Bird Barn logo
Sparrow perched on stone bird bath

Why do birds like bird baths

Wonder why wild birds like bird baths so much, well its us humans that make it that way by offering them fresh drinking water in a safe environment.

Wild birds like bird baths due to location with near by food supply making it very appealing. Well feeding off hanging bird feeder for nuts, seeds or fat balls; water to bathe or drink is only a few feet away. Location of bath with clear line of sight and being off the ground is also desirable.

If you're asking why do birds like birds bath so much, this can only mean you're doing something right - with location, line of sight other conditions taking into consideration.

Well wild birds associate gardens with a bird feeding station on a pole which makes for somewhere safe to feed, that's a little less so with use of bird baths.

To get birds to use your bird bath it should be setup as long as the bird feeders are present, then those gardens will benefit with visiting birds the most.

And its because the bird bath is setup near food sources they will use the bath more.

Furthermore, its placement of the bird bath is why it will get used more often, rather then those that will setup in an area that is unsafe or out of view.

But you may be seeing your bird bath used more if its one that is only a couple of feet off the ground, or up higher hanging off a wall bracket.

Well birds like to perch around the water sources so will find a solution to this themselves, but its one reason they like to use artificial bird baths over natural resources.

Associated with fresh water

Wild birds will grow up associating bird baths setup in people's garden as a source of fresh water, so will often take to them for this reason alone.

Wild birds visiting bird baths sited in garden's know that bird baths, well not all the time, will know that the water within the bath is in fact fresh.

Not always mind you as people don't often clean out the bath like they should.

Its also possible water in bird baths can get contaminated with bird poop, muck and anything else that's blown in from nature.

Birds won't associate all baths with fresh water mind you, that relies heavily on location in garden, and the design of the bath itself.

Well a brand new shiny bird bath will take some getting used to, wild birds like baths that have been part of the landscape for a while.

So rather than a new pedestal or hanging bird bath, the weathered stone bird baths with plenty of blooming plantation surrounding it will be the most successful.

Near to feeding areas

Another reason wild birds like bird baths because well, its just so close to there feeding area in the garden.

Well birds visit the garden from the early morning to the evening, its only a hop, skip and jump away to perch on the bird bath, for taking a bathe or drinking.

When setting up a bird feeding station in the garden, pay close attention to where the bird bath is placed a few feet over, birds will love the outdoor sanctuary you've setup.

Setting up a bird bath or anything that will resemble a bath for holding water will be a welcome surprise to birds, with all feeding and drinking taking place within a few feet.

For that to happen, rather than prioritise the bird feeding station or bird bath in the centre of your garden, it would make sense to off set one or the other to accommodate the next.

What we mean by that is if the bath or feeding station pole is setup on one side or the other, your next setup can take the area that isn't currently used.

What you will be left with is a site for the feeding area on the one end of the garden, well the drinking area is setup further down, or up the garden - but still within sight.

Often a clear line of sight

When people setup a bird bath one thing that is crucial is location, but that can come naturally as bird baths are setup out in the open with a clear surrounding.

Not always mind you, as bird baths require a location that is near hedgerows, trees or bushes as to give wild birds quick cover.

Regardless, people don't follow strict rules for setting up a bath, but that's not always a bad thing... as lack of placement knowledge brings benefits.

When investing heavily in a stone or cheaper plastic pedestal bird bath, you'd want to make the most of your new purchase by watching birds using it.

For that to happen its quite possible when placing your bird bath you've probably sited it centrally or in clear site of your living room window.

So that would mean its out in the elements, away from plantation but with a rather generous clear line of sight for the birds to come and go.

Its for this reason birds love birds baths that sometimes have a clear view all around as it makes them feel more secure, with plenty of space to escape from predators.

Safely off the ground

Water sources out in nature that wild birds will often take to are almost always located on the ground.

Its drinking or bathing in water on the ground that will make them vulnerable to predators like cats, foxes or even dogs that birds fear.

Solution to this is... using garden bird baths located off the ground.

That's not always the case mind you with ground bird bath or short pedestal bird bath not offering plenty of height from predators.

Despite that, wild birds still like to use bird baths because they're off the ground, which makes for an ideal drinking area or a place for a quick bathe to get cleaned up.

And for many birds, that water supply area must be way off the ground.

If birds are not drinking off the ground, they may prefer to drink from puddles that form on flat top roofs, puddles on vehicles or even guttering.

Drinking can also come from nature; puddles that form in trees or rain drops on leaves.

Well pedestal bird baths are located low down to the ground, if birds don't take to it, for that reason you may want to fix a bird water tray on a wall bracket far off the ground.

Comfortable perch

What comes naturally for birds well feeding off your hanging bird feeding station or water bowl is that they perch, and would prefer to always.

And birds need to perch to feed or drink in shallow water.

Well it might come as a surprise, wild birds need a perch of some sort to drink water as they drink; its unlikely to see a bird knee deep in water well drinking.

Where there are artificial bird baths without a comfortable area to perch around, they are for the most part do come with a perch.

Not the sticking out dowel or pole you'd see on bird seed feeders or bird boxes, just an area around the water they will land on.

This perch area will then normally go from a shallow water - where birds drink from - to the deeper area where birds will bathe in the centre of the bath.

If your bird bath of any kind as no perch for wild birds to land, you can clean off a few nice rocks plucked from your garden, then simply insert them in the water securely.

Make it so if birds perch on such rocks, they won't tip or rollover from the slightest bit of weight. Do your best to make sure the rocks can stay in place with no movement.

Not all birds like them

Its worth saying not all birds like bird baths, and well Tits, Sparrows or Robins are likely to take to drinking or bathing in the water, its only limited to a few.

If you see birds taking to your bird bath its might be worth taking notes, as you may notice one very important factor...

The wild birds using the bird bath daily are indeed the usual suspects.

You see its takes some doing to get birds to use a bird bath, and well many of you will have no issues with baths being used, for others it can be incredibly difficult.

If you're in a built up area with more stone then greenery, birds won't feel comfortable or safe in such an environment, so will stay clear of using the bath to bathe.

Though saying that, in the quieter times they will take a drink of water when its in short supply during the hot summer months.

Well you will see all types of small garden birds or the more larger birds using the bath, its possible to see non at all for long periods.

To summarise

If you're asking why wild birds like your bird bath so much, then you're in a small majority as most people find it hard to get common garden birds to use there's.

And for good reason, if birds ain't using there bath it because of the setup would not be suited to birds.

So well you might have lots of greenery in your garden with blooming plants, trees or creepers, this alone makes for the ideal environment.

If birds are NOT using your bird bath, then this natural cover will probably be lost in your garden, so will be more difficult to entice birds to use your bath.

Plantation is cover for wild birds, and setting up a bath near plants will allow the birds to drink with cover near by.

We can assume all this applies to you if you're really successful by bringing birds to your bath, so keep it up and don't allow the greenery to disappear.

If those of you who can't get birds to use the bird bath, then take your cue from those that are experienced with wild birds visiting there bath, and consequently there bird feeders.

Share this article: