Heated Bird Bath For Winter
Heated bird baths are essential for anyone who loves to bird watch all year around. They keep the water from freezing during the hard long cold winter months. And not to mention, It keeps you from having to go out there every morning, afternoon and before dark to break the ice from the water freezing up or clearing off the snow. Heated bird baths are a win-win! So, with all that in mind, I researched what the best-heated bird baths are so you don’t have to burn up money to figure it out yourself, plus I really love bird watching. Below are my 2 picks.
Best Heated Bird Bath
I’ll start with my favorite one first. A lot of bird enthusiasts (and me) really like the API 600 20-Inch Diameter Heated Bird Bath Bowl (link to Amazon). You’ll love the fact that it has a bigger size basin to fill with water. More water means fewer times you have to refill because of evaporation ( I didn’t think water evaporated in winter, I was wrong). Plus, it makes it tougher/impossible to freeze completely up. It comes with different types of brackets, so you can attach it to your deck or railing or whatever. This doesn’t come with a stand so the brackets will come in handy.
The rim of the basin is perfect for birds to get a solid grip so, theirs no risk of them falling in the water or getting hurt in any way. There isn’t much not to like. You’re going to need an extension cord. Quick Tip: Use a freezer bag to cover the ends that’ll be laying in snow or getting rained on, make sure to duct tape the bag so water doesn’t get in and you should be fine. Also, check out the reviews about it on Amazon. You’ll see I’m not the only one who loves this bird bath!
Second Favorite Bird Bath
This heated birdbath is the cheapest of the three and is an excellent choice. Its the Farm Innovators BD-60 75-Watt Bird Bath (link to Amazon). It comes with 3 different setups. Either a clamp mount, deck mount or ground mount. The choices are yours. Personally, I use the ground mount. In my experience, birds feel safer using a bird bath if its low to the ground. It’s thermostatically controlled, in other words, it’ll only start heating up the water when the temperature is below freezing, which is pretty the purpose of a heated bird bath. This sucker can keep the water from freezing up to -20 degrees! I have read online that some people say it works up to -35 degrees. Can’t ask for more than that! It has a cord you can hide away so you can use it in the spring and summer. This birdbath won’t rust either because it’s powder coated and above everything else, its super easy to install.
There are a couple of things about this bird bath that could be problematic. The first thing is, it has a short cord so, depending on where you place it you’ll need an extension cord. The second thing is, the basin is shallow so depending on how many birds show up and the humidity level (evaporation) you might have to fill it up a few more times than the others. But, other than those 2 things, its a really good heated bird bath.
Features to look for in Heated Bird Baths
- Thermostatically Controlled- With this, it turns only when it’s below freezing, which saves you on the electric bill.
- Corrosion Resistant- Get one that is that is powder coated, that it’ll last a long time.
- Rated to -20 degrees F- or even lower, that will be really important in winter depending on where you live and how hard your winters are.
- Hidden Cord- Or at least one that can be hidden/tucked away. That’ll be a plus in the months when you don’t need it plugged in. It’s not super important to have one like that but, it’s a nice touch.
Solar Heated Bird Bath?
Well, to be completely honest and open with you, I haven’t been able to find a good one. They are a ton of solar bird baths out there and I tried the ones with good reviews but, none of them can come close to the 2 I mentioned above, their basically like an insulated cup and that sucks! The idea of not using electricity to power a heated bird bath is a nice one but, in my opinion, you’re better off with an electric one.
I think a better idea would be one that is a wind-powered heated bird bath. It’s much, much easier to “harvest” wind during the winter time than it is solar because of the fewer hours in the day. And that cold winter wind can blow a whole night long.
Tips for Heated Bird Baths
There are quite a few different things you can do to get a lot more birds to your heated birdbath and also to make sure they all get a good enough amount of water each and every time they visit no matter how cold it is outside.
- Dark Basin- A dark-coloured basin will more heat from the sun during sunny winter days and help keep the water from freezing and it’ll help you save on electric. It is also a lot easier for birds to see it when there is snow on the ground.
- Read Instructions- Make sure to read all the instructions that come along with it. It makes life easier!
- Know When To Put It Outside- What I do is, put it out when the first frost of fall has hit and keep it out until you can safely assume the threat of frost is over in early spring. If its thermostat controlled, you won’t have any worries of it being on when it doesn’t need to be.
- Keep It In The Sun- This should be obvious. In the sun, it will help the water not freeze and save on the electric, as mentioned before.
- Cleaning- Keep the water fresh so that mineral deposits don’t screw up your heater from working properly. Once or twice a week you should clean it (my opinion).
- Clear Off Snow- Keep the snow off your heated bird bath. That way your backyard friends can use the top of the basin as a perch and be able to drink the water safely. You can brush the snow in the basin, It will melt and be fine for your birds to drink.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
A heated bird bath can be easily damaged if not used in the proper way. With these few tips, you can keep your birdbath safe for you and your backyard friends!
- Never use your heated bird bath without putting water in it first! Running it without water can damage the element and/or wear it out quicker than using it with water in. It can also cause the basin to warp and become deformed. So keep a close eye on it when you’re using it and keep water in it and don’t let it get empty!
- Never add any kind of antifreeze, salt or any other kind of chemicals (yes I know a few people that did that!) It will harm the birds that drink from it, might even kill them!
- Make sure to use extension cords that can be outside and exposed to the elements of mother nature.
Ok, so there you have it! I have told you my 2 favourite heated bird baths and tips on how to safely use them. I highly recommend to get yourself a heated bird bath for your backyard friends, they’ll highly appreciate it! You will too when you see the birds getting a drink. It makes you feel good to know you helped them out! It’s the little things, right? 🙂