The 10 Best Heated Bird Baths for the Winter and Our Tips!

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If you’ve talked about buying a heated bird bath, your friends may have asked if birds really need one in the winter. After all, can’t birds just eat snow?

Technically, birds can eat snow. In a desperate situation when they need fresh water, they will do so.

However, eating snow is hard on a bird’s body, and a heated bird bath can help to keep your all-season backyard wild birds happier and healthier all winter long.

Let’s explore why heated bird baths are better for birds than eating snow and look at some of the best-heated bird baths on the market—and how you can choose the one that is right for you!

Reasons to Supply a Heated Birdbath in Winter

Product Name
Top Bird Bath with a Heated Base
Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath
Top Bird Bath Without a Pedestal
GESAIL Bird Habitat Shallow Design
Top Solar Bird Bath Fountain
AISITIN Solar Bird Bath Fountain Pump
Image
Songbird Essentials Heated Birdbath
GESAIL Bird Habitat Shallow Design 3 Easy Ways to Mount Outdoor Garden Detachable Heated Bird Bath Bird Feeder, 75W All Seasons Available Bird Baths for Outdoors Garden Yard Decoration Blue
AISITIN 2.5W Solar Bird Bath Fountain Pump, Solar Fountain Pump for Bird Bath with 6 Nozzles, 6.7" Solar Powered Water Fountain Pump for Garden, Ponds, Pool, Fish Tank, Outdoor and Aquarium
Customer Rating
-
-
Material
Made From Wood
Made From Plastic, Iron
Made From Plastic
Watt
60 Watt
75 Watt
2.5W Solar Powered
Degrees
to -20 degrees F
to -13° F (-25° C)
-
Weight
Weight: 13.65 pounds
Weight: 4.4 pounds
Weight: 9.5 ounces
Size
29 x 22 x 22 inches
14.84 x 14.68 x 2.4 inches
6.7 x 6.7 x 1.8 inches
Top Bird Bath with a Heated Base
Product Name
Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath
Image
Songbird Essentials Heated Birdbath
Customer Rating
Material
Made From Wood
Watt
60 Watt
Degrees
to -20 degrees F
Weight
Weight: 13.65 pounds
Size
29 x 22 x 22 inches
Top Bird Bath Without a Pedestal
Product Name
GESAIL Bird Habitat Shallow Design
Image
GESAIL Bird Habitat Shallow Design 3 Easy Ways to Mount Outdoor Garden Detachable Heated Bird Bath Bird Feeder, 75W All Seasons Available Bird Baths for Outdoors Garden Yard Decoration Blue
Customer Rating
-
Material
Made From Plastic, Iron
Watt
75 Watt
Degrees
to -13° F (-25° C)
Weight
Weight: 4.4 pounds
Size
14.84 x 14.68 x 2.4 inches
Top Solar Bird Bath Fountain
Product Name
AISITIN Solar Bird Bath Fountain Pump
Image
AISITIN 2.5W Solar Bird Bath Fountain Pump, Solar Fountain Pump for Bird Bath with 6 Nozzles, 6.7" Solar Powered Water Fountain Pump for Garden, Ponds, Pool, Fish Tank, Outdoor and Aquarium
Customer Rating
-
Material
Made From Plastic
Watt
2.5W Solar Powered
Degrees
-
Weight
Weight: 9.5 ounces
Size
6.7 x 6.7 x 1.8 inches

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • The temperature of snow hovers around freezing or just below it. Melting the snow requires a lot of energy, especially for small birds.
  • Snow takes up more space than fresh water. Imagine melting a large glass of snow on the counter. It doesn’t make much bird bath water, does it? Birds would have to consume large amounts of snow in order to get a small amount of hydration.
  • In most places, winter doesn’t have a constant cover of snow. For most of the winter, birds can’t even rely on snow for water.
  • A heated bird bath allows birds who overwinter in your neighborhood to find water easily and safely. This not only protects the birds’ well-being through the colder months, but it also gives you the chance to see birds all year round.

Types of Heated Bird Baths

Heated bird baths are available in several different styles and forms. These aren’t just aesthetic differences, either. Some of the differences in styles are because of how different the heating functions can be or using more durable materials.

Heated Stands

A pedestal-style bird bath with a stand can contain a built-in heating element. You simply plug the bird bath into an outlet for the entire time that you are using it.

Typically, these bird baths have a thermostatic plug, which means it is only activated when the outside temperature hits a certain temperature.

These are generally safe to use as a four-season bath. If you place your bird bath far away from your outlet, you may need to run a lengthy extension cord. Be sure that the extension cord—especially the plug—is not submerged in water or mud.

