Are you looking for a decorative addition to your property? A birdbath is a great choice that’s pretty, functional, and fun.
When spring arrives in my corner of Pennsylvania, I’m surrounded by woodpeckers, warblers, and finches – their hammering, singing, mating, and nesting is in full swing.
One particularly warm afternoon, I was daydreaming in my back garden when I was scolded by a feisty house sparrow.
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He perched on the edge of an empty birdbath, telling me in no uncertain terms that there should be water in it.
Birdbaths are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit any garden, no matter the size – from small rail-mounted options to large solar-powered fountains.
With plenty of choices available, you can find the perfect backyard bath for your feathered friends. Let’s dive right in. The birds are waiting!
Here’s the lineup:
11 of the Best Birdbaths for Your Backyard
- Allied Precision Industries Heated Birdbath with Mounting Bracket
- Athena Garden Cast Stone Large Octagon Birdbath
- Backyard Essentials Ceramic Hanging Birdbath/Feeder
- Campania International Alpine Stone Avery Birdbath
- Campania International Concrete Andra Fountain
- Campania International Kosei Birdbath
- Crabby Nook Granite Birdbath
- One Allium Way Minford Birdbath
- Smart Solar Country Gardens 2-Tier Solar-on-Demand Outdoor Fountain
- Union Rustic Vergas Leaf Birdbath
- World Menagerie Eliakim Classic II Hammered Birdbath
As a bonus, we have included several accessories you might like to add. And we also have some useful information for you about how to choose a suitable model and where to locate it in your yard, plus our handy maintenance tips.
1. Allied Precision Industries Heated Birdbath with Mounting Bracket
API’s 650 Heated Birdbath with Mounting Bracket is proudly made in the USA and offers year-round use.
Made from weather-resistant plastic, this light stone-colored basin mounts to a deck or porch rail. Weighing one pound, it measures 20 x 20 x two inches.
The key features are its built-in thermostat for ambient temperatures down to -20°F, its 120-volt heater (150 watts), and its EZ Tilt-To-Clean deck rail mount.
This product is CSA listed, and the manufacturer offers a one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
- Shallow depth is good for smaller birds
- Ideal for year-round use
- Includes convenient clamp-on mounting bracket
- Cord tucks away for summer use
- Using the easy dump feature is optional; basin can also be removed for water disposal
- Easy to maintain
- Easy dump feature may not be nice for neighbors below!
2. Athena Garden Cast Stone Large Octagon Birdbath
The Athena Garden Cast Stone Large Octagon Birdbath is a real powerhouse, and it’s a great choice that combines form and function.
Sturdy and stable, this traditional style is crafted from glass-fiber reinforced concrete construction and is made in the USA.
Weighing in at 45 pounds, it’s a one-piece standing basin-on-pedestal with hand wrought architectural details.
Measuring 15 x 15 x 21 inches with a two-inch depth, this model comes in eight decorative colors and is sure to become a focal point in your garden.
- Rough inside for traction
- Solid and stable
- Shallow depth appropriate for small birds
- Ample rim for perching
- Light color minimizes water temperature increases
- Easy to sanitize
- Heavy to tote
- Requires heating element for winter use
3. Backyard Essentials Ceramic Hanging Birdbath/Feeder
The Backyard Essentials Ceramic hanging Birdbath/Feeder suspends from chains above your garden.
This molded ceramic model can be filled with water or seed. Glazed dark green inside, it has a charming raised hummingbird motif.
Weighing only 4.9 pounds, it is 12 inches in diameter, and hangs via S-hooks from three galvanized steel chains.
- Suspends easily from a tree, wall bracket, or feeding station
- Shallow depth is good for smaller birds
- Easy to sanitize the basin
- Smooth inside inhibits traction
- Small basins evaporate rapidly
- Dark colors may increase water temperature
- Requires maintenance of galvanized chain
4. Campania International Alpine Stone Avery Birdbath
Don’t be fooled by the petite stature of the rugged Campania International Alpine Stone Avery Birdbath.
This one-piece bowl and stand model is constructed of cast stone, a fine-grained pre-cast concrete.
At 29 pounds, it’s a hefty product measuring 13 by 13.5 by 13.5 inches with a basin depth of two inches. The post height is 9.75 inches and the diameter inside the bowl is 10.5 inches.
Choose from a range of nine designer colors, including Aged Limestone, Graystone, Travertine, and Verde.
