26 Different Types of Bird Baths

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The classic bird bath can be an iconic ornament to your outdoors and even attract yard birds to your garden.

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A wet bird enjoying its bath on a bird bath.

Ancient classical paintings suggest that bird baths appeared in the gardens of Ancient Rome or at least as far back as two millennia. The designs depicted are typically a short-pedestal with a basin-shaped bowl on top.

Aside from being a garden ornament, bird baths literally serve as an oasis for birds to survive. Providing a source of water for drinking and bathing is one of the easiest ways to attract birds to one’s backyard.

A. Orientation

1. Staked

Staked bird bath made of green glass.

Source: Wayfair

Staked bird baths are very popular for homeowners or renters who want to have a way to attract birds to their backyard, but do not want to commit to the budget or space that a freestanding bird bath requires. These bird baths have a safe bowl that rests upon a thin stake that is driven into the ground.

When considering where you are going to locate your new staked bird bath, it is important to determine the quality of the ground where you desire to place it, as ground that is too loose and soft can cause the bird bath to rock unevenly, and it may tip over. Harder ground, although it is more difficult to install your bird bath at first, is definitely preferable, as you will not have to worry about the security of your bath or whether or not the motion of the birds using it will cause it to tip.

2. Wall Hanging

A green, vintage wall-hanging bird bath.

Source: Etsy

Unlike mounted bird baths, which sit on the railing of a porch, and hanging bird baths, which can hang from a tree branch, wall hanging bird baths are mounted up against a wall. These can be hung on the side of your house, on a fence, or on the side of a barn or outbuilding. One benefit of using a wall hanging bird bath is that it will be protected by a roof overhang so that debris and dirt cannot fall into the water.

3. Mounted

A beige bird bath with a deck mount included.

Source: Houzz

Mounted bird baths are a great option for anybody who does not have a larger section of the yard in which to put a freestanding bird bath, but does have a deck where they can mount the bowl. Using the enclosed hardware makes it very easy to mount the bowl to the railing of the deck, and you and your family can enjoy the birds while you are outside. It is important to make sure that you firmly mount the bowl so that there are no problems with it rocking or getting knocked off.

Because this type of bird bath is not very popular, it is very difficult to find a wide variety of styles when you are shopping for a mounted bird bath. If you are worried about the appearance of your new bath, then it is a good idea to either have one custom made for you or choose one made of a material that you can later paint.

4. Freestanding

Freestanding wooden bird bath carved as a wild bear.

Source: Amazon

Freestanding bird baths are the most popular type and, generally, what people think of when they are considering shopping for a birdbath for their yard. They consist of a bowl for the water that is balanced on top of a pedestal. This keeps the water at a safe distance from the ground, and the birds feel comfortable coming to the bath as they are not threatened by predators.

As the most popular type of bird bath model, it is very easy to find freestanding or pedestal bird baths in a variety of styles, designs, colors, and shapes. Generally, this is going to be the heaviest type of bird bath that is available on the market, especially if you opt for one made out of a solid material, such as concrete or cast iron.

5. Hanging

Green and blue, hanging bird bath made of glass. Source: Amazon

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Hanging bird baths are generally very shallow and are suspended either from a tree branch, gutter, or a shepherd’s hook in your yard by a few lengths of chain. While these do not hold a lot of water and need to be filled on a regular basis, they are generally much less expensive than other types of bird baths, making them ideal if you have a tight budget. One benefit of using a hanging bird bath is that you can often hang them directly outside of your window so that you can enjoy watching the birds bathe and play. While they do not come in a wide variety of colors or styles, it is generally easy to find one that appeals to you aesthetically, so it is both functional and attractive.

6. Ground

A ground bird bath made of granite, boulder and fieldstone.

Source: Etsy

The most basic type of bird bath that you can buy is a simple bowl or basin that will rest on the ground. While this type of bird bath will not entice certain types of birds to it, if you live in an area where there are ducks or quail, then they will be very likely to come and visit this bird bath. Because they are not going to be comfortable to fly up and rest in a bird bath higher off the ground, this is a great way to encourage these birds to come to your yard so that you can watch them.

B. Material

1. Glass

Blue, glass bird bath with a metal stand. Source: Amazon

While once not a very popular option for bird baths, glass is quickly becoming a favorite material for many people for a variety of reasons. Not only are glass bird baths significantly lighter than ones made out of concrete and cast iron, but they often come in a variety of styles and colors, making it easy to choose one that will match the décor and appearance of your yard.

When choosing a glass bird bath, you will want to make sure that there are no cracks or chips along the bowl or the edge so that your birds can easily use the bath without being injured, and so that the water does not continually drip out of the bath. It’s important to ensure that your glass bird bath is in a secure and safe location, as it can crack or shatter if it falls.

