11 of the Best Birdbaths: Your Guide to Water Features for Your Feathered Friends

Are you looking for a decorative addition to your property? A birdbath is a great choice that’s pretty, functional, and fun.

When spring arrives in my corner of Pennsylvania, I’m surrounded by woodpeckers, warblers, and finches – their hammering, singing, mating, and nesting is in full swing.

One particularly warm afternoon, I was daydreaming in my back garden when I was scolded by a feisty house sparrow.

A vertical close up picture of a bird looking at its reflection in water, on a soft focus background. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white text.

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He perched on the edge of an empty birdbath, telling me in no uncertain terms that there should be water in it.

Birdbaths are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit any garden, no matter the size – from small rail-mounted options to large solar-powered fountains.

With plenty of choices available, you can find the perfect backyard bath for your feathered friends. Let’s dive right in. The birds are waiting!

Here’s the lineup:

As a bonus, we have included several accessories you might like to add. And we also have some useful information for you about how to choose a suitable model and where to locate it in your yard, plus our handy maintenance tips.

1. Athena Garden Cast Stone Large Octagon Birdbath

The Athena Garden Cast Stone Large Octagon Birdbath is a real powerhouse, and it’s a great choice that combines form and function.

Sturdy and stable, this traditional style is crafted from glass-fiber reinforced concrete construction and is made in the USA.

A close up of the Athena Garden Cast Iron Octagon Bird Bath, set in the garden with flowers in the background.

Athena Garden Cast Stone Large Octagon Birdbath

Weighing in at 45 pounds, it’s a one-piece standing basin-on-pedestal with hand wrought architectural details.

Measuring 15 x 15 x 21 inches with a 2-inch depth, this model comes in eight decorative colors and is sure to become a focal point in your garden.


  • Rough inside for traction
  • Solid and stable
  • Shallow depth appropriate for small birds
  • Ample rim for perching
  • Light color minimizes water temperature increases
  • Easy to sanitize


  • Heavy to tote
  • Requires heating element for winter use

Check prices and read customer reviews at Walmart now.

2. Henri Studio Squirrel Birdbath

The Squirrel Birdbath from Henri Studio is a unique piece, ideal for tucking into a woodland setting or nestled amongst foliage.

Handcrafted from cast stone, and proudly made in the USA, it is finished to look as though it’s carved from wood. A cute squirrel sits on top of the bowl, looking into the water.

It ships in two parts, and the bowl is a little bit too shallow to add a fountain. The heavyweight cast stone may crack in very cold temperatures.

A close up of a cast stone bird bath made to look as though it is carved from wood, set in a garden border.

Henri Studio Squirrel Birdbath

Weighing in at 97 pounds, this is a heavy-duty model that won’t be blown over by the wind. The pedestal is 29 x 9 x 11 inches, and the bowl is 3 x 17 x 9 inches, with a water depth of 1 1/2 inches.

You can register your product with the manufacturer for a 1-year warranty.


  • Elegant, sculpted piece naturally blends into the landscape
  • Wide bowl provides plenty of room for your feathered friends
  • Smooth interior is easy to clean


  • Will need winter protection
  • Too shallow for use with a fountain

See customer reviews and check prices now at Wayfair.

3. Garden Songbird Handpainted Locking Birdbath

The Garden Songbird Handpainted Locking Birdbath by Burley Clay is proudly made in the USA.

A close up of a hand painted garden pedestal on a white background.

Garden Songbird Handpainted Locking Birdbath by Burley Clay

Made of clay, this two-piece standing basin-on-pedestal weighs 27 pounds and measures 22.5 x 17 x 3.5 inches. Its hollow base allows it to be easily moved around.

Tastefully appointed with handpainted birds in a matte finish, this model will add a touch of color to your landscape.


  • Rough inside for traction
  • Two pieces, for easy toting
  • Can invert the top to store outdoors in winter
  • Light color minimizes water temperature increases
  • Easy to sanitize


  • Requires heating element for winter use

Check prices and read customer reviews on Wayfair now.

