3 Best Heated Birdbaths for Winter 2021

Inside: The 3 best heated birdbaths to keep wild birds visiting your yard all winter long! Also, discover what to look for when buying a heated birdbath.

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During the winter it’s cold, and everything’s frozen – including your birdbath! Since wild birds still need to drink and bathe during winter, you can help them by providing a heated birdbath and keeping a supply of water unfrozen.

There are a lot of options for heated birdbaths so it can be confusing and overwhelming to choose one. Fret not! I reviewed and rated almost 20 different heated birdbaths. Three of the heated birdbaths rose to the top to make my top 3 best heated birdbaths list.

To understand why these heated birdbaths made my top 3 you first need to understand what type of heated birdbaths there are and which features to pay attention to.

If you just want to get right to it — here are my picks for the 3 best heated birdbaths:

3 Best Heated Birdbaths

#1 Pedestal Heated Birdbath

Songbird Essentials Cedar

#2 Pedestal Heated Birdbath

Allied Precision Industries 670

#3 Deck-Mounted Heated Birdbath

Allied Precision Industries 650


I’ve been a backyard birder for over 20 years and had thousands of birds visit over that time. I like to setup my birdbath in early December to ensure it’s in place before the freezing temps hit. It’s another way I like to help the birds and (selfishly) get a glimpse of them up close.

My expertise combined with the insight of hundreds of experienced backyard birder friends across the US means you can trust my recommendations.

What is a Heated Birdbath?

A heated birdbath’s primary function is to prevent the water in a birdbath from freezing so birds can drink from and bathe in it during freezing cold weather. Heated birdbaths that are worth it contain a built-in thermostat controller that automatically turns on the unit when the water reaches 32 F so the water doesn’t freeze.

This automation also prevents the water from becoming hot and harming the birds and keeps your electric bill from exploding out of control. A thermostatically-controlled birdbath costs mere pennies a day to run.

Family of bluebirds enjoying a heated birdbath in winter. Photo by Julie Atkinson
Family of bluebirds enjoying a heated birdbath in winter. Photo by Julie Atkinson

Why should I consider a heated birdbath?

If you’re wondering why you should consider buying a heated birdbath or more specifically, what are the benefits of providing a heated birdbath, you’re not alone.

The truth is, wild birds are perfectly adapted to finding their own water during the winter by melting snow in their mouths, dripping icicles, or finding a moving stream or river. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology states “birds have several physiological mechanisms for conserving water“.

The true benefit of a heated birdbath is for us to attract them to our yard and enjoy them year-round. The birds also benefit by making the job of finding the water far easier, but it’s not necessary. Their lives are not dependent on us.

Types of Heated Birdbaths

There are two main types of heated birdbaths including:

  1. Pedestal/Stand Heated Birdbath
  2. Ground/Deck Mount Heated Birdbath

There is nothing inherently better or worse between the types of heated birdbaths. As long as it meets the key requirements, which we’ll discuss shortly, either type is a fine choice.

  • A pedestal or stand heated birdbath is essentially the basin set on top of a pedestal or stand. A pedestal heated birdbath includes the basin and base or pedestal piece as one unit or it could be two where the basin rests on top of the pedestal base. A stand heated birdbath is two separate units with the basin resting on top of a metal stand. Usually, 3 metal poles make up the stand.
  • A ground or deck mount heated birdbath does not have a pedestal or stand. Instead, the basin either rests on the ground or is mounted to a deck rail (rests inside a metal holder that’s then mounted via brackets to a deck rail).

Pedestal Type

Stand Type

Ground/Deck Mount Type

What about Birdbath Deicers?

Heated birdbaths and birdbath de-icers are similar in that they both accomplish the same goal – melt ice and/or prevent the icing of water. 

The difference is heated birdbaths are the birdbath and heating unit built into one whereas birdbath de-icers are just the heating unit that is laid inside the birdbath bowl. 

Heated birdbaths provide a more aesthetically pleasing experience as the cord is either tucked inside the pedestal or out the bottom of the ground/mountable type, rather than draped up and over the basin, which is the case for birdbath de-icers.

However, this article is specifically about heated birdbaths.


