Best Bird Bath Heater and De-Icer for Winter 2024

A bird bath heater makes both birds and bird watchers happy. birds happy with ice-free bird bath 

bird bath heater to keep water from freezing

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.

Best Bird Bath Heaters and De-Icers

One of the best bird bath heater/de-icer is the K&H Super Ice Eliminator.

k&h bird bath heater de-icer

K&H De-Icer Features:

  • Thermostatically controlled by a power-saving 80 watts (costs only $1-3 dollars/month to operate)
  • It will maintain your water ice-free down to -20F
  • Does not float
  • Blends naturally into 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.

bird bath heater at -18 degrees F
This customer photo shows that the bath is still mostly open with temperatures as low as -18F!

=> View the K&H Super Ice Eliminator Bird Bath Heater

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.

Good Second Choice De-Icer

The Farm Innovators C-50 De-Icer is also a good choice.

farm innovators de-icer

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.

=> View the Farm Innovators C-50 De-Icer.

Things to look for in a bird bath de-icer heater:

  • 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 will fit.

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 you know.

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.

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 birdwatching smile) 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.

Bird Baths Buying Guide - Things to consider before purchasing a bird bath

Do Birds Get Cold? - Learn how birds survive the winter.

Bird Bath Heater FAQs

How much electricity does a bird bath heater use?

If you ran a 50-watt bird bath heater 24 hours a day it would cost about 10 cents per day at an average cost of 7.5 cents/kilowatt hour of electricity.

There are thermostatically controlled heaters that will turn on and off based on temperature which would cost even less to operate.

You could also use your own timer to turn the heater on and off.

Is a heated bird bath a good idea?

It is more difficult for birds to find unfrozen water sources during the winter months so providing water for birds with a heated bird bath will benefit any birds that visit.

Do birds use bird baths in the winter?

Yes, but they won't bathe in it as much as they do in warmer months, especially in freezing temperatures.

Use a bird bath heater to keep it from freezing and make sure to keep the water clean.

You can also put a large rock or something similar for them to perch on above the water level so it is easier for the birds to drink besides from the edges of the bath.

How do you keep a bird bath from freezing?

Use a bird bath heater or de-icer that is thermostatically controlled, has a wattage of at least 50 watts that is rated to -20 F.

What about using an aquarium heater?

I know some have used these in milder winter areas, but aquarium heaters are not meant to be used outside.

The electrical cord is not weatherproof like those on bird bath heaters.

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