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Bird Bath Heater and De-Icer for Winter
Having a bird bath heater makes both birds and bird watchers alike happy. Since I invested in a bird bath for my backyard birds, I wanted to have it
available to use year-round, but living in a northern cold climate means the water needs to be heated or else it's a solid mass, bird bath ice rink, and birds want to drink not skate. The least expensive way is to go out every morning, break the ice and add fresh water
until it freezes again - not easy, but cheap. So let's look at some less manual labor ways of keeping the water from freezing.
Best Bird Bath Heaters and De-Icers
One of the best is the K&H 9000 Ice Eliminator Bird Bath
Heater. It will maintain your water ice-free down to -20 degrees below 0, thermostatically controlled by a power-saving 50 watts, has an 18-inch cord (some wish this was a little longer), does not float and blends in naturally to your bath. They say you can spray
paint it to any color you want although we don't think it would be necessary to do so.
This customer photo shows that the bath is still mostly open with temperatures as low as -18° F!
"We're on our second year with this product. It worked great all last winter, and when we dropped it in the birdbath last month, it went right back to work." -Ed
If you do not want to buy a heated bird bath all-in-one unit that has a heater built-in because you already have a bird bath, you can get a de-icer to place on the bottom of the basin. When choosing a bird bath heater, measure the
width of the bottom of your bird bath where the de-icer will be placed to make sure it will fit. De-icers come in various sizes and shapes and some will fit better depending on your type of bird bath. You can find heaters in specialty
bird shops around town or online, but I have found the best price for the same de-icers have been on Amazon with free shipping.
Things to look for in a de-icer:
Thermostatically Controlled Heaters - Saves Energy by turning on
only when the temperature falls below freezing.
Wattage - 50 Watts is usually sufficient for most average sized
bird baths in northern climates, but larger size and/or bird baths in
extremely cold areas may require more.
Note width of your bath and compare to heater size to make sure it
How Much Does It Cost To Run A Bird Bath Heater During The Winter?
That depends on how cold it gets where you are and the cost of electricity in your area. But if on average it costs 7-8 cents/kilowatt-hour, then to run a 50-watt heater it would cost about 10 cents/day or about $3/month. But that's if
it runs non-stop, 24 hours a day. If you get a bird bath heater that is thermostatically controlled and only turns on when needed, then your cost can be as little as $1.50/month, less or more depending on temperature. Since birds are
not drinking during the night, you could set up a timer so the heater runs only during the day. Have it turn on just before dawn so that it melts any ice before birds arrive.
What About A Solar Bird Bath Heater?
We have not found a reliable solar bird bath heater on the market yet. The closest product is the Solar Sipper which is a bird bath, not just a heater, but it just doesn't perform like it should.
We also would like to see a design for a wind-powered bird bath heater. When we find
a good one - solar or wind-powered, we'll be sure to let
Heated Hummingbird Feeder
On a side note, we had a visitor who had hummingbirds visiting her feeder during cold months and to keep the nectar from freezing, she made up her own light-bulb contraption which can be seen here:
Hummingbird Feeder Heater.
Bath - All-In-One units that can heat the water during the winter months.