What to Look for When Buying a Birdbath

There are a lot of heated birdbath options available. After cutting through the endless list of features and specifications of heated birdbaths, I arrived at a shortlist of key requirements to focus on when buying a heated birdbath. 

The key requirements are:

  1. Safe & Effective
  2. Durable 
  3. Easy to Clean
  4. A Good Value

1. Safe & Effective

When you buy a heated birdbath you want it to be safe for the birds. To be safe:

  • The heated birdbath should have a built-in thermostat enabling it to automatically turn off once the ice has melted. In fact, the thermostat is a non-negotiable – the heated birdbath must have it. Otherwise the water will continue to heat to extreme temps and harm the birds. Note: Every birdbath I reviewed and recommend have a thermostat built-in.
  • The heated birdbath’s basin should have basin have an appropriate depth. Birds only need up to a couple inches of water to drink from or bathe in. Since birds vary in size, a sloping basin is ideal for the smaller birds so they can comfortably hop from the shallow to the deeper areas without fear of drowning and works for larger birds who may choose to drop right into the deep. Avoid basins that are just too deep.

To be effective:

  • The heated birdbath needs to have sufficient power to do its job of keeping the water from freezing up. Heated birdbaths come in power ranges from 50W to 150W. Note: Every birdbath I reviewed and recommend has sufficient power to do the job.
  • Offer a perch-friendly basin. In most cases the birds are visiting the birdbath in winter to drink. They will perch on the rim, bend over and drink. If the rim is not perch-friendly they will find this task cumbersome and perhaps fly away. Heated birdbaths with contoured or other type of rim that makes it easy for birds to perch. Note: Every birdbath I reviewed and recommend has a sufficient perch-friendly basin.

2. Durable Construction

Winter conditions have a way of applying excessive wear and tear to items in the yard including birdbaths. A birdbath with durable construction is able to weather the temperatures as well as harsh wind and freezing rain. Durable weather-resistant plastic is the ideal material.

Avoid concrete, stone, or glass. As Birds and Blooms point out, these materials can crack if the water freezes.

Also, avoid metal for the basin since wet, frozen metal could be a disaster for wildlife drinking from it. (Ever licked your lips and walked into a frozen pole? I know birds don’t have lips .. .but similar concept.).

When the wicked winter winds blow you want a heated birdbath that will stay put so pay attention to the weight of the heated birdbath.

  • If it’s a pedestal style birdbath the base should be heavy or have the ability to fill with sand or rocks to provide a strong base.
  • If it’s a mounted style heated birdbath, use mounting brackets to secure it in place.
  • If it’s a ground-style heated birdbath, look for one made of heavy materials. Alternately, and if you don’t mind the aesthetics, you could place a large rock in it or several medium sized rocks to weight it down.

3. Easy to Clean

If you know anything about me, you know I’m a huge proponent of responsible backyard birding. It’s our responsibility to provide a safe environment for wild birds while they’re in our yard. This means providing fresh food and water and cleaning the bird feeders and birdbaths regularly.

When selecting a heated birdbath make sure it’s easy to clean – specifically, the basin portion. Plastic materials are ideal for ease of cleaning. This is great since plastic materials are also ideal for durability (#2 above).

Proper cleaning of a birdbath entails scrubbing with a 1:9 bleach/water solution. For this reason, you should avoid porous materials such as wood.

4. A Good Value

I’ve assessed the value of each heated birdbath and admittedly, it’s somewhat subjective. Essentially, I’ve compared the price of birdbaths having similar features and qualities to determine the values of each. The birdbath with the lower price (but same features) is a good value whereas the higher-priced product (with the same features) would not be a good value. It’s more of an art than a science but still a useful factor to consider.

Optional Requirements to Consider when Buying a Heated Birdbath

Each heated birdbath comes with a set of features and specifications. Some of them are key requirements you should pay attention to when choosing a heated birdbath, which we discussed above, but some are optional.

Optional features might be important to you or your circumstance but are not universally key for everyone. If they are important to you, add them to your list of things to consider. Here are the optional requirements to consider when buying a heated birdbath.