De-Icer Added to a Birdbath

A birdbath de-icer can be added to an existing bird bath, as long as the bird bath itself is safe for use with a heating element. Some plastic, resin, and other materials may be incompatible with an added heater.

De-icers are powered by a thermostatic plug that is safe to submerge into the bath.

Solar Fountains

This type of bird bath—a solar fountain—has no need for an electrical outlet. Instead, the fountain runs on solar power and keeps the water from freezing by keeping it moving.

The only major drawback to a solar fountain is that it probably won’t work in extremely cold temperatures. Typically, a solar fountain can only keep the water melted when the temperature is above 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 Celsius).

So, solar birdbath fountains are capable of working a bit below freezing, but not at the lowest temperatures that some regions of North America see in the winter.

This option is not ideal for people who live where there are extreme winter temperatures for weeks and months at a time.

Another Alternative: Use a Heated Dog Bowl or Poultry Waterer

A heated dog bowl can be a good option, especially if you are more concerned about providing water than about having a decorative bird bath.

K&H Pet Products Thermal-Bowl Outdoor Heated Dog Bowl Blue 96 Ounces
  • COLD WEATHER USE: Heated pet water bowl prevents water from freezing, even at -20°, keeping your pet hydrated no matter the...
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT: This 96 ounce blue heated water bowl is made with BPA free plastic and uses only 25 watts
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Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Just keep in mind that these can be quite deep, so you would need to add rocks and pebbles to the bottom to give birds somewhere to stand.

A heated poultry waterer, on the other hand, is shallow by nature! You can put several gallons of water into one of these feeders, but the birds can only access what they need. These also have a convenient, built-in “lip” where the birds can stand.

Sale
Heated Chicken or Bird Waterer - API - Heated Poultry Waterer, 3 Gallon (Item No. HPW33 )
  • OVERHEATING PROTECTION - This water heater is thermostatically controlled with over-temperature protection to prevent water from...
  • EASY TO FILL - Easy-to-fill funnel design with 3-gallon capacity.
  • GALVANIZED STEEL HANDLE - This chicken waterer has a steel handle that makes transporting the waterer easy.

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you have chickens, turkeys, or ducks, please try not to let poultry and wild birds use the same water, though.

Wild birds can carry avian flu, which can wipe out entire poultry flocks. It is best to offer your backyard chickens and your backyard wild birds separate sources of water.

10 of the Best Heated Bird Baths You Can Buy!

Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Birdbath with a Heated Base

API Heated Bird Bath Heated Bird Bath with Stand

Sale
API Heated Birdbath Heated Bird Bath with Stand (Item No. 970)
  • ICE FREE WATER - This heated bird bath keeps water ice-free all winter thanks to its fully enclosed heating element.
  • PLASTIC BIRD BATH - The bird bath is made of a durable weather-resistant plastic and measure 20" in diameter.
  • PROTECTED HEATING ELEMENT - This birdbath's heating element is fully enclosed and protected so that animals cannot come into...

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This bird bath features a straightforward and simple design. The 20″ bird bath basin is made from weather-resistant plastic, and the metal stand is 30 inches tall.

Because of its small size, it is perfect for people without a whole lot of space to dedicate to a large bird bath.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to move for cleaning and storage
  • Keeps ice from forming in your birdbath
  • A fully protected heating element

Cons:

  • Not terribly sturdy; you may need to secure the stand against strong winds and rambunctious wildlife (comes with stakes)
  • Not the most attractive design

BestNest Heated Bird Bath with Metal Stand and 25′ Lock N Dry Cord

BestNest Heated Bird Bath with Metal Stand and 25' Lock-N-Dry Cord
  • Heated bird bath with metal stand is great for use in your landscaping
  • Included, 25' long cord easily powers the bath
  • Locking nut on the bath keeps the junction protected from water

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A bit larger and more attractive than the API heated birdbath, the BestNest bird bath includes a 25-foot-long cord that can be plugged directly into the outlet or into an extension cord.

Pros:

  • 20″ diameter means you won’t be re-filling the bath quite as often
  • Attractive design
  • Available with an optional product protection plan

Cons:

  • Not as budget-friendly (costs more than $100)
  • The lightweight design may need additional support, such as sandbags

Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath

Songbird Essentials Heated Birdbath
  • Some assembly required .
  • Beautiful double ring heater turns on at 32 degrees F
  • 60 Watt thermostatically controlled and insulated foil heating element that is safely enclosed and sealed

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is the most stylish of the pedestal-style bird baths I’ve reviewed so far. Instead of being supported by metal poles, this pedestal and basin are both made of long-lasting cedar—a perfect natural perch. What a gorgeous design!