4. Cast Iron Mini Birdbath with Bracket

GSM’s Cast Iron Birdbath with Bracket is a unique model that mounts on a window frame or post.

Constructed from solid cast iron, this is a multi-piece fluted basin with an open-work bracket that includes a hook for hanging a plant.

Cast Iron Mini Birdbath with Bracket

Weighing 4.9 pounds, the unit measures 9.75 x 11.25 x 8 inches with an internal diameter of 6 inches, and sports a cast iron bird that poses naturally on the basin’s edge.


  • Rough inside for traction
  • Small and attractive
  • Garden not required – attaches to window frame or post
  • Can be filled with seed instead of water in winter


  • Installation required
  • Prone to rust
  • Small basins evaporate rapidly
  • Dark colors and metal may increase water temperature
  • Maintenance of cast iron required, in addition to proper sanitization

Check prices and read customer reviews on Amazon now.

5. Gardman Glazed Ceramic Hanging Birdbath

The Gardman Glazed Ceramic hanging Birdbath/Feeder suspends from chains above your garden.

This lovely molded ceramic model can be filled with water or seed. Glazed dark blue inside, it has a natural matte exterior with a charming raised bird motif.

Gardman Glazed Ceramic Hanging Birdbath/Feeder

Weighing only 4.8 pounds, the unit measures 2.75 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches, and hangs via S-hooks from three galvanized steel chains.


  • Suspends easily from a tree, wall bracket, or feeding station
  • Shallow depth is good for smaller birds
  • Easy to sanitize the basin


  • Smooth inside inhibits traction
  • Small basins evaporate rapidly
  • Dark colors may increase water temperature
  • Requires maintenance of galvanized chain

Check prices and read more customer reviews on Amazon now.

6. World Menagerie Eliakim Classic II Hammered Birdbath

The Eliakim Classic II Hammered Birdbath from World Menagerie is a beauty that works equally well as a standalone piece in a rock garden, or placed atop a stand.

A close up of a copper plate mounted on a stand and filled with water set in the garden.

Eliakim Classic II Hammered Birdbath

Constructed from solid brass, and plated in copper with hammer marks around the rim, this 5-pound basin measures 24 inches in diameter, with a depth of 2 inches. This product comes with a 90-day warranty.

A robust metal stand with a graphite powder-coated finish is available separately, also from Wayfair.


  • Rough inside for traction
  • Adds a lustrous focal point to any garden
  • Stands alone or on a stand
  • Brass construction with copper plating will not rust


  • Base stand not included
  • Metal may increase water temperature
  • Maintenance of metal required, in addition to basin sanitizing

Check prices and read customer reviews on Wayfair now.

7. Alpine Corporation Blue Green Birdbath

The Alpine Corporation Blue-Green Bird Bath is made of sturdy glass, suitable for rock garden placement.

A close up of a shimmering blue-green glass bird bath with ridged interior.

Alpine Corporation Blue-Green Birdbath

At 1.2 pounds, this scallop-ridged blue-green glass basin is easy to move about the garden. It measures 18 x 19 x 3 inches and creates the perfect oasis for birds wherever it is placed.

You can purchase a foldable stand in metallic black, available from Home Depot.


  • Use with or without a stand
  • Easy to relocate
  • This colorful focal point is likely to attract butterflies as well
  • Shallow enough for smaller birds


  • Smooth interior and edges make for difficult traction
  • Stand not included

Check prices and read reviews on Home Depot now.

8. Allied Precision Industries Heated Birdbath with Mounting Bracket

API’s 650 Heated Birdbath with Mounting Bracket is proudly made in the USA and offers year-round manageability.

Made from weather-resistant plastic, this light stone-colored basin mounts to a deck or porch rail. At one pound, it measures 20 x 20 x 2 inches.

API 650 Heated Birdbath with Mounting Bracket

The key features are its built-in thermostat for ambient temperatures to -20°F, its 120-volt heater (150 watts), and its EZ Tilt-To-Clean deck rail mount.

This product is CSA listed, and the manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.


