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Hanging Birdbaths – Everything You Need To Know

hanging birdbath

Due to the weight of water, most hanging baths are usually smaller than other designs. Small baths are more attractive to small birds. They feel safer in them, in the same way that small children feel safer in a baby pool than they do in full-size swimming pools.

Birds like goldfinches will use the chains that suspend these baths to slowly inch down to the water, hanging on as they take a sip.

Smaller birds can be enticed to use in the baths by adding stones or gravel to further decrease the overall depth of the bath, creating a water level of 1 inch or less.


A hanging bath is popular with many small species. The dried flowers in the background hint that cooler weather is approaching and a heater might be a good addition to this bath.

Hanging baths can feature decorative designs as well as providing for the birds. Their small size makes them easy to clean but they may need to be refilled more often than larger units.

As with everything, there are many other variations of hanging birdbaths available, including those with different shapes, sizes, and designs. You can choose one that best fits your style and budget while providing a safe and clean water source for birds.


Why do birds like hanging birdbaths?

Hanging bird baths offer a unique water source for birds and can attract avian visitors for several reasons:

  • Visibility and safety: Hanging bird baths can be positioned in areas where birds feel safe from ground predators. Birds can perch on the edges of the bath, providing them with a clear view of their surroundings and potential threats.
  • Limited access to pets: Hanging bird baths are often more difficult for ground-based predators, such as cats, or squirrels to reach. This can make birds feel safer when using the bath, reducing the risk of predation.
  • Elevated positioning: Some bird species prefer elevated locations for activities like bathing and preening. Hanging bird baths mimic the appeal of tree branches or other elevated spots that birds naturally use for these behaviors.
  • Dynamic element: The swinging or moving nature of a hanging bird bath can attract birds, especially those who are curious or enjoy dynamic elements. Movement can make the bath more appealing and engaging for birds.
  • Adaptation to urban environments: Hanging bird baths are well-suited for urban and suburban environments where trees and natural water sources may be limited. They allow you to provide a water source in areas with few elevated perching options.

Hanging birdbaths are a good option for birdwatchers as well – having a bird bath eye-level, gives you the perfect chance to see which birds come to your garden!

To attract more birds to your garden, consider adding an on-ground birdbath as well.


Where to hang a bird bath?

There are some considerations to hanging bird baths. The bath should be in a visible location for birds but away from the sight of predators. Shade is another thing to consider, to keep the water colder for birds.

Another thing to consider is the height of the bath. Around 3 feet off the ground should be a comfortable height for you to empty and refill the bath, and to keep it off the reach of cats and other animals.

All in all, a good location for a bird bath is in a quiet area of your yard with some trees or vegetation nearby, where birds can feel safe while using the bath. Make sure to keep the water clean and refreshed regularly, as this will attract more birds to your yard.


How to choose a bird bath?

Choosing a bird bath for your garden involves considering various factors to ensure it meets the needs of both the birds and your garden aesthetics.

Here are some pointers to help you choose the right birdbath:

  • Size: Opt for a bird bath that is large enough to accommodate different bird species but not too deep that it poses a drowning risk. A shallow depth (1-2 inches) is ideal to attract a variety of birds.
  • Material: Choose a material that complements your garden style and is durable. Common materials include ceramic, glass, concrete, plastic, and metal. Ceramic and concrete provide stability, while glass and metal can be more decorative.
  • Placement: Position the bird bath in a location that is visible to you but provides some cover for the birds, such as near shrubs or trees. Ensure there’s a clear line of sight for the birds to detect predators.
  • Stability: Ensure the bird bath is stable and won’t tip over easily. This is especially important if you live in an area with strong winds.
  • Easy to clean: Choose a bird bath that is easy to clean to prevent the growth of algae and the spread of diseases. Consider one with a removable basin for convenient cleaning.
  • Heating element (optional): If you live in a colder climate, consider a bird bath with a heating element to prevent the water from freezing in winter.
  • Circulation: A bird bath with a gentle water circulation system can attract more birds and prevent stagnant water.
  • Accessibility: Ensure the bird bath has textured surfaces or shallow areas that allow birds to grip easily.
  • Safety: Avoid bird baths with sharp edges or intricate designs that may pose a hazard to birds.

Make sure to clean and refill the bird bath regularly to provide a fresh and safe water source for the birds in your garden.


Read next: Birdbath care

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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