Pros:

  • Tons of 5-star reviews
  • Sturdy
  • Very effective at keeping water warm, even in frigid outdoor temperatures

Cons:

  • The most expensive pedestal option
  • Short power cord

Heated-Basin Bird Baths Without a Pedastal

GESAIL Bird Habitat Shallow Design

GESAIL Bird Habitat Shallow Design 3 Easy Ways to Mount Outdoor Garden Detachable Heated Bird Bath Bird Feeder, 75W All Seasons Available Bird Baths for Outdoors Garden Yard Decoration Blue
  • This birdbath heater built-in 120 volts 75 watt heating element that is safely enclosed and sealed.
  • The bird bath with heater thermostatically controlled to operate only when necessary - saving electricity, prevents birdbath water...
  • Unique, innovative design allows for 3 different mounting options - deck mount, ground mount and legs for clamp mount. Hardware is...

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This shallow basin holds a quart of water and can be used all year round. It has a thermostatically controlled heater so it only operates when the temperature is below freezing.

I like that this design is a budget-friendly option for people who are looking to offer water to their backyard birds all winter.

Pros:

  • 3 mounting options, all with hardware included: deck mount, ground mount, clamp mount
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Because it doesn’t have a pedestal, you have to have somewhere to mount it
  • Because it doesn’t have much depth, you may have to add bird bath water more frequently than deeper models

Songbird Spa Heated Bird Bath

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This convenient little bird bath is another one with 3 mounting options: you can mount it to a deck mount post, clamp it to a railing, or place it on the ground. It is another shallow option that holds a bit more than a quart of water.

Pros:

  • Convenient
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used all year (the cord tucks away nicely!)
  • Effective in very cold temperatures

Cons:

  • Needs to be refilled frequently
  • Difficult to keep level after being filled

Submersible Bird Bath Heaters

GESAIL Bird Bath Deicer

GESAIL Birdbath Deicer Heater for Outdoors in Winter, Deicer for Birdbaths with Thermostatically Controlled, Made of Heavy Duty Premium Cast Aluminum, Perfect for Patio Yard and Lawn, 50 Watts, Green
  • FUNCTION: 50W, 120V bird bath de-icer with thermostat. This birdbath heater will keep the standard birdbath from freezing in...
  • DESIGN: Designed for standard size birdbaths, this outdoor bird bath de-icer can be used in different kinds of birdbaths, such as...
  • MATERIAL: The bird heater is made of heavy duty cast aluminum, easy to clean and will not calcify, rust or leave stains in the...

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The GESAIL deicer is a submersible heated bowl made of cast aluminum at the end of a 25″ power cord. It comes in three colors: green, grey, and cream.

Pros:

  • A great option if you already own a bird bath
  • Can be used in metal and non-metal baths
  • Thermostatic control ensures that you’re not running the heater when it’s above freezing

Cons:

  • If your bird bath is more than about 20 feet from your outlet, you will need an additional extension cord
  • May not lay flat in all bird baths, depending on size and style

Bird Bath De-icer Heater with Aluminum Base

Bird Bath De-icer Heater with Aluminum Base, Outdoors Pond De-icer 60 Watts for Winter Deicer, Birdbath Deicer Water Heater Thermostatically Controlled for Patio Yard and Lawn (Gravel Grey)
  • Automatic birdbath water heater: AC 120V 60Hz 60W, the outdoor bird bath de-icer thermostatically controlled to operate only when...
  • Heavy duty and thermostatic: aluminum base surface and high-density aluminum liners, with highly heat conductive for maximum usage...
  • Safe for bird: built-in heating wire complies with UL standards, the heated base has a power cord which protected and quality, so...

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a great submersible de-icer, especially if you are looking for something with a more natural aesthetic. The aluminum base is disguised as a rock, which means it looks quite natural!

Pros:

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Budget-friendly
  • Can be added to any style of bird bath (pedestal, mounted, ground)

Cons:

  • Less durable than other models; may need to be replaced within a season or two
  • Works best for mild freezes, not down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit

Solar Bird Bath Fountains

AISITIN 2.5W Solar Bird Bath Fountain Pump

Sale
AISITIN 2.5W Solar Bird Bath Fountain Pump, Solar Fountain Pump for Bird Bath with 6 Nozzles, 6.7" Solar Powered Water Fountain Pump for Garden, Ponds, Pool, Fish Tank, Outdoor and Aquarium
  • [✔Efficient Solar Panel]: AISITIN 2.5W Solar bird bath fountain is powered by solar energy. High-efficiency solar panels work...
  • [✔Six spray patterns]: Solar water fountain contains 6 different nozzles, which will produce different spray shapes and spray...
  • [✔Eco-friendly And Multi-purpose]: This solar powered fountain pump does not need any power battery, no additional power supply,...

