Have you just purchased a new bird bath but you’re now sure where to put it? Knowing where to put a bird bath is essential for attracting birds but also keeping them safe and healthy in your yard.
The best place to put your bird bath is in an area that is both appealing to you and the birds. A shaded area is ideal as the birds will enjoy cool fresh water to drink and bathe. Close to a branch is perfect for protection. Keep your bird bath around 6 to 10 feet away from thick shrubbery where a predator can hide and attack the birds. Place your bird bath on a stable surface to prevent it from tipping over.
The trouble is all yards are different.
You probably still can’t decide exactly where to place your bath.
The good news is that I can help you with that.
This guide will take you through all the different factors you need to consider before you set up your bird bath. We’ll also look at why the wrong placement can hurt your bird visitors. Plus I’ll go through some of the most frequently asked questions I get on bath placement.
Then let’s get to it.
Where To Put A Bird Bath
There are 9 different factors that you need to consider before you decide on a place to put your bird bath. You may not be able to find the perfect solution that meets all these points. Bird health and safety should be paramount to your choice.
Let’s go through each one and as we do, consider features in your own yard that may affect your choice.
1. Visual Appeal
The first thing you need to do is consider all the places in your yard where you would see the bird bath.
There is no point in spending time searching got the right place to put your birdbath if you can’t enjoy watching them, right?
Yet, do try to give the birds some privacy where they won’t be disturbed. You don’t want to place our birdbath near a path that you or your neighbors use frequently.
The other thing you have to consider is placing it somewhere that the birds will be able to see the bath. After all, if they can’t see it then they won’t know to use it.
The type of bird bath you choose will effect where you can place it.
A large or heavy bird bath made from materials such as concrete or stone is not easy to move once they are in place. These types of baths don’t do so well in winter weather, so you’ll want to choose a place that isn’t completely exposed to the winter weather.
A small, light bird bath made from lighter materials such as plastic is a lot easier to move around the yard. However, they are more prone to be knocked over if too exposed to windy conditions.
You’ll need to consider what type of weather your bath will be exposed to.
If you live in a southern state, you’re going to get extremely hot weather in the summer. Placing your bird bath in a shady area provides cool water for the birds. The shade will also help to slow the growth of algae in the bath.
If you live in a northern state you’re going to get very cold winters. You’ll need to take extra care of your bird bath in winter to prevent it from freezing over or breaking.
Your bird bath needs to be placed on a stable and level surface to prevent it from tipping or spilling. Of course, birds likely won’t’ cause it to topple. But consider your bird baths exposure to larger animals like raccoons, strong winds, or curious children.
If you find the perfect place but its uneven ground, you may need to use stones, decking, or a weighted platform to keep the bird bath stable.
Some lighter bird baths use pegs or can be weighed down by filling the pedestal with sand or stones.
5. Clean and Clear
Choosing the right place for your bird bath will help to cut down on a lot of the maintenance you need to do.
Try not to place your bath too near a tree or shrub that sheds lots of pines, leaves, flowers, fruits, or berries. You’ll constantly be picking these decaying pieces of plants out of the water. Plus algae grows quickly on bird baths placed under trees.
Don’t place your bath underneath or very close to your feeders. You’ll end up with lots of waste seed in the water.
Also consider how close your bird bath is to things like flowers, kid’s toys, or pet items. These are all vulnerable to bird poop which can carry disease.
6. Filling up
You’ll need to clean and refill your bath regularly.
A good hose is best to use as it can blast away a lot of the muck in your bath, then easily fill it up.
Position your bird bath close to or within reach of your hose attachment. This will make maintaining your bath so much easier.
If you don’t intend to use a hose, don’t position your bath too far away. Carrying several buckets of water back and forth to clean and fill will be a pain for you.
Your bird bath may have a special feature built-in that requires you to place it in a specific area of your yard.
Anything that requires solar energy will work best if it’s placed in direct sunlight.
You may have electrical light or a water feature as part of your bird bath. That means you’ll need to place it near a safe, weatherproof outdoor electrical source. This will keep both you and the bird safe from any risk of electric shock.
Watching birds frolicking in a bath outside of your window sound ideal right?
And I would agree, but consider this first.
Birds are very messy, so you’re going to constantly be cleaning watermarks and bird poop away from your windows.
A more serious point is that birds feel vulnerable when they are bathing. This makes them easy to startle. Reflection or movement at the window may panic a bird and cause a window collision.
The environment near a bird bath is essential for attracting them.
They will easily flock to a place that has good visibility but with a little bit of shelter nearby where they can run for cover if startled.
Try to make sure these hiding spots are at least 6-10 feet away from the bath. Cats can take cover and pounce on unsuspecting birds.
Close-by branches provide a great place to preen themselves after being in the water.
Poorly Positioned Bird Baths
Don’t be fooled into thinking that any bird bath is better than none.
The first rule of birdwatching is to do no harm to the birds.
A poorly positioned bird bath can easily cause you to invite three of the 4 most deadly threats to backyard birds including:
- Dirty baths causing disease
- Window collisions
- Predator attacks
Taking the time to carefully consider the position reduces the birds risk of being hurt or killed by your visiting bird bath.
Bird Bath Position FAQ
Should bird baths be in the sun or shade?
A bird bath without any solar features should be placed in a slightly shady area. The shade will keep the water cool, fresh and reduce bacterial and algae growth. A bath that has solar features should be placed in the sun to work best.
Can I place my bird bath near plants?
Your bird bath can be placed near plants that enjoy a slightly more acidic soil pH. Bird droppings will result in acidic conditions for the plants. It’s likely they won’t grow or die off if the conditions become too acidic.
Placing a birdbath nearby can also help you to keep down water usage as the plants will get splashes from the birds.
How can I attract more birds to my bird bath?
The best way to attract birds to your bird bath is to make them feel as safe as possible. Location is key to that. Providing shelter and areas to preen will be a big help.
Keeping yourbath filled around 2 inches deep is ideal. You can add river pebbles to deeper baths to provide a little bay area for the smaller birds to feel safe.
You can also attract birds by using clever gadgets (Like this one) which keep the water surface moving or bubbling.
Another way to attract more birds is to try moving your bath to a different spot in the yard. Give it around 4-7 days between moves. You’ll be sure to stumble on a spot that’s a hit with the birds.
I’m hoping now that you’ve read this guide you have a better idea of where to put your bird bath.
Remember to try and keep it slightly shaded, clean, and with areas of protection to keep the bird safe.
Once you find that perfect place you’ll be so much enjoyment from watching the bird come back every day to enjoy your birdbath.
Let me know in the comment below where you’ll be placing your bird bath.
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