  • Shallow depth is good for smaller birds
  • Ideal for year-round use
  • Includes convenient clamp-on mounting bracket
  • Cord tucks away for summer use
  • Using the easy dump feature is optional; basin can also be removed for water disposal
  • Easy to maintain


  • Easy dump feature may not be nice for neighbors below!

Check prices and read customer reviews on Amazon now.

9. Smart Solar Country Gardens 2-Tier Solar-On-Demand Outdoor Fountain

The Smart Solar Country Gardens 2-Tier Solar-On-Demand Outdoor Fountain is an excellent green water feature for any garden, attracting birds, adding natural water sounds, and making use of solar power.

This fiberglass and resin product is a two-tiered solar fountain and birdbath in one, with an attractive faux weathered-stone finish accented by two realistic turtles.

It features a night mode option to run in day or evening – in the “off” position, the solar unit will charge the battery instead of running the fountain, and with the stored power the fountain can be turned on at night, for an added attraction to an evening garden soiree.

A close up of a concrete outdoor fountain with two tiers, set in among shrubs in the garden.

Smart Solar Country Gardens 2-Tier Solar-On-Demand Outdoor Fountain

Weighing 24 pounds, the unit measures 32 x 21 x 21 inches and has patented Solar-on-Demand technology, which combines solar power with a battery backup.

The manufacturer offers a 1-year limited warranty.


  • Recycles water and holds 2 1/4 gallons in a hidden reservoir
  • Maximizes water flow with solar/battery combination, switching from solar to battery beneath passing clouds
  • Up to 6 hours of operation when fully charged
  • Night mode option
  • Solar feature can be turned off
  • Use anywhere – no electricity needed
  • Easy maintenance


  • Consecutively cloudy days mean no water fountain, as there is no solar power to run the fountain or charge the battery

Check prices and read customer reviews at Walmart now.

10. Campania International Concrete Andra Fountain

The Concrete Andra Fountain from Campania International is an ideal option for small spaces. The square top with large floral design holds a gallon of water that flows from a small fountain in the center.

Proudly made in the USA and powered by electricity, this model is perfect for those shady spots where a solar powered unit is ineffective. The cast stone will weather over time, and blend into your decor.

The floral insert is removable for easy cleaning, and the bubbling sound from the fountain is gentle and soothing.

It’s only suitable for small birds, as the water is a mere quarter-inch deep.

The pump has an adjustable flow rate, and it’s recommended to use filtered water to prevent clogging and buildup of bacteria.

During the winter months, the water should be drained out, and a protective cover should be placed over the fountain to prevent the stone from cracking.

Concrete Andra Fountain from Campania International

Available in 12 colors, including Copper Bronze and English Moss, this unit weighs 88 pounds with dimensions of 20 x 19.5 x 19.5 inches.


  • Recycles water, held in the top of the unit; no reservoir
  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Powered by electricity so no need for a sunny location
  • Gentle, relaxing sound


  • Shallow bowl only suitable for small birds

See customer reviews and check current prices now on Amazon.

11. Union Rustic Vergas Leaf Birdbath

The Vergas Leaf Birdbath from Union Rustic attaches to a balcony or deck railing. The deck mount allows you to position the copper leaf-shaped bath over the side of the railing, to prevent mess from dropping on your deck or patio.

The brass bowl has a bluish-green antique-style finish, and is 18 inches across with a depth of 1 3/4 inches. The wide edge makes it easy for birds to land, and it can be used as a feeder during the winter months.

A close up of a small leaf-shaped bird bath attached to a railing with a black metal bracket.

Vergas Leaf Birdbath

The black powder-coated wrought iron C-clamp won’t damage your railings, and it requires no screws or other hardware for installation. It is suitable for use on a 3-inch-thick railing.

This model comes with a 90-day warranty, and its solid metal construction is durable, yet lightweight.


  • Clamp won’t damage railings
  • Keeps mess off your balcony or deck
  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Can also be used to hold seed in the winter months
  • Smooth interior is easy to clean


  • Smooth interior makes traction difficult
  • Clamp only fits a max 3-inch-thick railing

See customer reviews and check price on Wayfair now.


