A heated bird bath is an excellent opportunity to attract wild birds—including the non-seed eaters— to your backyard during winter!
Why heat bird baths? Because there are good benefits for both you, your birds, and sometimes even your bird bath itself, for keeping your bird bath ice-free.
Why heated bird baths benefit birds
For your backyard birds, it means a reliable, un-frozen water source for their drinking and bathing. All birds need water year round, but winter presents further challenges. See Wild Birds, Winter and Water for why water is critical for wild bird survival during cold, freezing weather.
Why heating your bird bath this winter benefits you and your family
For you and your family, it means a great opportunity to attract birds to your back yard that you’ll likely never tempt with your seed feeders. Having a popular, heated bird bath right outside your window during a freezing, gloomy winter day can be a source of joy for the whole family. See how much a variety of birds appreciate the heated bath in this video!
Steady heat in your ceramic or concrete bird bath over winter protects your investment.
Winterizing your bird bath protects it from cracking during the expansion and contraction of water as it freezes, thaws and repeats all winter long. It’s a quiet destructive force that you may not notice until too late. That’s why we recommend putting a treasured bird bath in your garage over winter, if you’re not planning to keep it heated.
In summary, this is why we should heat bird baths: Heated baths and de-icers are indispensable to help you protect your bird bath, maintain your backyard bird habitat and continue supporting your local birds when temperatures are below freezing.
How hot does a bird bath need to be?
The Backyard Naturalist is letting you in on a little secret… We’re not talking about installing bird jacuzzis here. This is key: For you, your bird bath and your backyard birds, it’s simply about water sources that do not ice over. And there are several options for insuring your bird bath stays ice-free, no matter what budget you have.
The Backyard Naturalist recommends:
Winterize your bird bath! Add a de-icer.
Have a bird bath already? Add a de-icer. If your bird bath is made of concrete or ceramic, our area’s winter weather patterns of ‘freeze and thaw’ can cause cracks that will destroy it over time. So, to prevent cracking, place a de-icer in your bird bath top or you will need to put it away for the winter to protect it.
Substitute with a bird bath made of sturdy plastic, granite or metal. You will still need a de-icer to keep water unfrozen and accessible to the birds. We recommend the ‘Heated Rock De-Icer’. It has a thermostat and activates when temperatures drop.
Choose an all-season bird bath with an integrated heater!
A pedestal bird bath with an integrated self-regulating, thermostatically controlled heater is a practical addition to your backyard winter landscape and a great gift for all bird lovers of all ages!
Bring the action CLOSER when you’re stuck inside during a dreary winter day. We have definite favorites, including deck-mounted, pole mounted and hanging heated bird bath designs that offer flexibility in placement. Stop by the store and we will help you find the best option for your backyard and budget.
See our Heated Bird Baths & De-Icers product page for specific info on our go-to, most recommended products.