Best Birdbaths

Updated July 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

24 Models Considered
0 Models Tested
15 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
100 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best birdbaths

Last Updated July 2019

If you enjoy taking care of your neighborhood birds, one of the best things you can do for them is place a birdbath in your yard.

Not only will it give you hours of entertainment watching your feathered friends, a birdbath will provide a place for them to drink and bathe. This is especially important if you don't live near a permanent body of fresh water, such as a river or a lake.

But with so many options available, how do you you pick the best birdbath? It can be tough to sort the wheat from the chaff, particularly if you're not yet sure which type is right for you.

If you want to buy a birdbath and aren’t sure which one to select, you’ve come to the right place. At BestReviews, we pride ourselves on creating fair and thorough product reviews. To do so, we test products in our labs and in real-world situations, gather feedback from existing customers, and consult experts.

Read on for our full guide to birdbaths. Then, when you’re ready to buy, head to the top of this page to see our product list featuring our five favorite products.

Your garden birds need water for drinking and bathing just as much as they need food. A well-placed birdbath will provide this for them.

Types of birdbaths

One of the primary decisions you’ll need to make is which type of birdbath you’d like to have. There are pedestal birdbaths, hanging birdbaths, ground-level birdbaths, and deck-mounted birdbaths.

Pedestal birdbaths

Pedestal birdbaths feature a bowl that sits on top of a pedestal, plinth, or even a specially designed stake in the ground.

Pros:

  • Pedestal birdbaths are raised up from ground level, which makes many types of garden birds feel safer and more likely to visit.

  • The elevated level of a pedestal birdbath helps deter cats and other predators who might otherwise stalk birds while they're bathing.


Cons:

  • A pedestal birdbath made of lightweight material could be blown over by the wind or knocked down by squirrels or large birds. Some people stake their pedestal birdbath to the ground to prevent this from happening.

  • You need to have a level spot in your yard in which to place a pedestal birdbath. Otherwise, it could tilt or tip over.
     

Price: Basic plastic or resin pedestal birdbaths start at $20 to $30, while highly decorated ceramic models can cost $100 to $200.

If it's possible to remove the bowl of a pedestal birdbath from its plinth, you’ll have an easier time cleaning it. If you opt for a birdbath with a removable bowl, we recommend one that locks into place on the pedestal.

Hanging birdbaths

Hanging birdbaths are fitted with a chain and hook and can be hung from a tree or a special stand.

Pros:

  • Hanging birdbaths tend to be fairly compact and inexpensive.

  • Some types of birds prefer hanging birdbaths that are suspended from a branch. The close proximity to a tree helps birds feel safer.

  • You can find some very attractive hanging birdbaths.


Cons:

  • Hanging birdbaths tend to be quite small, so fewer birds can use them at once.

  • If placed in a tree, a hanging birdbath may collect a lot of fallen leaves. As such, it may require frequent cleaning.
     

Price: Small, basic hanging birdbaths can cost as little as $10 or $20. Large, ornate hanging birdbaths are also quite affordable, rarely exceeding $50 or $60.

Many small birds prefer a bath that is placed at least a few feet off the ground; this gives them a better field of view. Larger birds tend to be more comfortable drinking and bathing at ground level.

Ground birdbaths

Ground birdbaths are essentially bowls that are placed directly on the ground, without any sort of stand.

Pros:

  • Ground baths are great for attracting larger birds, such as doves or crows, as they generally prefer bathing on the ground.

  • Ground bird-baths don't require any kind of stand, so there's no chance of anything falling off or tipping over.


Cons:

  • Birds are more vulnerable to predators when bathing at ground level.


Price: Most ground birdbaths cost between $20 and $70. The price depends heavily on extra features, size, and design.  

Add rocks of different sizes to your birdbath to provide places for birds to sit and rest and to create shallower areas for smaller birds to enjoy.

Deck-mounted birdbaths

Deck-mounted birdbaths attach to a clamp that screws onto the top of a railing.

Pros:

  • Deck-mounted birdbaths are generally very sturdy and stable.

  • A deck is a comfortable and convenient place for humans to sit and watch birds.
     

Cons:

  • Cats can easily jump onto the railing of a deck and walk along it to get to the birds.


Price: Small deck-mounted birdbaths start at around $20, whereas large, heated models can cost in excess of $100.

