3 Best Heated Birdbaths to Attract More Birds This Winter

The 3 best heated birdbaths are revealed in this article. Not only that, I explain what makes the ideal heated birdbath to ensure birds are safe and the birdbath is effective.

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

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 birdbaths I reviewed rose to the top.

To understand why these heated birdbaths made my top 3 you first need to understand what types 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

Songbird Essentials Heated Birdbath Cedar

Allied Precision Industries 670

Allied Precision Industries 970


I’ve been a backyard birder for over 25 years and had thousands of birds visit over that time. I like to install my birdbath in November to ensure it’s in place before the freezing temperatures 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.

Ones 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 what the benefits of a heated birdbath are or why you should consider buying one, you’re not alone.

During times of extreme below-freezing temperatures, a heated birdbath may help wild birds survive the winter but generally speaking, wild birds are perfectly adapted to finding their own water during this time.

They do this by melting snow in their mouths, drinking from dripping icicles, or finding a moving stream or river. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology states “birds have several physiological mechanisms for conserving water“.

That said, the birds benefit from a heated birdbath by finding water more easily so they spend less energy flying around looking for it.

Their lives are not dependent on us but energy conservation is really important to wild birds, especially in winter.

YouTube video

The true benefit of a heated birdbath is for us to have birds want to visit our yards so we can enjoy them year-round. Heated birdbaths also make an ideal gift for the bird lovers on your list.

Types of Heated Birdbaths

There are two main types of heated birdbaths:

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

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 heated birdbath with a pedestal, or stand type, is essentially the basin set on top of a pedestal or stand. A pedestal style is a single unit with the basin and base together. A stand style is two separate pieces – the basin resting on the pedestal base. Usually, 3 metal poles make up the stand.

A ground or deck mount type 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). If you live in an area that receives more than a few inches of snow you should avoid the ground type as it’ll be buried in snow much of the time.

Heated Birdbath With Pedestal

Heated Birdbath Stand

Heated Birdbath 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 that 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, or basin. 

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. That said, the birds don’t care. If it’s liquid water they’ll drink it!

Already have a birdbath? Check out the best deicer for your birdbath > The 3 Best Birdbath Deicers That Won’t Harm the Birds


What to Look for When Buying a Birdbath

There are a lot of options available. After cutting through the endless list of features and specifications, 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.

In order for the heated birdbath to be safe, it should have a built-in thermostat enabling it to automatically turn off once the ice has melted. In fact, the thermostat is non-negotiable – the heated birdbath must have it to protect the birds. Otherwise, the water will continue to heat to extreme temperatures and harm the birds when bathing or drinking.

Note: Every birdbath I reviewed and recommend has a thermostat built-in.

The bowl should have an appropriate depth. Birds only need up to a couple of inches of water to drink.

Since birds vary in size, a sloping bowl 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 bowls that are just too deep.

In order for the heated birdbath to be effective, it 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 bowl. In most cases, the birds are visiting the birdbath to drink. They will perch on the edge of the rim, bend over and drink. If the rim’s edge is not perch-friendly they will find this task cumbersome and perhaps fly away. Contoured rims are ideal for perching.

Note: Every birdbath I reviewed and recommend has a sufficient perch-friendly bowl.

2. Durable Construction

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

Also, avoid a metal bowl 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 winds blow you want a heated birdbath that will stay put so pay attention to its weight.

  • If it’s a pedestal-style heated 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, use mounting brackets to secure it in place.
  • If it’s ground-style, 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 weigh 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 bowl. 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 the 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 one, 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 bowl diameters and pedestal heights vary. If you plan to host a lot and larger-sized birds you may opt for a larger basin size so they have room for drinking. If you choose the heated birdbath pedestal style and live in a region that gets a lot of snow, you may consider a taller pedestal or else you’ll be brushing snow off of it all the time.
  • 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 of 1-3 years, others don’t have a warranty at all.
  • Made in the 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 due to the following concerns:

  • All of the water can dry up if additional water isn’t added in time and likely burn out the headed birdbath unit.
  • The water 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 when the temperature is below freezing. 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 Heated Birdbath Cedar

BEST PEDESTAL HEATED BIRDBATH

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

PROS

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

CONS

  • Some assembly is 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 birdbath to enhance your yard.
  • Made in the 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 bowl (20″) with a textured surface, gradual slope, and perching rim so wild birds can safely use it.
  • The pedestal can be filled with sand or stones for added weight to battle high winter winds.
  • The heating element and cord are fully concealed (the cord goes through the pedestal) so there are no unsightly electrical components.

CONS

  • Some reported the plastic bowl could have been thicker.
  • A little pricier than other options.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in the USA
  • 1 Year Warranty

#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 a textured surface, gradual slope, and perching rim so wild birds can safely use it.
  • Large 20″ basin so larger birds are welcome.
  • The mounting bracket features a hinge to tilt water out making it easier to clean.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in the 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 a 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

  • The metal stand is 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. (Note: The birds don’t care!)
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in the 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.
  • The cord tucks under the basin so there are fewer 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 the 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

  • A 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, and plug back in.
  • The metal stand is 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. (Note: The birds don’t care!)
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in the 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 a 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 the 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 a 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 Heated Birdbath Spa 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 a tree.

CONS

  • Relatively shallow basin – 1″ limited bird movements. (Doesn’t offer textured or sloped basin but is immaterial since so shallow).
  • A small basin (14″) so 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.
  • The metal stand is not as solid as other options.
  • The electrical is not concealed so you see a rather unsightly cord. (Note: The birds don’t care!)
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 is relatively shallow – fewer birds are able to use it together.
  • Some reported the unit leaks and/or the grainy surface comes off after some use.
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 the ambiance isn’t ruined with unsightly electrical components.

CONS

  • Needs to be removed from the 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

  • The 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. (Note: The birds don’t care!)
  • The size of the basin is not known but the photos on Duncraft’s website indicate it’s smaller than other options which means fewer birds can congregate.
Optional Requirements Worth Noting
  • Made in the 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. Also, placing it in a sunny location will help reduce electricity costs.

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 winter 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 winter 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 every day

Anywhere birds congregate is an ideal environment for diseases such as House Finch Eye Disease, Avian Pox, or Salmonellosis to spread. To mitigate this risk, provide fresh 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 water.

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. 

Brush snow off

Following snowfalls be sure to brush snow off the edge of the birdbath so birds can easily perch on it.

Eliminate the Buildup of Mineral Deposits

If the birdbath develops a coating of mineral deposits from the water, you can dissolve them by soaking them in a vinegar/water solution. After cleaning it, place a 1:9 ratio of vinegar in the bowl and allow it to soak for about 10 minutes. Empty, wipe out the inside with a paper towel, and rinse several times before adding fresh water.

Summertime

There’s no reason why you can’t leave the heated birdbath in your garden for the summer. Just be sure to unplug it.


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 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.


Conclusion

There are quite a few heated birdbath choices available today. Decide which optional features are important to you and pay strict attention to the essential features including safety & effectiveness, durability, ease of cleaning, and overall value.

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 heated birdbath in your yard, you’ll be blessed with more birds and different varieties this year.

What about you? What’s been your experience shopping for or using a heated birdbath? Do you have something to share that will help others? Please leave a comment below.

More than 25 years ago, Tammy put her first bird feeder outside her kitchen window. Since then she learned how to attract wild birds to her backyard. Studying the meaning & symbolism of wild birds is also a passion of hers. Read more about Tammy

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