You might be one of the millions of people who enjoy watching birds. It’s nice to be able to see various birds visit your yard to gather food, and sometimes they might even stop for water.
This is why so many people choose to place birdbaths in their yards. These birdbaths help the local bird population to survive and thrive in many different ways.
Many birds rely on birdbaths during the winter months when it isn’t as easy to find water. The problem is that birdbaths can freeze up just as easily as anything else.
If you want to keep helping the birds even when the temperatures start to get a bit frigid outside, then what can you do? Is there a good way to keep a birdbath from freezing up?
Keep reading to discover some good ideas that will help you to keep a birdbath from freezing. This should make it possible to keep helping the birds even during the winter months.
1 – Place Your Bird Bath in a Good Spot
Perhaps the most practical thing that you can do to try to keep your birdbath from freezing is to position it in a good spot. Depending on where you place your birdbath, it’s either going to be easy to keep it from freezing or it will be difficult.
If you place the birdbath in a spot that gets lots of sun, then it’ll be more likely that the water in the birdbath won’t freeze. The sun’s rays will be able to hit the birdbath and keep the water warm enough so that it will remain in a liquid state.
Try to find the sunniest spot in your yard so that your birdbath will be able to keep from freezing. It’ll also be good to consider finding a spot where you can protect the birdbath from the wind.
Finding a sweet spot where the sun is shining and the birdbath is protected from wind might be difficult. It’s worth taking the time to look around and find a good location, though.
It’s not always going to be possible to keep a birdbath from freezing just by placing it in a good spot, though. If you live in a particularly cold area, then you’ll likely need other options as well.
Avoid Adding Salt to the Water
You might think that adding a bit of salt to the water will be a good idea. After all, salt is something that can help to keep things from freezing.
While it’s true that this might keep the water from freezing up as easily, it’s also not going to be good for the birds. If you use salt or chemicals that are meant to keep water from freezing, then that could seriously harm the birds.
Since the birdbath is meant to be a spot where the birds can safely drink some water, using salt or antifreeze chemicals would defeat the purpose of what you’re trying to do. You could wind up doing harm to the birds that you’re trying to help during the winter months.
Thankfully, there are plenty of other things that you can do to help to keep the water from freezing. Just remember to avoid adding salt to the water since it isn’t going to turn out well for the birds if you do that.
2 – Keep the Basin Full
Keeping the basin full is going to be important when you’re trying to keep the water from freezing. Smaller amounts of water will freeze faster, and it’ll be harder to get good results.
Birds are going to be drinking water from the birdbath on a regular basis. This means that you will need to go check on things to add water from time to time.
If you don’t do a good job of keeping an eye on the water levels, then things could get too low. If the water level gets too low, then it might wind up freezing up on you.
Do your best to get into the habit of checking on the birdbath daily to see if it needs more water. You should be able to keep the basin full to give the birdbath the best chance of not freezing over.
3 – Try to Darken the Surface of the Birdbath
Another good idea is to try to darken the surface of the birdbath. This will help the birdbath to absorb heat more efficiently, and it can keep the birdbath from freezing up.
There are a few ways that you can go about doing this, but many people like to place black river rocks in the birdbath. The rocks can look really nice in the birdbath and they should help with heat absorption.
It could also be possible to place a sheet of black plastic at the bottom of the birdbath’s basin. This will keep the water warmer by helping it to absorb more heat than usual.
Even just having a birdbath that is dark will make a difference. You could pick out a dark-colored birdbath that will absorb heat better.
4 – Put Something in the Birdbath to Act as an Icebreaker
Placing something in the birdbath could allow you to break up ice as it’s forming. Many people have chosen to put small balls in the birdbaths that will float on the surface of the water.
The wind is going to be able to blow these balls around so that the ice will get broken up as it starts to form. It helps the water to stay liquid instead of completely freezing up.
This is a very good hands-off way to get rid of ice and keep the water in a liquid state for as long as possible. It’s going to help out the local birds and they won’t be bothered by the ball that you placed in the birdbath.
One of the best reasons to try this out is that it isn’t going to cost you much at all. Getting a simple ball to float in the birdbath will cost next to nothing, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to do this either.
5 – Consider Using an Outdoor Heater
Of course, one of the best ways to keep the birdbath from freezing up is to simply use an outdoor heater. This is an option that will certainly work to prevent the birdbath from freezing, but you’ll have to spend some money to make this happen.
You could buy an outdoor immersion heater that can work to keep the water’s temperature from getting too low. It’s possible to set these heaters so that they will keep the water just above freezing so that you won’t encounter any problems.
The only potential downside to this idea is that you’re going to need access to power. Depending on how big your yard is, it might not be easy to run a power cord out to the birdbath.
You should be able to find the type of heater that you need without it being a big deal, though. There are many immersion heaters that are meant to be used for outdoor pools, but you can find ones that will be perfect for birdbaths as well.
The cost of running an immersion heater shouldn’t be too much either. It’s not going to spike your energy bill too high, and it’s worth it if you care about trying to help the birds.
6 – There Are Birdbaths with Integrated Heaters as Well
You might want to consider simply buying a birdbath that has an integrated heater. If you’d rather not worry about buying an immersion heater, then you could buy a birdbath that has a heater as part of the package.
For some people, this is going to be the easiest way to get good results. There are many different styles to choose from and setting one up in your yard will be simple enough.
Depending on how much cash you want to spend, you might even be able to get something really fancy. It’s worth looking around at what’s available to see if this is going to appeal to you or not.
This isn’t necessarily better than adding an immersion heater to an existing birdbath, but it could be more convenient. Consider it if you like the idea of having everything that you need to keep a birdbath from freezing during the winter in one convenient package.
You have many options to consider when you’re trying to keep your birdbath from freezing in the winter. It should be possible to get your birdbath in a good spot where the sun’s rays will help the water to stay liquid.
It’s also going to be important to try to place the birdbath in a spot where it’s protected from the wind. Keeping the basin full of water will help to keep it from freezing up quite so easily as well.
Consider adding some black river rocks to your birdbath to help it to absorb heat better. Placing a ball on the water can help to break up any ice that forms over time as well.
If you want to get the best results possible, then adding an immersion heater to your birdbath might be the best thing to do. You can get an immersion heater that will keep the water above freezing temperature so that the birds can use it.
There are also birdbaths on the market that have integrated heaters. You could buy a birdbath that has everything that you need so that you won’t have to worry about having it freeze up.
It’ll cost a bit of money to run the birdbath during the winter, but it isn’t going to send your electric bill skyrocketing or anything. Many bird enthusiasts would say that it’s well worth the price.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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