EXPERT TIP

Are you interested in a heated birdbath? You can find pedestal, ground, and deck-mounted birdbaths that have heat. The water in a heated birdbath won't turn to ice in freezing temperatures, which is when birds are most in need of a reliable water source.


Staff  | BestReviews

Questions to ask before buying a birdbath

If you have a potential purchase in mind, you may appreciate knowing the answers to these questions before you buy the bird bath.

What is the birdbath made of?

Birdbaths are made of a range of materials, including ceramic, plastic, metal, and glass.

  • Ceramic birdbaths are heavy, stable, and durable. However, unglazed ceramics are hard to keep clean, and they can be expensive.

  • Plastic or plastic resin birdbaths are inexpensive, easy to clean, and may feature intricate molding. On the downside, they're not very durable; the resin may crack in freezing temperatures. Furthermore, they are so lightweight that they easily blow over in the wind.

  • Metal birdbaths are durable and attractive. If the finish is too smooth, however, there may not be much grip or traction for visiting birds.

  • Glass birdbaths are nonporous and easy to wipe clean. However, they can break easily if they fall, and they can get slippery.

If the bottom of your birdbath gets slippery, it might not provide enough grip for the birds who use it. You can remedy this by adding a thin layer of fine gravel to the bottom of your birdbath. Just make sure the gravel is clean and hasn't been chemically treated.

How deep is the birdbath?

Birds only need to be partially submerged while bathing, so your birdbath shouldn't be too deep. Smaller birds – sparrow, finches, cardinals – prefer baths with a depth of just one to two inches. Larger birds prefer a depth of three to four inches.

If you want to attract a wide range of birds, you can find birdbaths with areas of different depths, or you can place rocks in the water to create shallower areas.

Empty and clean your birdbath at least once a week. Avoid using household cleaners, as they may contain chemicals that are dangerous to birds. You can buy cleaning products specially designed for cleaning birdbaths and bird tables.

How big is the birdbath?

Some birdbaths are larger than others. The size you choose may depend on how many feathered visitors you regularly get, the size of your yard, or your personal preference. A large birdbath can be used by more birds at the same time, whereas a more compact model may only accommodate one large bird or a few small ones.

Ornate carving or molding might look nice on a birdbath, but it can be hard to keep clean compared to a simple, smooth basin.

Do you like the style of the birdbath?

Birdbaths vary in style from plain to ornate, and from vintage-style to modern. Choose one that you like the look of and that's in keeping with the size and style of your yard. Style might not be the most important factor, of course; your main objective is to keep your feathered friends happy. But you should still choose a birdbath that you will like looking at.

EXPERT TIP

Change the water in your birdbath every two to four days.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Choose a birdbath that's easy to clean. Regular cleaning is essential to remove bacteria and avoid the spread of disease between your avian visitors.

  • Choose a birdbath with texture. Your birdbath should have a bit of texture to it so your feathered friends can have good traction on the bath’s surface.

  • If you live in a cold climate, consider a heated birdbath. Your feathered friends can enjoy this type of bath year round.

  • If you live in a warm climate, consider a large birdbath. A birdbath that holds more water will not evaporate as quickly as a smaller birdbath.
Most birds prefer baths that have a shallow slope down to full depth so they can wade in the water.

FAQ

Q. Will a birdbath attract more birds to my yard?
A.
It might take some time for local birds to discover your new watering hole, but ultimately, it will attract more birds to your yard –  and likely other species, too. Water can be in short supply both in summer and winter, so your birdbath could save lives.

Q. Are there any useful accessories I can buy for my birdbath?
A.
If you don't have a heated birdbath, you can purchase a small water heater designed for use in birdbaths that's invaluable in freezing temperatures. You can also buy pumps and drippers that add some motion to the water; this helps attract birds and discourages insects, such as mosquitoes, from laying eggs in the water. Finally, you can get a mister for your birdbath. A mister sprays a fine mist of water; some bird species, notably hummingbirds, can't seem to get enough of it.

Q. Where should I position my birdbath?
A.
Think carefully about where you place your birdbath. The idea is to attract more birds to it while helping keep them safe. Generally, birds feel safer with some cover nearby, so you should position your birdbath fairly close to some bushes, shrubs, or trees to encourage use. However, cats can take advantage of this cover to stalk birds while they bathe and drink. Therefore, you shouldn't position the birdbath too close to any bushes.

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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