  • Size: Heated birdbath basin diameters and pedestal heights vary. If you plan to host a lot and larger-sized birds throughout the winter you may opt for a larger basin size. If you choose the pedestal style and live in a region that gets a lot of snow, you may consider a taller pedestal.
  • Aesthetics: If the color and style/look of the heated birdbath is important to you there are several options to consider. While most are white/ivory in color, other models are available in a choice of colors. The styles vary as well. Another consideration is whether the heating element is concealed or not. A giant metal object hanging out can be somewhat of an eyesore.
  • Warranty: Some people don’t buy anything without a warranty while others aren’t concerned. Some of the heated birdbaths include a warranty from 1-3 years, others don’t have a warranty at all.
  • Made in USA: If this is important to you, there are some feeders Made in America

What to Avoid when Buying a Heated Birdbath

Avoid any heated birdbath that is not thermostatically controlled. There are numerous concerns with a heated birdbath that doesn’t have a thermostat to turn on and off when it’s actually needed including:

  • All of the water in the heated birdbath can dry up if additional water isn’t added in time and likely burn out the headed birdbath unit.
  • The water in the heated birdbath can become too hot causing potential harm to the birds.
  • The heated birdbath can significantly raise your electric bill since the unit runs all the time.
  • The heated birdbath may overheat and short circuit destroying the birdbath or causing a fire.

Avoid a heated birdbath that requires or suggests additives such as salt, anti-freeze, glycerin, or any other type of additive as they are harmful if not poisonous for wildlife. The only thing the birdbath should contain is clean water.

How I Reviewed the Heated Birdbaths

I reviewed more than 10 heated birdbaths.

  • Each of them has a thermostat built-in. As I mentioned earlier, a thermostat is a non-negotiable requirement every heated birdbath must have to protect and keep our wild birds safe.
  • Each of them prevents icing of the water in subzero conditions. In other words, they all do the job.
  • They all have cords that are too short. You will need to use an extension cord regardless of which birdbath you choose.

Using a 5 point system, I awarded between 0 and 5 points for each of the 4 key requirements.

My Review Point System

0 = Very Poor
1 = Poor
3 = Good
4 = Great
5 = Exceptional

Heated Birdbath Key Requirements

  1. Safe & Effective
  2. Durable Construction
  3. Easy to Clean
  4. A Good Value

Reviews of Heated Birdbaths

#1 Songbird Essentials Cedar Heated Birdbath

BEST PEDESTAL HEATED BIRDBATH

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective4
Durable Construction4
Easy to Clean5
A Good Value3
OVERALL RATING4.00

PROS

  • Some assembly required for a sturdier birdbath.
  • Good value considering its the only option made from wood (cedar).
  • Heavy to withstand winter winds.
  • Heating element and cord fully concealed (cord goes through the pedestal) so there’s no unsightly electrical components.

CONS

  • Some assembly required so you won’t be able to put it out for the birds right away.
  • A little pricier than other options.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Attractive, rustic looking bird bath to enhance your yard.
  • Made in USA

#2 Allied Precision Industries 670

2nd BEST PEDESTAL HEATED BIRDBATH

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective4
Durable Construction4
Easy to Clean5
A Good Value3
OVERALL RATING4.00

PROS

  • Versatile – can be used as a pedestal type or mounted to a deck rail with included hardware.
  • Large basin (20″) with textured surface, gradual slope and perching rim so wild birds can safely use it.
  • Pedestal can be filled with sand or stones for added weight to battle high winter winds.
  • Heating element and cord fully concealed (cord goes through the pedestal) so there’s no unsightly electrical components.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in USA
  • 1 Year Warranty

CONS

  • Some reported the basin plastic could have been thicker.
  • A little pricier than other options.

#3 Allied Precision Industries 650

BEST DECK MOUNTED HEATED BIRDBATH

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective4
Durable Construction4
Easy to Clean4
A Good Value3
OVERALL RATING3.75

PROS

  • Basin with textured surface, gradual slope and perching rim so wild birds can safely use it.
  • Large 20″ basin so larger birds are welcome.
  • Mountaing bracket features a hinge to tilt water out making easier to clean.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in USA
  • 1 Year Warranty

CONS

  • Some report the mounting brack isn’t very stable.

