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Bird baths can benefit wildlife in different ways, depending on where you put them. In addition to attracting birds, well-maintained bird baths provide fresh water for our feathered friends to drink, clean their feathers, bathe and cool off from the heat.

Bird baths can be used to attract more birds and help to encourage them to use your garden or lawn, but in order for a bird bath to have a maximum effect is important where you put it. If you don’t place it in the right spot, it won’t be as beneficial and will go unused.

There are many considerations when selecting a location for your bird bath. Below are 12 of the most popular locations:

Where To Place a Bird Bath For Best Results

Near your window bird feeder

If you have a window bird feeder, it’s best to place your bird bath near it. You can even get special bird baths that use suction cups to stick onto the window in the same way some window feeders do. When birds come to feed, they will appreciate the close proximity of the window-hanging bird bath.

On your fence

The best place to put your bird bath down would be by the fence because birds like to perch on them to socialise and watch out for predators. Fences are generally good at providing shade aswell and can often have trees and bushes nearby, making it appealing for them.

In the corner of your garden

Another great place would be in the corner of your garden, forming a triangle shape with a tree and bushes on either side. Trees make excellent places for birds to perch because they like to have shade to cool off. They provide good nesting locations too. Bushes provide berries that attract birds and make them feel welcome in that area, as well as protection for nests.

Near a hanging bird feeder

If you have bird feeders outside, placing your bird bath near it is ideal, providing protection from predators and an attraction for noise makers like cardinals and sparrows that eat insects attracted by the feeder. Birds love to take a dip after their meal, so a feeding station and bird bath nearby go hand in hand.

Blue Jay at Drinking Watering Bowl Bird Bath

Near a pond/stream/water source

If you have a pond, stream or pond liners around your property, then it would be best to place one of your bird bathing accessories near it. Birds love moving water, and anything such as a bird feeder or bath nearby will definitely catch their eye.

Also, if you have a small stream or river near your backyard, then placing your bird bath down here can be very advantageous.

In a tree

Ideally, bathing birds prefer to be closer to the ground. However, you can also place bird baths in trees to make them useful as a place of escape. Place a hanging bird bath far up away from predators and other threats like cats which have been known to knock them off and break them.

In shady areas

To have the best effect on your bird bath, you must have it placed somewhere with a shady spot.

Direct sunlight can harm many plants and flowers, so you may want to place your bird bath in an area that receives indirect sunlight or shade. If your backyard has an abundance of tall trees or shrubs, it might be best to place your birdbath under overhanging branches.

Bird bath in a shady spot

Away from predators

If possible, choose a location not near an area frequented by predators (such as a cat). Cats and dogs can smell bird baths, especially if the water is fresh, so you might want to try and put it as far away from your house as possible if you have these pets. Birds need to feel safe when drinking and bathing.

On lower ground

Your garden may have small hills or other areas slightly higher than the rest of the ground around it. These areas provide foraging opportunities for birds and other wildlife because nutrients, such as leaves and insects tend to settle there over time. Any type of basic DIY bird bath would be ideal for using this space, especially given that birds prefer bathing at ground level.

Near a flowerbed

If you have an established garden or flowerbed, consider adding a few small rocks to create a more natural look with some outdoor art. The rocks will create a small rock formation for your bird bath to sit in, with enough room for the water and a bird. Consider adding some plants around the edges of the container to make it look more natural, such as ferns or some other greenery.

Stone bird bath in summer bedding flowers

Keep your bird bath clean

The cleaner your bird bath, the more desirable it will be for birds passing by your garden. In fact, it’s probably one of the most important factors to consider when trying to get birds to use a bird bath. Having a clean bird bath with clean water is essential to the health, well-being and desirability of all visiting birds that may want to use it. For more information on this topic, check our top tips on how to clean a bird bath.

Create a habitat

Depending on the layout and style of your garden, you might want to place your new bird bath in an area where the birds can use it as an additional wildlife-friendly habitat. If you have a small parcel of land, consider creating a section where the birds can eat, drink and bathe in one area. This will provide birds of different species with an attractive location to feel comfortable and welcome.

You can also place some branches with fruit or berries close to the bird bath if you have a few extra lying around. This will help attract different birds and make the area more appealing. Also, if you want to make your bird bath stand out more, consider adding some coloured marbles, stones or other decorative materials to the water container itself.

Bird bath in a beautiful summer garden.

Other Factors To Consider

When you’re looking at your garden and trying to figure out how to get birds to use a bird bath, consider how much room you have and what is the most appropriate location for where all of the factors mentioned above will play into effect.

You can do this in a few different ways. The first is basing your decision on the bird bath size and how it will fit in with the size of your yard. To go along with that, also consider how easy or hard it would be to clean out any messes made. For example, placing your big and heavy bird bath where a hose can reach it is handy when it comes to cleaning time.

The second way is basing your decision on what is the most beneficial for the birds. If many of them already use a particular section of the garden as a food source, it would make sense to put your bird bath there because then they’ll enjoy the abundance of food sources at their disposal.


To sum it all up, the most important factor when it comes to getting birds to use a bird bath is fresh water. Once you have that covered, it’s just a matter of finding an ideal location and making the correct preparations before placing the bath.

In the end, birds are some of the most intelligent creatures on the planet and are very good at finding ways to meet their needs. If you put in a little effort and use a little creativity, it’s not hard for you to get birds to use your new bird bath all year round.

If you have a bird bath in your garden, let us know in the comments below which type it is, where you have placed it, and whether or not you have birds bathing there.

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