Tips on Choosing the Right Bird Bath

We’ve had a fantastic spring in zone 5a this year, as temperatures have remained relatively normal.  However, we really haven’t received much rain. Sure we get the occasional overnight downpour, but from what I see we’re drying out fast.  One thing I’ve noticed is that the birds have been playing & bathing in the few leftover puddles I have in the deepest parts of my yard.  We’re supposed to have temps in the 80’s, with very little rain this week so I’m thinking those puddles are going to dry up quick. 

That said I got to thinking maybe I should buy a couple of bird baths.  If you frequent the blog you know that we’ve recently acquired our house so things like birdbaths are on a long list of “needed” items.  So I’ve been doing some research to see what kind of bird bath I should buy, and I thought it might make a nice blog post for anyone else in my situation.  So I’ve outlined below what I felt were some of the most important factors to think about…

  • Size: Smaller baths are less expensive yes, but won’t accommodate as many birds. A bath with a larger diameter is best if you’re aim is to attract a large backyard flock.
  • Depth: A depth of 1-2 inches is ideal for both drinking and bathing.  That depth will also allow smaller birds to feel comfortable using the bath.  However, you can buy a couple baths for different sized birds, and if you really find a deep bath you like add rocks or pebbles to make it shallower.
  • Material: Bird baths are made from a multitude of materials, including concrete, plastic, stone, metal, and glass. Be sure to choose the best bird bath material for your climate that will also be durable enough for your backyard birds.  For example, I made sure to keep in mind that we endure freezing temps here in zone 5a, so I crossed all plastic or glass baths off my list.
  • Climate: If you have long, freezing winters and you plan on leaving the bath outdoors, you may want a bird bath that has a built in heater. In warmer areas, you may want a larger or deeper bath that won't require refilling as frequently when the water evaporates.
  • Cleaning: To keep your backyard birds healthy, you will need to clean the bird bath regularly. Choose a design that will be easy to wipe off and scrub.
  • Design: A bird bath may be necessary for the birds, but it is also a decorative item in your yard or garden. Be sure to choose a design that matches your outdoor décor.

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