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a straightforward little solar fountain that you can place directly into your bird bath and power without an outlet. Powered by 2.5 w, the moving water keeps the bird bath from freezing down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros:

  • An inexpensive product with thousands of 5-star reviews
  • Long lifespan (10,000+ hours)
  • Can be used in a bird bath or fish pond, pool, fish tank, etc
  • 6 different nozzles help you create different looks
  • Includes a base, so it doesn’t just float around in the bird bath

Cons:

  • The solar panel needs to be cleaned so that they can absorb solar energy
  • Doesn’t work in extremely frigid temperatures

AISITIN 3.5W LED Solar Fountain for Bird Bath

AISITIN 3.5W LED Solar Fountain for Birdbath, Solar Water Fountains with Battery 6 Nozzles, Solar Powered Fountain Pump Solar Fountain for Garden Birdbath Pond Pool Fish Tank Outdoor
  • [8 LED Solar Water Fountain]: The solar fountain pump is equipped with 8 LED lights, 10 different colors. Color automatic cycle...
  • [Upgrade 2 Modes for Choice]: The solar water fountain has 2 modes: Automatic mode, the solar fountain works with jet during the...
  • [Water-shortage Protection]: We have now added a new feature “water-shortage protection function and filtration box”, these...

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This product is made by the same company as the previous fountain and is slightly stronger at 3.5w instead of 2.5w. It includes an LED light system with 10 different colors, but you can use it with or without the colorful LED lights.

Pros:

  • Creates a beautiful nighttime display in the winter, especially on snowy days
  • Multiple modes, so you can choose which one you want to use
  • The filtration box extends the life of the fountain by blocking dirt, dust, and leaves

Cons:

  • Reviewers have shared that it doesn’t have a very long battery life
  • Requires significant periods of direct sunlight to work at its highest capacity

VIVOHOME Polyresin Antique Outdoor Green Garden Bird Bath and Solar Powered Round Pond Fountain Combo Set

VIVOHOME Polyresin Antique Outdoor Green Garden Bird Bath and Solar Powered Round Pond Fountain Combo Set
  • COMBO SET - Package include 1 garden birdbath and 1 solar-powered water fountain pump; A gorgeous addition to your garden, patio,...
  • DURABLE MATERIAL - The birdbath is made of weather-resistant polyresin with a beautiful design and finish, tough and durable for...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN - The birdbath is very lightweight, so you can move this bath to the perfect spot effortlessly; For additional...

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you don’t already have a birdbath to add a fountain too, this is a great option! It comes with a pedestal-style fountain and submersible fountain bubbler.

Pros:

  • Clear assembly instructions
  • Can be ordered in different colors (green, grey, golden, or bronze)

Cons:

  • Stakes may not be strong enough to withstand heavy wind, so you may want to invest in stronger ones
  • Only 28″ tall

Will Birds Use a Heated Bird Bath in the Winter?

Is it worth it to have a heated bird bath?

Yep! Birds will definitely use a heated bath!

Like all other creatures, birds need water. They use it for hydration, but also for bathing and preening. A hydrated bird is a healthier bird!

In the winter, birds have fewer places to access water in the wild. Puddles and ponds freeze over. Streams dry up, freeze, or become so muddy that it is difficult to access the water.

A birdbath heater is a safe way to access water all winter long. Some birds will migrate south for the winter, but plenty of bird species spend all year in one general location. These birds will absolutely use a heated bird bath!

You may not see quite as much activity at your bird bath during the winter as you do in the spring, summer, and fall, but in general, you can expect to see birds visiting throughout the year.

Then again, you may end up seeing even more birds than during the warmer months when water is more accessible in rivers, ponds, and natural pools. When you are the only source of water, many birds will find their way to your yard.

Similar to providing birdseed in the winter, providing accessible water means you get to enjoy wild birds all year long.

But Don’t Birds Migrate?

Plenty of birds migrate! However, there are also many species of birds that stay in the same region for their entire lives.

Some of the reasons birds might not migrate include:

  • It takes a lot of energy to migrate! Sometimes an individual bird will stay put even when most birds of its species migrate south.
  • Birds that don’t migrate can defend their territory all year round, rather than fighting for it when all the other birds arrive.
  • Staying put can be an evolutionary strategy that helps birds to nurture their young for longer, creating healthier and stronger populations.