The remaining heated birdbaths didn’t make the top 3 but are still worthy of consideration.


Allied Precision Industries 970

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective4
Durable Construction3
Easy to Clean3
A Good Value3
OVERALL RATING3.25

PROS

  • Basin with textured surface, gradual slope and perching rim so wild birds can safely use it.
  • Large 20″ basin so larger birds are welcome.
  • Affordable pedestal option.

CONS

  • Metal stand not as solid as other options. Some reported it’s not very sturdy.
  • The electrical is not concealed so you see a rather unsightly cord.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in USA
  • 1 Year Warranty

Allied Precision Industries EZ Tilt

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective4
Durable Construction3
Easy to Clean4
A Good Value3
OVERALL RATING3.50

PROS

  • Basin tilts forward making cleaning easier.
  • Cord tucks under basin so there are less unsightly electrical components.

CONS

  • Basin does not have texture or gradual slope so birds may not use it. You can add rocks to resolve this deficit.
  • There are more affordable deck mounted options.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in USA
  • 1 Year Warranty

Allied Precision Industries Model 400

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective3
Durable Construction3
Easy to Clean3
A Good Value4
OVERALL RATING3.25

PROS

  • Affordable pedestal option.

CONS

  • Small basin (12″) cannot host as many birds at the same time.
  • Basin does not have texture or gradual slope so birds may not use it. You can add rocks to resolve this deficit.
  • Not as easy to clean as the others. You need to unplug, clean, plug back in.
  • Metal stand not as solid as other options. Some reported it’s not very sturdy.
  • The electrical is not concealed so you see a rather unsightly cord.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in USA
  • 1 Year Warranty

Gesail 3-in-1 Mounted Heated Birdbath

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective2
Durable Construction3
Easy to Clean4
A Good Value4
OVERALL RATING3.25

PROS

  • Mounts 3 different ways. Ground (metal feed provided), deck rail, clamp to tree.
  • Offered in three different color options.

CONS

  • Relatively shallow basin – 1″ limited bird movements. (Doesn’t offer textured or sloped basin but is immaterial since so shallow).
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in USA

Farm Innovators 3-In-1 Heated Birdbath GBD-75

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective2
Durable Construction3
Easy to Clean4
A Good Value4
OVERALL RATING3.25

PROS

  • Mounts 3 different ways. Ground (metal feed provided), deck rail, clamp to tree.

CONS

  • Relatively shallow basin – 1″ limited bird movements. (Doesn’t offer textured or sloped basin but is immaterial since so shallow).
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • 1 Year Warranty

Songbird Essentials Spa Heated Birdbath 995

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective2
Durable Construction3
Easy to Clean4
A Good Value3
OVERALL RATING3.00

PROS

  • Mounts 3 different ways. Ground (metal feed provided), deck rail, clamp to tree.

CONS

  • Relatively shallow basin – 1″ limited bird movements. (Doesn’t offer textured or sloped basin but is immaterial since so shallow).
  • Small basin (14″) cannot host as many birds at the same time.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • 1 Year Warranty

Wild Birds Unlimited Heated Birdbath w/Stand

No Photo Available

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective4
Durable Construction3
Easy to Clean5
A Good Value1
OVERALL RATING3.25

PROS

  • Large 20″ basin so many birds can use at once, including larger birds.
  • Easy to clean.

CONS

  • Unaffordable option for many people.
  • Metal stand not as solid as other options.
  • The electrical is not concealed so you see a rather unsightly cord.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • 4 Year Warranty (This is the best warranty in the industry)

Farm Innovators Heated Birdbath FS1

Since this birdbath only rests on the ground I don’t recommend it for regions that get more than a few inches of snow accumulation.

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective4
Durable Construction1
Easy to Clean2
A Good Value4
OVERALL RATING2.75

PROS

  • Has a natural rock vibe.

CONS

  • Basin depth relatively shallow – less birds are able to use it together.
  • Some reported the unit leaks and/or the grainy surface comes off after some user.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • N/A

Farm Innovators Heated Birdbath HBI-150

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective4
Durable Construction3
Easy to Clean1
A Good Value3
OVERALL RATING2.75

PROS

  • Hidden electrical so ambiance isn’t ruined with unsightly electrical components.