Each features a hand-finished artisanal patina that weathers naturally and gives the impression of having been in place for many years.
You may find that this product’s modest proportions make it well-suited to placement on a stump. With a few vines and a birdbath you can turn a landscape eyesore into a functional and fabulous focal point.
Drain and store during the winter months to avoid cracking.
- Hefty structure not likely to tip over
- Basin depth appropriate for smaller birds
- Long-wearing construction
5. Campania International Concrete Andra Fountain
The Concrete Andra Fountain from Campania International is an ideal option for small spaces.
The square top has a large floral design and holds a gallon of water that flows from a small fountain in the center.
Proudly made in the USA and powered by electricity, this model is perfect for those shady spots where a solar powered unit is ineffective. The cast stone will weather over time, and blend into your decor.
The floral insert is removable for easy cleaning, and the bubbling sound from the fountain is gentle and soothing.
It’s only suitable for small birds, as the water is a mere quarter-inch deep.
The pump has an adjustable flow rate, and using filtered water is recommended to prevent clogging and bacterial buildup.
The water should be drained out during the winter months, and a protective cover should be placed over the fountain to prevent the stone from cracking.
Available in 12 colors, including Copper Bronze and English Moss, this unit weighs 88 pounds with dimensions of 20 x 19.5 x 19.5 inches.
- Recycles water, held in the top of the unit; no reservoir
- Ideal for small spaces
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Powered by electricity so no need for a sunny location
- Gentle, relaxing sound
- Shallow bowl only suitable for small birds
6. Campania International Kosei Birdbath
For an avian feature in your zen or meditation garden, consider Campania International’s low-rise Kosei Birdbath.
The minimalist one-piece model consists of a square bowl atop a dentil-style four-footed pediment.
This is a substantial piece weighing 23 pounds. Overall dimensions are six by 12 by 12 inches.
The inside of the bowl measures 10 inches across with a depth of 1.75 inches. The pedestal is 3.25 inches tall.
Choose from a variety of hand-finished patinas that weather naturally, including Alpine Stone, Brownstone, Ferro Rustico, and Natural.
- Shallow depth for small birds
- Substantial weight resists tipping
- Unique style suited to small-space gardens
- Weathers naturally
- Heavy to get into place
- Winter storage best to prevent cracking
7. Crabby Nook Granite Birdbath
The Crabby Nook Granite Birdbath sits flat on the ground without a pedestal. Like a refreshing rain puddle on a summer’s day, it awaits discovery by foraging avian visitors to your home.
The diameter of this product is 15.5 inches and the height is 3.5 inches. The inside of the bowl measures 10 to 10.5 inches across with a depth of 1.5 to 2 inches.
The manufacturer notes that it’s possible to increase the depth another inch with a stone-cutting tool if desired, which would be too deep for most birds, but appropriate for filling to capacity with seed instead of water.
This is a substantial product weighing 55 pounds that you’ll want to set in place and leave permanently to become part of the outdoor living space surrounding it.
Three color options are available to complement your garden color scheme: Tan, Black Gray, and Southwestern Pink.
The overall shape is flower-like. A bamboo design adorns the scalloped sides and wide rims provide convenient and safe perching. This is an all-weather product that can remain outdoors year-round.
- Option to make basin deeper to convert permanently to seed use
- Suited to small spaces
- Year-round use outdoors; winter storage not required
8. One Allium Way Minford Birdbath
The aqua crackle-glazed ceramic basin of the Minford Birdbath by One Allium Way is an inviting beacon to feathered friends seeking refreshment.
An ample perching edge awaits those who arrive.
Notches on its underside enable you to lock the basin securely into a creamy-white hollow ceramic base that features filigree-style circular cutouts that let wind pass through, contributing to its stability.
Overall dimensions are 18.9 by 15.63 by 15.63 inches. The basin is 1.5 inches deep and it weighs 18.15 pounds.
A frost and UV-resistant glaze contributes to the product’s appearance and longevity. However, winter storage is best for ceramic products.
- Blue is an inviting color to numerous bird species
- Frost and UV-resistant glaze
- Generous perching edge
- Hollow, vented base reduces weight and wind resistance
- Interlocking basin and pedestal
- Shallow depth for smaller birds
- Hollow, lighter weight pedestal may topple more easily than a heavier model
- Winter storage advised
9. Smart Solar Country Gardens 2-Tier Solar-On-Demand Outdoor Fountain
The Smart Solar Country Gardens 2-Tier Solar-On-Demand Outdoor Fountain is an excellent green water feature for any garden, attracting birds, adding natural water sounds, and making use of solar power.
