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Pedestal Birdbaths – A Guide To Choosing

pedestal birdbath

Pedestal birdbaths are something we have the Victorians to thank for. These kinds of birdbaths are wonderful for bringing the birds up to a level where we can easily observe them.

Larger birds like jays and robins love their ample size, and have a wonderful time thrashing about as if their goal is to completely empty them with just one bath!

Caution is necessary, however, as many of these baths on the market today are much too deep for most birds. Since the depth of the water in any bath should be no more than 2 inches, with one inch being the ideal, you may have to add some flat rocks to make them safer.

As a matter of fact, rocks make almost any bath more attractive to all birds since they not only give birds something to perch on but also offer a way for them to gauge the depth of the water before they jump in, just as we check to make sure we’re at the deep end of the pool before we dive in headfirst.

Just remember that nature rarely offers water to the birds “on a pedestal,” so you may want to add a ground level bath to attract more species.


How to choose a pedestal birdbath?

Choosing a pedestal bird bath involves considering both the functional aspects that cater to the needs of birds and the aesthetic elements that suit your garden. Here are some tips on how to choose a pedestal bird bath:

  • Stability: Ensure the pedestal is sturdy and well-balanced to prevent tipping over, especially in windy conditions.
  • Material: Common materials include concrete, resin, metal, or plastic. Choose a material that is durable, easy to clean, and complements your garden style.
  • Depth: Opt for a bath with a shallow basin, as most birds prefer shallow water for bathing. A depth of 1-2 inches is ideal.
  • Texture: Birds need a textured surface to grip onto while bathing. Make sure the basin or pedestal has some texture or roughness to help birds maintain their footing.
  • Design: Consider the design of the pedestal, including the shape and details. Birds may be attracted to certain designs, and you may want to choose one that complements your garden aesthetics.
  • Easy to Clean: Look for a pedestal bird bath with a design that allows easy cleaning. Removable basins or simple shapes without intricate details can make cleaning more straightforward.
  • Accessibility: Ensure the design allows easy access for birds. A gently sloping basin with a gradual depth increase is preferable.
  • Water Circulation: Some pedestal bird baths come with a water circulation system, which can be attractive to birds and help prevent stagnant water.
  • Size: Consider the size of the pedestal bird bath in relation to your garden space. It should be large enough to attract birds but not overwhelm the area.


Material of construction

Pedestal baths are available in a wide range of materials. These are some of the typical options:

– Cement – molded cement or similar. It can be very attractive. Heavy. Subject to damage from freezing.

– Plastic and molded resins. Can be very attractive. Resistant to freeze damage. It can be lightweight and top heavy. May need added weight at the base or stakes to maintain stability.

– Metal. Most are copper or brass. Often very attractive. It can be expensive. May be subject to freeze damage, depending on design. Copper units may develop a patina over time, changing from the copper color to a greenish color.


Why Do Birds Like Pedestal Bird Baths?

  • Elevated Position: Birds often feel safer when perched at an elevated position. Pedestal bird baths elevate the water source, providing a vantage point for birds to survey their surroundings and detect potential threats.
  • Open Visibility: The elevated design of a pedestal bird bath offers open visibility, allowing birds to keep an eye out for predators while bathing or drinking.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Many pedestal bird baths are designed to be visually appealing, incorporating decorative elements that can attract birds. Aesthetic features can include patterns, engravings, or ornate designs.
  • Easy Access: The basin’s elevated position makes it easy for birds to access the water. They can perch on the rim of the basin and drink or bathe comfortably.
  • Decoration and Attractiveness: Birds are often attracted to visually interesting elements. A well-designed pedestal bird bath can serve as both a functional water source and a decorative feature that appeals to birds.

See other types: On-Ground Birdbaths | Hanging Birdbaths

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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