CONS

  • Needs to be removed from deck rail for cleaning which is less convenient.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • 3 Year Warranty

Duncraft Hexagon Heated Post Birdbath

No Photo Available

Key RequirementRating
Safe & Effective4
Durable Construction3
Easy to Clean2
A Good Value1
OVERALL RATING2.50

PROS

  • Metal frame is powder coated steel for stability and rust prevention.

CONS

  • Unaffordable option for many people.
  • Cleaning is a little challenging as the basin does not just lift out of the frame. Duncraft’s customer service advised “you can easily lift the frame with the bowl in it from the pole to clean it”.
  • The electrical is not concealed so you see a rather unsightly cord.
  • Size of basin is not known but the photos on Duncraft’s website indicate it’s smaller than other options which means less birds can congregate.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in USA
  • 1 Year Warranty

Tips for Using a Heated Birdbath

Where to Place the Heated Birdbath

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology recommends placing the birdbath near branches so the birds can perch and preen following their bath. Nearby trees or shrubbery also affords an escape zone for birds if a predator happens along.

Choose the Right Extension Cord

The electrical cord for ALL heated birdbaths is notoriously short. That’s why I didn’t include cord length as a requirement. In other words, there is no heated birdbath available with an appropriate length cord – they’re all too short.

So, you should plan to use an extension cord regardless of the type or model you choose. I recommend an extension cord designed for outdoor use and waterproof. The Cornel Lab of Ornithology also recommends plugging your heater into a ground-fault interrupted circuit to eliminate the chance of electric shock.

The length of an extension cord is obviously dependent on the distance between your electric source and the location of the birdbath – which will vary greatly from one person to the next. 

Here are a few options:

25′ Outdoor Extension Cord

50′ Outdoor Extension Cord

Refresh the water everyday

Anywhere birds congregate is an ideal environment fordiseases such as House Finch Eye Disease, Avian Pox, or Salmonellosis to spread. To mitigate this risk, refresh the water in the heated birdbath each day. To be clear, don’t just “top off” the water each day. Pour out leftover water in the heated birdbath and add fresh.

Clean the heated birdbath every two weeks

The CDC recommends cleaning your feeders and birdbaths every other week. Clean more often if you see a buildup of bird poop or other visible debris. 

How to Clean A Heated Birdbath in Winter

The process for cleaning a heated birdbath in winter is nearly the same as cleaning any other season. The only exception is in winter you should unplug the birdbath before cleaning. Here are the steps:

  1. Unplug the heated birdbath.
  2. Wearing gloves, scrub bird droppings and dirt off the birdbath with a brush designated for this purpose.
  3. Scrub birdbaths with dish soap and water with a brush designated for this purpose.
  4. Soak birdbath in a 1:9 water & bleach solution for 10 or more minutes (e.g. .25 cup bleach with 4.25 cups water).
  5. Pour out the bleach solution and rinse 3 times. One more time for good measure. There should not be any remnants of bleach.
  6. Remove and throw away gloves. 
  7. Refill the birdbath and plug in.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a Heated birdbath use a lot of electricity?

Heated birdbaths that are thermostatically controlled do not use a lot of electricity. The thermostat feature allows the heater to turn on only when needed (e.g. when the air temperature is 32 F or lower) and turns off when the not needed.

How do you keep a birdbath from freezing?

If you have an existing birdbath and want to use it during times of freezing temperatures (i.e. Winter) you can add a deicer to it. Alternatively, you can purchase a heated birdbath that prevents the water from freezing.


In summary, there are quite a few heated birdbath choices available today. I hope this article provides you with the information you need to comfortably choose and purchase a heated birdbath. There’s no limit to the enjoyment wild birds bring in your yard – especially in winter with a glistening white backdrop of snow.

Happy Birding!

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Tammy Poppie

More than 20 years ago, Tammy put her first bird feeder outside her kitchen window. Since then she learned how to attract wild birds to her back yard (and repel others). In her free time, she can be found in nature kayaking, hiking, and biking always hoping to see a bird in the wild.