Having a bird bath heater makes both birds and bird watchers alike happy.
If you do not want to buy a heated bird bath all-in-one type 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.
Of course, 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.
One of the best bird bath heater/de-icer is the K&H 9000 Ice Eliminator.
They say you can spray paint it to any color you want although we don't think it would be necessary to do so.
"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
"So far the operating cost has averaged to be less then $1.71 a month and with the outside air temp at -25F and less the water remains liquid in half the bath." -Martin
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.
The Farm Innovators C-50 De-Icer is also a good choice. It runs at 150 watts vs 50 watts in the K&H which means it will costs 3x more to operate.
The price is about the same as the K&H and they both are thermostatically controlled, so it just comes down to whether you want or need one that is more powerful.
As already mentioned above, the K&H will keep water unfrozen up to -20 deg F, but if you live in even a colder area (wow!) then you may want to consider the Farm Innovators bird bath heater.
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. Check out these best sellers below:
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.
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 you know.
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.
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 turns into a solid mass, a bird-bath ice rink, and birds want to drink not skate.
So I'm glad I now have a heater to break-the-ice with the birds (pun intended ) and watch them joyfully sip and bathe on a cold, wintry day.
Heated Bird Bath - All-In-One units that can heat the water during the winter months.
Stone Bird Baths - Basin and fountain stone bird bath designs.
Solar Bird Baths - Save money and go green with solar power.
Bird Baths Buying Guide - Things to consider before purchasing a bird bath
Bird Watching Binoculars, Squirrel-Proof Feeder & Bird Bath Heater
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Nikon Monarch 5
Best mid-priced bird watching binoculars. Waterproof, shockproof, multi-coated ED-Glass.
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Window Bird Feeder
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