Non-migrating bird species are scavenging birds of prey, woodpeckers, owls, game birds (turkeys, pheasants, quail), tits, chickadees, corvids like blue jays and ravens, cardinals, mockingbirds, and even Anna’s hummingbird.

Where to Place Your Heated Bird Bath

In the winter, the same rules about bird bath placement still apply. In fact, they are even more important in the winter!

Here are some helpful things to keep in mind as you decide where to place your bird bath for the cooler months.

  • Birds don’t like to crowd around a bird bath. Rather, one or two might visit at a time. If you place your bath near a tree or wooded area, birds can perch and wait their turn in safety.
  • Shelter from predators is important, especially in the winter. Wildlife like raccoons, foxes, eagles, and hawks are all interested in eating songbirds. An easy target is a dead target! When the leaves fall off the trees, birds have less “cover” to keep them safe. Plus, wildlife may be hungrier in the winter! Consider placing your bird bath in a place with some shelter from these predators.
  • Avoid running an extension cord across your yard by placing the bird bath relatively close to your exterior outlet.
  • Don’t place your bird bath under a bird feeder, because the debris that falls into the bath will cause a huge mess.
  • Make sure the bird bath is conveniently located where you can watch the birds comfortably and you can easily access the bath to keep it cleaned and maintained throughout the season.

Winter Bird Bath Cleaning Tips

Providing clean water is just as important in the cold winter months as it is in the warmer seasons. That’s why we always recommend cleaning your bird bath consistently throughout the year.

Clean water is essential to wild bird health.

Birdbath water becomes dirty from bird algae feces, dropped birdseed, feathers, dirt, and insects. Some baths are easier to clean than others. For example, if you have a lightweight bird bath that can be brought inside to a utility sink and scrubbed well, that is a lot easier than needing to take cleaning supplies out to a heavy concrete birdbath.

Cleaning a water basin outdoors in winter is another challenge. Protecting your own fingers from frostbite is important, after all!

Here are some things to keep in mind when you are cleaning your birdbath in the winter:

  • Plan to clean the bird bath at least once a week. It is even better to clean it 2-3 times a week.
  • If you can’t bring your birdbath basin inside, invest in some heavy-duty waterproof gloves.
  • Use a solution of water and bleach or vinegar to disinfect the bath and help prevent diseases from spreading in your yard.
  • Algae growth and insects may be less common in the winter, but the rest of the contaminants that make their way into bird baths are still present, so don’t skip bird bath cleaning just because it’s cold!
  • If your bird bath has a solar component, be sure to clean the water intake and the solar panel to keep everything running smoothly.
  • If your birdbath is one of the only water sources in the area, you may see a big increase in bird activity during the cold winter months. This will lead to the water getting dirtier, and faster.

Other Common Considerations for All Bird Baths in Winter

Regardless of the style of bird bath heater you choose, there are some things that are consistent across the board.

1) Birds need to avoid falling into deep water, especially in the cold winter months. Using stones, sticks, or a bird bath with built-in standing ledges will keep them from becoming injured or drenched.

2) Don’t forget about the predator protection strategies mentioned in an earlier section! In the winter, bird predators are out in full force.

3) Sometimes, heaters can cause the water to evaporate faster than during the rest of the year. This is true even when compared to the hot sunny days! Always keep an eye on your bird bath level and refill as necessary. Some basins will need to be refilled daily.

4) Never add hot water! This can crack the basin or damage the heating element.

5) Hot water temperatures can also harm unsuspecting birds. Avoid scalding them or causing temperature regulation problems by exposing them to water that is unexpectedly warm.

Looking for More Information About Bird Baths? Check Out Some of Our Additional Bird Bath Articles!

  • Dust Baths, sunbathing and “anting” may look odd to us, but we actually practice activities for some of the same purposes!
  • Cleaning Bird Baths on a regular schedule is very necessary for wild birds’ health and enjoyment.
  • #1 Heated Bird Bath Review looks at one of our writer’s favorite bird baths!
  • Homemade Bird Bath tells how to make a recycled, upcycled bird bath by repurposing used items. The birds love it, and it’s beautiful, too!

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Liz Ranfeld

Liz Boltz Ranfeld is an independent educator and writer from Indiana. She lives on the edge of the woods with her husband, 2 kids, dogs, chickens, and hedgehog. One of the best things of living in rural Indiana is spotting hawks, pileated woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and other wild creatures. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and gardening, and one of her personal heroes is the conservationist and birdwatcher Rosalie Barrow Edge, who paved the way for the protection of birds around the globe.