The Different Types Of Heated Bird Baths Available For Freezing Winters

Bird baths come in a multitude of materials including gorgeous ceramic or glass, classic cement that will last, or cheaper plastic. Further, you could even make a DIY bird bath out of materials you may already have. Unfortunately, none of those options will make it through the long, cold winter if the water within freezes and expands. Not only can ice crack the basin of a bird bath, but our feathered friends need water year-round — whether the temperatures are below freezing or not. To solve both of these problems, there are two types of heated bird baths you could buy to keep your investment from cracking while supporting any overwintering birds in your area. The first has a built-in heater, while the second features an external heater that's added to an existing bird bath.

When the temperatures start to drop, available water becomes a precious commodity for wildlife. Frozen ponds and puddles are of no use to thirsty birds, so adding a heated bird bath to your yard can provide them with drinking water and a place to bathe. You may even attract a wider variety of these winter beauties to your property because they know that their basic needs can be met. 

Bird baths with built-in heaters

If you are in the market for a brand-new bird bath, consider purchasing one that has a built-in heater. Some options feature thermostats to keep the water in your basin at a consistent temperature, preventing the water from freezing and thawing over and over again. This will make it easy for you to maintain your bird bath in the winter. There are plenty of products on the market, but if you live in a northern climate where snow and ice are the norm during cold months, there are options that can keep the water thawed even when the temperatures reach well below zero.

Some heated bird baths on the market have a basic design and are primarily used for their function instead of as a yard decoration. However, if the appearance of your outdoor decor is very important to you, more expensive options offer the ornamental design of an attractive bird bath along with the added heating function. If you select a bird bath with a built-in heater, you will likely need an outdoor outlet to plug it in, so it may need to be placed close to your house.

External heaters for existing bird baths

For those who just want to improve their existing bird bath, they can simply add an immersion heater, also sometimes called a de-icer. These options do not work as well as a bird bath with a built-in heater, but in warmer regions, they may be all you need to keep your outdoor water source thawed on unusually cold days. Instead of heating the basin of your bird bath, this style of heater goes inside the bowl to keep the water from freezing. These de-icers come in many shapes and sizes. However, keep in mind that they shouldn't be used in concrete bird baths, as they could damage the material. 

Just like with built-in heated bird baths, the most efficient options of immersion heaters will require a power source. While there are types that need to be plugged into an outlet, there are also some solar options available. However, if the sun isn't shining, these types won't work and your water will freeze. Still, a solar heater might work for mild areas that get infrequent cold snaps, and they might be the only option if you do not have an outdoor outlet available.