2. Terracotta

Terracotta bird bath with embossed details.

Source: Etsy

If you love the idea of having a bird bath in your backyard but want something that will fit in with the natural appearance of your property, then you may want to consider a terracotta bird bath. This material is not only durable and will last for a long time, but the natural brown looks very nice in a garden. For a bird bath that will blend in rather than stick out and become the focal point of your garden, terracotta is your best bet.

3. Metal

Metal bird bath with a small bird statue.

Source: Wayfair

A metal bird bath is perfect if you are worried about it being sturdy or knocked over, and those made of cast iron and other metals are incredibly durable and reliable. This means that you will not have to worry about your bird bath becoming damaged or tipping over, and this type of bath will prevent you from having to buy another bird bath in the near future. One benefit of using a metal bird bath is that it will naturally heat up the water a little bit if you leave your bath in the sun. However, this may not be enough to keep the water from freezing during the winter.

4. Cast Stone

A cast stone bird bath with an embossed and detailed face of a sun.

Source: Amazon

Cast stone bird baths are some of the most expensive options that are available on the market today, but if you make an investment in this type of bath, you will not have to worry about it ever breaking or suffering damage because they have been built to last for a lifetime. The cast stone is incredibly durable and can usually be finished in a number of different styles and colors. This means that you can easily find a bath that will match the appearance of your gardens and property. When putting a cast stone bird bath in your garden, it is important to remember that these are extremely heavy, and you will likely need help from another person so that you do not drop and break it.

5. Resin

A durable bronze rsin bird bath with a smooth but glossy finish,Source: Houzz

Resin bird baths are durable, but the main reason that people opt for this material when shopping for a bird bath is that it can be designed in a very ornate style, and there is no concern that it will break or become damaged. While not quite as durable as other materials, such as cast stone or concrete, the resin will last for a very long time as long as you take care of it and are careful about the location in which you place it in your garden. When you want a bird bath that has intricate carvings and designs, then you are most likely going to want to opt for one made this material. It can be formed into delicate shapes without breaking.

6. Copper

An antique, copper bird bath blends well with the outdoor tones.

Source: Wayfair

Not only is copper an incredibly durable material that can stand up to the rigors of outdoor use without becoming damaged, this material is incredibly pleasing to the eye and will become a beautiful focal point in your garden. Because copper can be either textured or smooth, this is a very versatile material which makes it easy to find a bird bath that will stand out from others available on the market.

If you live in an area that has extreme temperature swings and wild weather, then you will want to make sure that you buy a bird bath made of a material durable enough to last. In this case, copper may be the perfect choice for your needs. While copper can be very dangerous for birds if it oxidizes and is able to interact with acidic water, for the most part, this type of bird bath will not cause any problems.

7. Ceramic

A blue ceramic bird bath with a Transitional finish.

Source: Houzz

Glazed ceramic bird baths have an almost universal appeal and are gorgeous enough to become a focal point on your property. As long as they are glazed correctly, then there is no concern of your bird bath leaking or the birds becoming sick due to the type of glaze used. With an amazing selection of colors for you to choose from, it’s easy to find a ceramic bird bath that will add a lot of beauty to your space.

8. Concrete

A concrete bird bath in a traditional style.

Source: Home Depot

This is one of the most common types of bird baths available on the market today, and it is one that is, for the durability and weight that has, relatively inexpensive. Because concrete bird baths are so heavy, it is very normal to buy them in two separate pieces, the pedestal, and the bowl.

One benefit of concrete bird baths is that if you decide that you want to make a change, you can use outdoor paint and paint them for an updated and interesting look. As long as they are cared for and not dropped, it is very unlikely that you will ever have to deal with a broken bird bath when you have one that is made of concrete.

9. Stone

A medium-size, stone bird bath in a natural tone.

Source: Houzz

Stone bird baths are not very common, but they are very attractive and can add a lot of interest to your space. Unfortunately, they tend to be very expensive, especially when made out of a single slab of stones such as granite. Unlike other materials that are used for bird baths, natural stone can blend in with your garden, making it a great choice for a subdued look or for one where you have a different focal point in your garden.

C. Feature

1. Lighted

Faux -metal bird bath with a center piece and flower pots at the bottom part. Source: Amazon

While most birds are active during the day, if you want to be able to make sure that your birds can access the water at night and in the early morning hours, as well as dusk, then you will want to opt for a bird bath that is lighted. Another benefit of a lighted birdbath is that it can perform double duty of being both a lamp in your garden, as well as a birdbath. This means that you will not have to find room in your budget for two separate purchases, but, you will either have to use a solar powered lamp or be willing to run electricity to your garden in order to operate the light.

2. Stand included

A clay bird bath with a decorated stand.