This fiberglass and resin product is a two-tiered solar fountain and birdbath in one, with an attractive faux weathered-stone finish accented by two realistic turtles.
It features a night mode option to run in day or evening – in the “off” position, the solar unit will charge the battery instead of running the fountain, and with the stored power the fountain can be turned on at night, for an added attraction to an evening garden soiree.
Weighing 38.5 pounds, the unit measures 32 by 21 by 21 inches and has patented Solar-on-Demand technology, which combines solar power with a battery backup.
The manufacturer offers a one-year limited warranty.
- Recycles water and holds 2 1/4 gallons in a hidden reservoir
- Maximizes water flow with solar/battery combination, switching from solar to battery beneath passing clouds
- Up to 6 hours of operation when fully charged
- Night mode option
- Solar feature can be turned off
- Use anywhere – no electricity needed
- Easy maintenance
- Consecutively cloudy days mean no water fountain, as there is no solar power to run the fountain or charge the battery
- Deep bowl depth not suitable for small birds
- Lightweight material may topple in wind
This model is also available via Amazon.
10. Union Rustic Vergas Leaf Birdbath
The Vergas Leaf Birdbath from Union Rustic attaches to a balcony or deck railing.
The deck mount allows you to position the copper leaf-shaped bath over the side of the railing, to prevent mess from dropping on your deck or patio.
The brass bowl has a bluish-green antique-style finish, and is 18 inches across with a depth of one and three-quarter inches. The wide edge makes it easy for birds to land, and it can be used as a feeder during the winter months.
The smooth interior can make traction difficult, so consider placing a few small, flat rocks in the bowl for more secure perching.
The black powder-coated wrought iron C-clamp won’t damage your railings, and it requires no screws or other hardware for installation. It is suitable for use on a three-inch-thick railing.
This model comes with a 90-day warranty, and its solid metal construction is durable, yet lightweight.
- Clamp won’t damage railings
- Keeps mess off your balcony or deck
- Ideal for small spaces
- Can also be used to hold seed in the winter months
- Smooth interior is easy to clean
- Clamp only fits a max 3-inch-thick railing
- Metal gets hot in sunny locations
- Metal generally discolors over time
- Smooth interior impedes traction
11. World Menagerie Eliakim Classic II Hammered Birdbath
The Eliakim Classic II Hammered Birdbath from World Menagerie is a beauty that works equally well as a standalone piece in a rock garden, or placed atop a stand.
Constructed from solid brass, and plated in copper with hammer marks around the rim, this five-pound basin measures 24 inches in diameter, with a depth of two inches.
This product comes with a 90-day warranty.
A robust metal stand with a graphite powder-coated finish is available separately, also from Wayfair.
- Rough inside for traction
- Adds a lustrous focal point to any garden
- Stands alone or on a stand
- Brass construction with copper plating will not rust
- Base stand not included
- Metal gets hot in sunny locations
- Metal usually discolors over time
Consider the following additional accessories to enhance your birdbath experience:
Birds Choice Stonecreek Rock Waterfall
The Birds Choice Stonecreek Rock Waterfall is an aerator that adds motion to water, giving the birds a relaxing spa treatment.
Moving water is also more likely to attract avian friends to the garden, and aeration also helps to keep the water clean and free of pests.
Constructed of fiberglass, this tan-colored electric faux granite waterfall weighs two pounds and measures seven by seven by five inches.
It requires one and a half inches of water to operate its 120 GPH recirculating pump. A filter and six-foot electrical cord are included.
- Moving water is natural-looking, and likely to attract more birds than still water
- The sound of natural water adds an element of serenity to your garden
- Water movement inhibits growth of bacteria and breeding of mosquitoes
- Easy to use
- Power source required
- Visible cord
K&H 9000 Ice Eliminator
The K&H 9000 Ice Eliminator (50-watt) makes winter water flow freely.
Comprised of an aluminum housing with a plastic and enamel finish, this thermostatically-controlled product de-ices birdbaths in temps to -20°F. It weighs 1.3 pounds and measures 7 x 3 x 1 inches.
This unit is MET Safety Listed, and the manufacturer offers a three-year warranty and a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
- Unit can be spray painted any color
- Blends naturally with birdbath
- Easy maintenance
- Won’t stain, calcify, or rust
- Won’t melt plastic
- Requires power source
Why Birds Need a Bath
Like us, nature’s avian species need water for drinking, bathing, and cooling down in warm weather.
They also enjoy basking in the sun’s rays. They’re ingenious creatures with a number of grooming tricks beneath their wings.
Did you know that they also bathe on wet leaves, in the rain, in dust, and even under blankets of ants?
That’s right. There are a variety of ways to rid feathers of excess oil, parasites, and bacteria.
And when you make your garden a welcoming place for the native species in your area, you’ll be able to enjoy observing their grooming habits at close range.
Have you ever heard a cacophony of chirping and singing and wondered where it was coming from?
I became interested in attracting birds to my yard the first spring I moved here. I awoke one morning to the sound of six clear and distinctly different tunes.
I couldn’t wait to get to work! I set up a thistle feeder, a black oil sunflower seed dispenser, and a birdbath. Then I waited.
The next time I heard the chattering, I looked out to see a dark gray male mockingbird perched in the garden, singing his heart out. All six songs were his! That’s when I was hooked.
A Brief History
Birdbaths trace their roots to the ornate sculptures displayed in European gardens at the turn of the last century, when the well-to-do relished lush gardens for pure pleasure.
This budding leisure class enjoyed an existence that was drastically different from that of the farmers of the world, who often went to great lengths to keep winged predators away from their properties and the crops planted there.
Around that time, a concrete company called Pulham & Sons offered ornate birdbaths in its catalogs in the 1920s and 30s, to the delight of both birds and birdwatchers.
They are considered to be one of the earliest manufacturers of such garden adornments.
While my forbears were raising crops on a Chester County farm, they didn’t encourage winged visitors to the fields.
But they did have a concrete basin on a pedestal on the formal house lawn, surrounded by decorative plantings of giant hostas, in elegant European style.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the Japanese were setting basins of water into their gardens, as well.
But not for the birds!
Stone basins called “chozubachi” are shallow rock basins that have their origins in 13th century Buddhist culture, and were originally for purification before entering sacred spaces.
It wasn’t long before chozubachi were all the rage among patrons of the arts.
Soon, a second water element began to feature prominently in Japanese gardens. “Shishi-odoshi” or “deer scare” originated with ancient farmers who needed to keep deer and wild boars away from their crops.
This ingeniously simple device uses gravity to make water trickle down a bamboo tube, and makes a clunking sound as it empties into a reservoir below.
It wasn’t long before shishi-odoshi made their way into ornamental gardens, to deter furry visitors.
Today, both are readily available as birdbaths, and I’ll bet they will attract a curious feathered fellow or two to your yard!
Types of Birdbaths
As you can see, birdbaths come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Right now, I have two.
The first is a basin and pedestal unit on a south-facing patch of lawn, surrounded by flowering perennial border gardens.
The second is a solid concrete piece on the shadier northeast side, near a dwarf weeping cherry tree and a pink-blossoming weigela bush.
In addition to concrete and terra cotta, you may like:
- Cast iron
- Cast stone
- Resin or plastic
- Repurposed materials, such as pie plates
- Mechanical or natural water features, such as fountains and ponds
- Original pieces carved from wood, stone, and metal
And as for styles, consider:
- One-piece standing
- Two-piece standing
- Manmade or naturally built in, like a concrete basin in a statue or wall, or the shallow depression of a stone in a rock garden
Don’t forget the accessories:
- Bubblers, aerators, and agitators
- Heaters – solar or electric
- Fountains and waterfalls
Water features create tranquil spaces in a landscape. A refreshing basin of water that glistens in the sun and ripples with a breeze makes me feel peaceful.
Trickling fountains add rhythm and atmosphere. Wouldn’t you love to fashion a garden retreat for yourself, while helping to sustain local wildlife?
From traditional to whimsical, there’s something for everyone!
Your selection will represent your unique sense of style. Now that we’ve reviewed a selection of our favorites, here are some quick tips to help you to choose which is right for you:
- If you have trees with low limbs, consider a hanging model.
- Concrete is heavy! Consider a basin and pedestal style for ease of transport and maintenance.
- Cast iron is also heavy, and may be difficult to move and clean. Purchase one that is copper-coated to inhibit rusting.
- Resin and plastic are affordable and portable. They won’t crack in winter, but can fade and deteriorate in extreme heat. Keep these full, as they may topple when empty.
