How To Get Birds To Use A Bird Bath? 9 Tips To Attract Them

Not much can take a backyard from good to great like a few friendly songbirds. One of the best ways to attract different kinds of birds to your yard is with a bird bath! Just like humans, birds like to take time to bathe and relax. Giving them a place to do that is sure to bring more birds to your yard. In this post I’ll talk about some of the best things you can do to make your bird bath and your yard a more inviting place for these little guys!

Prevent birds from slipping

First of all, a bird bath should always be comfortable for the birds, so it’s important to use something to give them good footing in the bath. Believe it or not without this birds can actually slip and fall in the bird bath!

Try putting a layer of small gravel or some larger stones in the bottom of your bird bath to make standing in it easy and safe for the birds. This is especially important for young birds who haven’t yet developed enough balance to stand on their own in a slippery spot.

Provide shade, perches, houses, and feeders

Birds enjoy using a bird bath, but obviously won’t want to use it all the time. This is why it is important to make sure birds also have other places to hang out near your bird bath. Bird houses, bird feeders, and perches can all be great options to give the birds in your yard even more places to rest when not bathing.

Give birds shade

Birds often prefer to use a bird bath in the shade, which keeps the water cool and refreshing. This makes for a better experience for the birds. Try putting your bird bath under a shade tree to offer a cool shady spot with plenty of perches nearby for birds to sit when they’re not resting in the bird bath.

Feed them with feeders

When not bathing birds are always on the lookout for more food. You can attract birds to your yard even better if you offer both a meal and a bath to them! Try hanging a bird feeder near your bird bath and fill it with bird seed, nuts, mealworms, fruit, or suet. Between all this free food and a nice cool bath how would birds ever want to leave your backyard?

Bird houses for shelter and safety

While they’re relaxing, birds want to feel safe and secure. If there are predators nearby, birds won’t want to come near your bird bath. Make sure you offer some form of shelter or protection from predators.

One way to do this is by hanging up a birdhouse very close to your bird bath so that the birds have somewhere safe to retreat to if they feel threatened. In addition, consider keeping your bird bath higher off the ground to reduce the chance of cats and snakes being able to attack the resting birds for an easy meal.

You may also want to put some nesting material in the birdhouse to help the birds. Clean the birdhouse out after a bird finishes nesting in it to get it ready for the next bird.

Use bird friendly colors

Another way to attract birds is by using specific colors. There are a few different colors that attract birds particularly well. Most birds love the color red, but blue and silver will usually also do the trick.

One option is to put yard decorations and flowers in these colors near your bird bath. Birds are usually attracted to bright colors, and one trick is using the colors of the bird you want to attract in your decorating to make them feel more comfortable.

There’s one color to avoid, however. Birds steer clear of the color white. To many birds, white means danger and aggression which obviously isn’t the mood you want your bird bath to bring!

Things that scare birds away

If after all of this you’re still not drawing birds to your bird bath, it’s likely that there’s something scaring them away. Creating a pleasant environment for the birds can only go so far if they are intimidated by something in the area of your bird bath. Birds can be scared away by many different things, a few of which you maybe wouldn’t expect! Some of these include:

Excessively shiny objects

Reflective tape, mirrors, and objects made of aluminum or other shiny metals can often be the thing scaring birds away. We don’t really know why this works. Some people think that birds are afraid of their own reflections, but there’s not a conclusive explanation. Some people will even intentionally hang up mirrors and shiny objects to scare birds away! Ridding your yard of these things can help to make birds feel more comfortable coming to your bird bath.


Ok this one is obvious, no animal wants to hang out in a spot where it might get eaten. Birds are easily intimidated by cats, snakes, raccoons, and bigger birds. Keeping your bird bath away from trees and anything that could give an easy hiding place to a predator. This will help keep the birds at your bird bath safe and make them more likely to keep coming back.

Strong smells

Just like humans, birds don’t enjoy being near things that smell bad. Birds can’t stand the smell of spicy peppers or garlic, and especially strong man made scents from products like hair spray and perfume. You can avoid this problem by keeping your bird bath well away from any trash cans.


By following some of these simple guidelines you can continue to improve your backyard and make it a better place for birds and other wildlife. As a final tip, one of the very best things to attract birds to your yard and to your bird bath is a nice fountain.

Birds are much more likely to visit a bird bath with a fountain rippling and bubbling than one that’s just stagnant. The sound of water bubbling can attract birds even when they can’t yet see the fountain or the great environment you’ve created around it! These fountains are available at many home improvement and farm stores, and most likely wherever you bought the bird bath! Get ready to enjoy your backyard paradise.