensuring the bath doesn’t run out of water too quickly. Moreover, the algae growth rate is much slower in shaded spots compared to areas exposed to direct sunlight.

By placing your birdbath in an area with sufficient shade, you’ll be more likely to attract birds. The bath will almost always have water, in addition to being safer to drink.

9. Place Perching Spots Near the Birdbath

Perching spots near the birdbath allow birds a place to stop and analyze the surroundings before taking a dip. This is especially true for shy birds, such as robins.

Therefore, consider placing your birdbath near a tree for its perching spots and shade. Nevertheless, remember to maintain at least 10 feet (3 meters) between the tree and the birdbath.

10. Plastic Birdbaths Are Better at Retaining Regular Visitors

Birdbaths are made of numerous materials, from concrete and copper to plastic. Concrete birdbaths are prone to cracking due to temperature changes, not to mention being difficult to clean. 

Copper birdbaths work well but can pose health risks to birds due to ingesting dissolved copper. Glass and glazed pottery are other commonly-utilized materials to make birdbaths. Their drawback is they tend to be slippery.

Plastic is the only material without drawbacks, ensuring the birds always have a positive experience using it, making them more likely to return to a plastic birdbath.

11. Ensure the Birdbath Is Stable

A stable birdbath allows a bird to do its business more comfortably, thanks to the sure footing it gives the bird. Therefore, avoid hanging birdbaths; their aesthetic appeal notwithstanding.

Remember, most birds are intelligent critters that remember both positive and negative experiences. Therefore, you want them to remember your birdbath fondly. 

As it stands, providing birds with a stable bath remains one of the best ways of earning their trust since such baths feel secure.

12. Keep the Birdbath Water Warm During Winter

While birds have various physiological adaptations that allow them to stay hydrated during winter, when nearly all bathing spots are frozen solid, they will appreciate any liquid puddle they can find.

Luckily, you can easily keep birdbath water from freezing using an immersion heater, such as this GESAIL Birdbath Deicer from This birdbath heater comes with a thermostat to keep the water at a particular temperature range, meaning it doesn’t consume energy unnecessarily. It is also pretty easy to use, as you only need to place it in the middle of the bath and leave it there. how to attract birds to my bird bath

13. Change Birdbath Water Every Other Day

As its name suggests, one of the purposes of a birdbath is to give birds a place to clean themselves. Needless to say, birdbath water gets messy fast. 

Make sure to change your birdbath’s water every other day or sooner if it receives lots of visitors.

14. Clean the Birdbath Regularly

Birds can be incredibly fastidious. A study suggests that birds spend 9.2% of their day—nearly two hours—on grooming-related activities.

As you can imagine, these feathery critters are not too fond of unsanitary conditions, meaning a dirty birdbath will send them packing. Keep your avian friends around by ensuring the birdbath stays clean.

Consider giving it a thorough wash each time you do a water change.

How To Attract Birds To My Bird Bath

The feeling one gets from watching birds frolic in your backyard is priceless. That feeling becomes immensely gratifying when you know you played an active role in attracting them.

A birdbath is one of the surefire ways of attracting birds to your backyard. However, it’s not as easy as placing a bowl of water outside and letting the magic happen—you must employ proper practices to not only attract them, but also keep them coming back.

Luckily, you will have no difficulty attracting birds to your birdbath after applying the simple tips I have given you. Happy birdwatching!

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About Me

About the Author...

Richard Worden, a dedicated bird lover for over 20 years, I love to share my in-depth knowledge and passion for birds. Read more About Me and my expertise in this field.

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