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Four key features of bird baths

You tend to think of birds visiting a bird bath when it’s very hot in the peak of summer. However, they are just as important in winter. Birds still need to drink, and especially in hard frosts, their usual water supply may be frozen over.

Here are a few reminders of what makes the perfect bird bath:

Size and depth

Ideally, a bird bath will be quite broad, but not too deep. The deepest part should be no more than 10cm. If you provide a fairly wide space, birds are more likely to congregate together to bathe.

Surface texture

Check that your bird bath surface isn’t too slippery. If it is, the birds will be put off spending time in it. A slightly roughened texture is recommended, or you could use some small stones for grip.


Check for your bird bath freezing over in winter. Never use salt to melt the ice, as it could harm any feathered visitors. Instead, use warm water from the kettle to gently heat the water back up, or simply break up the ice, scoop it out and refill.


If you’re not getting as many visitors as you’d like, perhaps try a different location. Remember, small birds want to be able to dart for cover in an instant, so place your bird bath near bushes or trees.

Having a bird bath, along with bird feeders, in your garden will help entice some feathered visitors, and then all that’s left to do is enjoy the water show.

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