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How To Attract Birds To a Bird Bath (10 Proven Methods That Work)

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Sparrow Bird Bath

As a bird lover, you’ve probably added things to your yard, such as feeders, to attract plenty of beautiful birds. You might’ve even put in a bird bath or two to get more birds to hang around. But what can you do if you’ve installed a bird bath, yet no birds are showing up to use it?

There’s a chance you might’ve installed a bird bath that’s difficult to use—those concrete ones that double as lawn decorations can be too deep, while glazed baths can be slippery. If that isn’t the case, though, it might just be a matter of the bird bath being in a less than ideal location or not being tempting enough.

But never fear! There are several ways you can attract more birds to your bird bath. Have a look at these 10 proven methods that work to entice your neighborhood friends to stop by your yard more often.

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Top 10 Proven Methods That Attract Birds To a Bird Bath

Two Sparrow Bird Bath
Image Credit: aitoff, Pixabay

Ready to have more birds in your yard? Then use one or more of these methods to increase the chances of birds coming to use your bird bath!

1. Avoid Having the Bath Too High

Birds may not be attracted to your bird bath because it’s too high. Think about where birds find water in the wild; it’s usually on the ground, right? Having a bird bath closer to the ground—such as a basin on a block—could have more birds coming around.

2. Bird-Friendly Landscape

Don’t just make your bird bath more attractive to birds—make your entire yard bird-friendly by planting things that entice them! Planting more native plants in your yard offers more food choices and shelter for any birds that fly by. Plus, adding native plants to your yard will help you out as well. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it can enable you to save money and time. It’s a win-win all around!

Bird in Bird Bath
Image Credit: Ralphs_Fotos, Pixabay

3. Keep It Clean

If every time you stopped by a friend’s house, all they had to offer you was dirty water to drink, you might not want to visit them again! The same applies to birds and your bird bath. Birds can get messy, which means your bath will end up with poop and feathers in it (along with things such as bugs or leaves). If you don’t clean it often enough, the water will be unsanitary. Plus, it can lead to algae growing and an influx of mosquitoes.

Ensure you’re changing out the water in your bird bath every couple of days to keep it clean. And when algae show up, be prepared to scrub your bird bath out with a stiff-bristled brush and a good cleaner (just remember to rinse well before putting fresh water in!).

4. Water Depth

If the water in your bird bath is too deep, you won’t have many birds stopping by to use it. Birds prefer shallow water for bathing, so keep the amount of water to 2 inches or less.

5. Provide Good Footing

Many bird baths are made of material that’s slippery when wet, which can make birds feel vulnerable while they’re bathing. If this is the issue with your bird bath, it’s simple enough to fix the issue. Just add some large stones or a bit of pea gravel to the bottom of the bird bath basin so birds have better footing during bath time.

Bird Bath
Image Credit By: HelgaKa, Pixabay

6. Location Is Key

As we stated previously, bird baths that are closer to the ground can be more attractive to birds since they resemble where a bird would find water in nature. That’s only one part of the location equation, though. Birds also need to be safe from predators, like outdoor cats. That means placing your bird bath in a space that’s open enough for them to keep an eye on things but near enough to shrubs or trees so they can escape if needed.

And speaking of trees—birds use the bird bath during summer to cool off, so placing your bird bath in a shady spot will keep the water cooler than it would be if it were directly in the sun.

7. Moving Water

Birds are quite fond of the sight and sound of moving water, so if you want to attract a flock to your bird bath, this is one of the best methods. Water that moves catches the sunlight and sparkles, catching a bird’s attention. You can accomplish moving water in a few ways—with a mister turned on low, a built-in recirculatingpump, or by installing a fountain.

Bonus? Mosquitoes reproduce in water that is still or nearly still, so this should prevent swarms of them from appearing.

Bird having a Bath
Image Credit By: DenisDoukhan, Pixabay

8. Create Perches

Birds aren’t just fans of bathing; they’re fans of perching, too. Having a perch on the side of your bird bath or close by will make it easier for birds to land when coming to use the bath. Plus, birds can use a perch to ensure there is no danger lurking around. Don’t put the perch directly over the bird bath, though, as birds will be more likely to use it as a perch for pooping.

9. Nest Boxes

If you really want to entice birds to your yard and bird bath, installing a few nest boxes is a fabulous way to do so. Nest boxes give birds a safe place during the winter months and, as the name suggests, raise the chances of them nesting in your yard and sticking around for a longer time. You can purchase nest boxes or easily make your own!

Bird Bath
Image Credit By: GeorgeB2, Pixabay

10. Keep Your Bird Bath Open Year-Round

Water is just as important to birds in the winter as it is in other seasons, so having a bird bath that’s usable year-round will undoubtedly draw more birds to your yard. However, if you live somewhere exceptionally cold in winter, there could be issues with water freezing. You can avoid this by using a water heater that is temperature-controlled to keep the water in your bird bath as water instead of ice.hummingbird divider

In Conclusion

If you’ve been having difficulty getting birds to use your bird bath, trying one or more of these methods will help attract more birds. You may have to do a little work by moving the bird bath to a new location, planting things in your yard that will be attractive to birds, or even building nest boxes, but it will be worth your while! Using these methods should turn your bird bath into a favorite place for your local birds in no time.  

Featured Image Credit: Ralphs_Fotos, Pixabay

About the Author Misty Layne

Misty Layne lives out in the woods in small-town Alabama with her two cats. She also has an array of stray cats, raccoons, and possums who like to call her front porch home. When she’s not writing about animals, you’ll find her writing poetry, stories, and film reviews and is excited to share her knowledge with you all. In her free time, Misty enjoys chilling with her cats, playing piano, watching indie and foreign films.