Consider the following additional accessories to enhance your birdbath experience:

Birds Choice Stonecreek Rock Waterfall

The Birds Choice Stonecreek Rock Waterfall is an aerator that adds motion to water, giving the birds a relaxing spa treatment. Moving water is also more likely to attract avian friends to the garden, and aeration also helps to keep the water clean and free of pests.

Birds Choice Stonecreek Rock Waterfall

Constructed of fiberglass, this tan-colored electric faux granite waterfall weighs 2 pounds and measures 7 x 7 x 5 inches. It requires 1 1/2 inches of water to operate its 120 GPH recirculating pump. A filter and 6-foot electrical cord are included.


  • Moving water is natural-looking, and likely to attract more birds than still water
  • The sound of natural water adds an element of serenity to your garden
  • Water movement inhibits growth of bacteria and breeding of mosquitoes
  • Easy to use


  • Power source required
  • Visible cord

Check prices and read customer reviews on Amazon now.

K&H 9000 Ice Eliminator

The K&H 9000 Ice Eliminator (50-watt) makes winter water flow freely.

Comprised of an aluminum housing with a plastic and enamel finish, this thermostatically-controlled product de-ices birdbaths in temps to -20°F. It weighs 1.3 pounds and measures 7 x 3 x 1 inches.

K&H 9000 Ice Eliminator Birdbath 50-Watt De-Icer

This unit is MET Safety Listed, and the manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.


  • Unit can be spray painted any color
  • Blends naturally with birdbath
  • Easy maintenance
  • Won’t stain, calcify, or rust
  • Won’t melt plastic


  • Requires power source

Check prices and read customer reviews now.

Why Birds Need a Bath

Like us, nature’s avian species need water for drinking, bathing, and cooling down in warm weather. They also enjoy basking in the sun’s rays. They’re ingenious creatures with a number of grooming tricks beneath their wings.

A close up of a black-capped Chickadee perched on the edge of a bowl on a soft focus background.
Black-capped chickadee

Did you know that they also bathe on wet leaves, in the rain, in dust, and even under blankets of ants?

That’s right. There are a variety of ways to rid feathers of excess oil, parasites, and bacteria.

And when you make your garden a welcoming place for the native species in your area, you’ll be able to enjoy observing their grooming habits at close range.

Have you ever heard a cacophony of chirping and singing and wondered where it was coming from?

I became interested in attracting birds to my yard the first spring I moved here. I awoke one morning to the sound of six clear and distinctly different tunes.

I couldn’t wait to get to work! I set up a thistle feeder, a black oil sunflower seed dispenser, and a birdbath. Then I waited.

The next time I heard the chattering, I looked out to see a dark gray male mockingbird perched in the garden, singing his heart out. All six songs were his! That’s when I was hooked.

A Brief History

Birdbaths trace their roots to the ornate sculptures displayed in European gardens at the turn of the last century, when the well-to-do relished lush gardens for pure pleasure.

This budding leisure class enjoyed an existence that was drastically different from that of the farmers of the world, who often went to great lengths to keep winged predators away from their properties and the crops planted there.

A close up vertical picture of a blue bird perched on the edge of a bowl filled with water, on a soft focus background.
Provide a water feature in your yard and enjoy the company of bluebirds!

Around that time, a concrete company called Pulham & Sons offered ornate birdbaths in its catalogs in the 1920s and 30s, to the delight of both birds and birdwatchers.

They are considered to be one of the earliest manufacturers of such garden adornments.

While my forbears were raising crops on a Chester County farm, they didn’t encourage winged visitors to the fields.

But they did have a concrete basin on a pedestal on the formal house lawn, surrounded by decorative plantings of giant hostas, in elegant European style.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the Japanese were setting basins of water into their gardens, as well.

But not for the birds!

Stone basins called “chozubachi” are shallow rock basins that have their origins in 13th century Buddhist culture, and were originally for purification before entering sacred spaces.

It wasn’t long before chozubachi were all the rage among patrons of the arts.

A close up of a Shishi-odoshi water feature with stone basin in the backyard, with a fence in the background.
Shishi-odoshi water feature with stone basin.

Soon, a second water element began to feature prominently in Japanese gardens. “Shishi-odoshi” or “deer scare” originated with ancient farmers who needed to keep deer and wild boars away from their crops.

This ingeniously simple device uses gravity to make water trickle down a bamboo tube, and makes a clunking sound as it empties into a reservoir below.

It wasn’t long before shishi-odoshi made their way into ornamental gardens, to deter furry visitors.

Today, both are readily available as birdbaths, and I’ll bet they will attract a curious feathered fellow or two to your yard!

Types of Birdbath Available

As you can see, birdbaths come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Right now, I have two.

The first is a basin and pedestal unit on a south-facing patch of lawn, surrounded by flowering perennial border gardens.

The second is a solid concrete piece on the shadier northeast side, near a dwarf weeping cherry tree and a pink-blossoming weigela bush.

A vertical picture of a stone pedestal with a bowl on the top, set in amongst red flowers and purple foxgloves, with ivy in the background.

In addition to concrete and terra cotta, you may like:

  • Cast iron
  • Cast stone
  • Ceramic
  • Clay
  • Glass
  • Metallic
  • Resin or plastic
  • Repurposed materials, such as pie plates
  • Mechanical or natural water features, such as fountains and ponds
  • Original pieces carved from wood, stone, and metal

And as for styles, consider:

  • Hanging
  • Wall-mounted
  • One-piece standing
  • Two-piece standing
  • Over-the-railing
  • Manmade or naturally built in, like a concrete basin in a statue or wall, or the shallow depression of a stone in a rock garden

Don’t forget the accessories:

  • Bubblers, aerators, and agitators
  • Heaters – solar or electric
  • Fountains and waterfalls

Water features create tranquil spaces in a landscape. A refreshing basin of water that glistens in the sun and ripples with a breeze makes me feel peaceful.

Trickling fountains add rhythm and atmosphere. Wouldn’t you love to fashion a garden retreat for yourself, while helping to sustain local wildlife?

From traditional to whimsical, there’s something for everyone!

Quick Tips

Your selection will represent your unique sense of style. Now that we’ve reviewed a selection of our favorites, here are some quick tips to help you to choose which is right for you:

  • If you have trees with low limbs, consider a hanging model.
  • Concrete is heavy! Consider a basin and pedestal style for ease of transport and maintenance.
  • Cast iron is also heavy, and may be difficult to move and clean. Purchase one that is copper-coated to inhibit rusting.
  • Resin and plastic are affordable and portable. They won’t crack in winter, but can fade and deteriorate in extreme heat. Keep these full, as they may topple when empty.

A close up of a stone birdbath in winter, covered in a layer of light snow, with a snowy garden scene in the background.

  • Glass basins add a delicate touch to any garden and attract tiny birds and butterflies, but they are fragile and slippery to clean.
  • Measure your railing if you are looking for one for the deck, as widths vary.
  • Make sure any mounted unit comes with the appropriate hardware for your surface. If you’re in a condo, make sure mountings are permitted, and be mindful of downstairs neighbors when tipping the basin for cleaning.

Where to Place Your Birdbath

Trying to figure out where you’ll place your new basin? First, learn what plants attract native birds, and incorporate them into your garden. Offer water nearby.

According to my go-to gardening reference, Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, if you have perimeter plantings of thick native shrubs and trees – particularly those with fruit, like barberries – your avian population will increase dramatically.

A close up of a catbird on the edge of a blue blue bowl pictured on a soft focus background.
A catbird keeps a wary eye out for predators.

Placing a water-filled basin on a lawn, a short flight from the perimeter with full view of any approaching predators, is ideal.

Near my backyard bath, I have a finch feeder filled with thistle seed. It hangs from a shepherd’s staff in a patch of cone flowers.

These tiny red-headed and bright yellow beauties love to stage on the flowers. They perch here and take turns bathing and eating. In the fall, they eat every last seed from the dry, brown heads of the flowers, clinging to the swaying stems as they fill themselves for a long flight.

A close up of an eastern bluebird in a ceramic bowl splashing water around, pictured on a soft focus green background.

Imagine you’re flying back from winter vacation, and in desperate need of a cool drink and a shower.

From your lofty height, you see a glimmer. Cool! An island in a pond (i.e. a rock in a basin) and you come in for a landing.

Our friends on the wing like to see who else is at the pool and gauge the height of water before venturing in, so make sure to provide sloping sides, a reasonable depth of one to four inches of water, and maybe one or two rocky mounds. Make sure the basin’s surface is somewhat rough, for good traction.

Provide a place to perch before, during, and after bathing. A nearby fence, shrub, or tree, and a rock or branch in the bath, are welcome comforts. They also provide places to fly to in the event that a quick getaway is needed.

A close up of a bird fountain with a bubbler pictured on a soft focus background.

Want some bubbles in that bath? With a mechanized aerator, your water will ripple and dance – attracting birds, discouraging mosquitoes, and captivating visitors to your garden.

Did you know that in addition to our beaked buddies, other wildlife may take advantage of a fresh water source?

If you have wildlife of the really wild kind – like foxes and raccoons – you may want to place units at a distance from your home, patio, and play areas.

Care and Maintenance

Because birdbaths bring a variety of animals together in a small area, a weekly rinse out with a vinegar solution is your best bet.

A close up of a black bird on the side of a metal bowl with a rustic fence in the background.

Well, that sparrow reminded me that it’s time to get ready. Provided there are no manufacturer’s instructions to the contrary on your model, I recommend the following solution for inexpensive and easy maintenance.

Here’s how I clean the watering holes at my house:

You’ll need:

  • 4 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Clean scrub brush
  • Water for rinsing

1. Mix the vinegar and water to make a disinfecting solution.

2. Rinse the inside of the basin with plain water, using a hose or bucket.

3. Pour in the disinfectant mixture and scrub vigorously to remove droppings, algae, and debris. Soak for 10 minutes.

4. Rinse thoroughly with plain water.

Now you’re ready to fill ‘er up!

Occasionally, I do a midweek spruce up, like after a storm that brings down twigs and leaves, or after a raucous time at the feeder brings a crowd to the bath.

An Environmentally Sound Investment

Did you know that the more plants you have, the more feathered fauna you’ll have; the more types of plants you have, the more types of birds you’ll have; and the more birds you have, the fewer insect pests you’ll have? That’s a mouthful from Mother Earth News.

A close up of a variety of different birds splashing in water in a bowl placed in the garden, pictured in bright sunshine, on a soft focus background.

Last spring, I had the privilege of watching a pair of robins raise their young right outside my back door.

Each day, the parents took turns bringing back insects to feed their six open-mouthed babies until they were so big, I thought the nest would burst. No bugs crawled under my back door that year.

Go inside your house, and look out a window. Do you see a place that might be a good spot to attract these fascinating creatures, for your family to watch?

Is it near a water source for frequent cleaning? Are there shrubs for staging? Some species like to perch with their wings outstretched, until they are dry enough to fly off. You’ll know the perfect spot when you see it.

First a birdbath, then a pair of binoculars, a bird guide, a growing list of birds you’ve seen so far kept in your gardening journal, and suddenly you have a new hobby!

Why not head out to the garden to find the perfect spot for your new backyard water feature? Get outside and make new friends – the feathered kind! What are you waiting for?

What feathered friends visit your garden? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to ask a question!

And while you are installing a bath, you might consider adding a few feeders in the same location. We cover all of our favorites here.

For more information about birds and other wildlife in your backyard, check out the following guides next:

© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally Published April 19, 2016. Last updated: June 10, 2020. Product Photos via Allied Precision Industries, Alpine Corporation, Athena Garden, Burley Clay, Campania International, Gardman, GSM, Henri Studio, Smart Solar, Union Rustic, and World Menagerie. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

Photo of author


Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project!
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