Source: Wayfair

Most buyers who are interested in purchasing a bird bath will opt to buy one that already has a stand included. Unless you need to replace the bowl on your bird bath because it was broken, or unless you are looking for a hanging option or one that is mounted, buying a bird bath with the stand included makes installation of your new bath significantly easier. You will not have to worry about finding a bowl and a stand that will fit together when you choose a bath that has all of the pieces necessary.

3. Solar

A solar bird bath with a blue glass basin and a black metal stand.

Source: Amazon

Some bird baths have either water features or a heated bowl. If you want to have one of these features for your birdbath, but you are unable or unwilling to run electricity out to your garden, then you need to choose a bird bath that is solar operated. These bird baths allow you to harness the power of the sun so that you can run either your heater or your fountain without electricity. It is important that you consider where you are going to be placing your solar bird bath so that you do not have to worry about it being shaded by the trees. Shade during the day will prevent the sun from allowing you to have the power that you need.

4. Heated

A traditional heated bird bath in black.

Source: Houzz

Bird lovers who live in colder climates often want to do everything that they can to ensure that their birds are able to have access to fresh water every month of the year. If you live in an area that sees below freezing temperatures for long periods of time, then it is very likely that your bird bath will freeze over and birds will be unable to get water. Opting for a bird bath that has a heated bowl will allow you to keep the water liquid all year long.

5. Fountain

A concrete bird bath with a statue of a girl that acts as a fountain.

Source: Home Depot

A fountain in your birdbath is a wonderful way to not only attract more birds to your birdbath but also ensure that the water is cleaner. Birds will hear the running water and be more easily able to find your bird bath, and having the water circulate through your birdbath will decrease the likelihood for algae to build up in your bowl. Additionally, mosquitoes are going to be much less likely to lay their eggs in running water.

One problem with a fountain in a birdbath is that the water will evaporate much more quickly, and it is important to keep the bowl filled so that the pump does not become damaged trying to circulate smaller amounts of water. Also, these birdbaths are generally more expensive and should not be used during cold winter months as the pipes of the fountain can freeze.

6. Planter

Dark green bird bath with a planter at the base.Source: Home Depot

To ensure that your birdbath looks the best that it can, opt for one that has a planter around the base. This provides you with a wonderful place to plant some of your favorite flowers so that your birdbath becomes a true focal point of your garden. If you do not keep flowers growing in the planter of your birdbath, it may not be as attractive, as it will look like it is missing something.

7. Tiered

4-Tiered bird bath with small fountains. Source: Amazon

A tiered bird bath adds a lot more aesthetic interest to your birdbath than one that only has one bowl. These generally have a fountain feature so that the water can flow from one tier to another, which means that you will enjoy all of the same pros and cons as fountain bird baths.

8. Shaped

A copper-plated steel bird bath with an antique finish.

Source: Houzz

The shape of most bird baths is round, but if you want something different, then you can easily find ones that are oval, rectangular, and even shaped like a heart. These bird baths descend from traditional circular bird baths, but they are simply a little bit more aesthetically pleasing for some people. One thing to consider when buying a bird bath that has a different shape is that any angles in the structure of the bowl itself can be a little bit more difficult to clean. If you do choose a birdbath that has angles and corners, then you will want to devote more time each week to clean it out so that algae does not grow in your bath.

D. Style

1. Traditional

A traditional-style, bronze bird bath.

Source: Home Depot

A traditionally styled birdbath will look great in almost any yard. These generally consist of a bowl sitting on top of the thick pedestal. Because these bird baths are generally very durable, you will not have to worry about your traditional bath tipping over or breaking.

2. Decorative

White, ceramic bird bath with blue Mexican-style details.

Source: Etsy

If you want your birdbath to be just as attractive as it is functional, then you want to look for one that is decorative. You can easily find decorative bird baths in many different styles and designs, so you can choose the one that will best match your outdoor space and your personality. These birth baths can vary from ones that are brightly colored and painted to others that simply have cast iron structures or are designed to resemble birds or leaves.

3. Modern

Blue, clay bird bath with a modern finish. Source: Amazon

While modern bird baths will be out of place in many yards, those who have a modern home and want something that is a bit more contemporary than traditional bird baths may find that modern bird baths with their sharp angles and interesting lines are exactly what they are looking for. These are just as functional as traditional birdbaths but will add a little bit of extra interest to your space.

4. Mosaic

A contemporary bird bath designed with a mosaic of the American flag.

Source: Houzz

Everybody knows what a mosaic is, and when you buy a birdbath that has a mosaic bowl, you will love all of the different colors that it has. One benefit of a mosaic birdbath is that it will actually attract birds to your water due to the shine and glimmer of the pieces of glass through the water.





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