- Glass basins add a delicate touch to any garden and attract tiny birds and butterflies, but they are fragile and slippery to clean.
- Measure your railing if you are looking for one for the deck, as widths vary.
- Make sure any mounted unit comes with the appropriate hardware for your surface. If you’re in a condo, make sure mountings are permitted, and be mindful of downstairs neighbors when tipping the basin for cleaning.
Where to Place Your Birdbath
Trying to figure out where you’ll place your new basin? First, learn what plants attract native birds, and incorporate them into your garden. Offer water nearby.
According to my go-to gardening reference, Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, available via Amazon, if you have perimeter plantings of thick native shrubs and trees – particularly those with fruit, like barberries – your avian population will increase dramatically.
Placing a water-filled basin on a lawn, a short flight from the perimeter with full view of any approaching predators, is ideal.
Near my backyard bath, I have a finch feeder filled with thistle seed. It hangs from a shepherd’s staff in a patch of coneflowers.
These tiny red-headed and bright yellow beauties love to stage on the flowers. They perch here and take turns bathing and eating.
In the fall, they eat every last seed from the dry, brown heads of the flowers, clinging to the swaying stems as they fill themselves for a long flight.
Imagine you’re flying back from winter vacation, and in desperate need of a cool drink and a shower.
From your lofty height, you see a glimmer. Cool! An island in a pond (i.e. a rock in a basin) and you come in for a landing.
Our friends on the wing like to see who else is at the pool and gauge the height of water before venturing in, so make sure to provide sloping sides, a reasonable depth of one to four inches of water, and maybe one or two rocky mounds.
Make sure the basin’s surface is somewhat rough, for good traction.
Provide a place to perch before, during, and after bathing. A nearby fence, shrub, or tree, and a rock or branch in the bath, are welcome comforts. They also provide places to fly to in the event that a quick getaway is needed.
Want some bubbles in that bath? With a mechanized aerator, your water will ripple and dance – attracting birds, discouraging mosquitoes, and captivating visitors to your garden.
Did you know that in addition to our beaked buddies, other wildlife may take advantage of a fresh water source?
If you have wildlife of the really wild kind – like foxes and raccoons – you may want to place units at a distance from your home, patio, and play areas.
Care and Maintenance
Because birdbaths bring a variety of animals together in a small area, a weekly rinse out with a vinegar solution is your best bet.
Well, that sparrow reminded me that it’s time to get ready. Provided there are no manufacturer’s instructions to the contrary on your model, I recommend the following solution for inexpensive and easy maintenance.
Here’s how I clean the watering holes at my house:
- 4 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- Clean scrub brush
- Water for rinsing
1. Mix the vinegar and water to make a disinfecting solution.
2. Rinse the inside of the basin with plain water, using a hose or bucket.
3. Pour in the disinfectant mixture and scrub vigorously to remove droppings, algae, and debris. Soak for 10 minutes.
4. Rinse thoroughly with plain water.
Now you’re ready to fill ‘er up!
Occasionally, I do a midweek spruce up, like after a storm that brings down twigs and leaves, or after a raucous time at the feeder brings a crowd to the bath.
An Environmentally Sound Investment
Did you know that the more plants you have, the more feathered fauna you’ll have; the more types of plants you have, the more types of birds you’ll have; and the more birds you have, the fewer insect pests you’ll have? That’s a mouthful from Mother Earth News.
Last spring, I had the privilege of watching a pair of robins raise their young right outside my back door.
Each day, the parents took turns bringing back insects to feed their six open-mouthed babies until they were so big, I thought the nest would burst. No bugs crawled under my back door that year.
Go inside your house, and look out a window. Do you see a place that might be a good spot to attract these fascinating creatures, for your family to watch?
Is it near a water source for frequent cleaning? Are there shrubs for staging? Some species like to perch with their wings outstretched, until they are dry enough to fly off. You’ll know the perfect spot when you see it.
First a birdbath, then a pair of binoculars, a bird guide, a growing list of birds you’ve seen so far kept in your gardening journal, and suddenly you have a new hobby!
Why not head out to the garden to find the perfect spot for your new backyard water feature? Get outside and make new friends – the feathered kind! What are you waiting for?
What feathered friends visit your garden? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to ask a question!
And while you are installing a bath, you might consider adding a few feeders in the same location. We cover all of our favorites here.
For more information about birds and other wildlife in your backyard, check out the following guides next: