Frosty Garden: How To Keep Birdbath Free Of Ice

In winter, wild birds are happy to have food support and fresh water. But how do you manage to keep the bird bath free of ice in winter?

When temperatures are above zero degrees in the wintertime, it is not yet a big problem for wild birds to find water to drink. But already in late autumn and into March nights and even days can become frosty, then food and water for wild birds in the wild becomes very scarce

If there is frost, puddles, smaller ponds in the garden and streams freeze over, so that there are no more drinking opportunities for birds. Then it becomes difficult to find water. If the birds eat snow instead of drinking, this can lead to gastrointestinal diseases, just like with us humans. An ice-free birdbath helps smaller wild birds in particular to survive the winter well.

The ideal bird bath is a large bowl with a shallow slope towards the center and, in the best case scenario, a small stone in the middle to provide a place to approach or perch. Shallow sloping edges are ideal for birds of various sizes to make good use of the waterer.

Methods to winterize the birdbath

As early as late fall, ice often forms in the bird feeder overnight. In winter, during severe frost, the bird feeder is frozen even during the day after a few hours.

The easiest way to keep a birdbath ice-free is to use lukewarm water. This must be poured again and again. This method is therefore only suitable if you are at home during the day anyway.

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A good do-it-yourself version, for a frost-free bird bath, is a construction with a grave light. Long burning grave candles are placed in a pot or planter for this purpose. Above this comes the watering bowl. The heat from below ensures that the water does not freeze. If the candle is extinguished in the evening and re-lit in the morning, it will last for over a week in the best case.

Of course, there are professional birdbaths with heat plates to buy in stores, which also provide ice-free water in winter.

Ideal location of the birdbath and points to note

If there is permafrost, it makes sense to place the bird bath as close to the house wall as possible and keep it ice-free. In addition, the watering place should be easily accessible for birds and as inaccessible as possible for cats.

The water in the bird feeder should be changed regularly. It is a good idea to clean the bowl thoroughly once a day under hot water

No one needs to worry about the birds’ feathers freezing when they come in contact with the warm water from the bird feeder. The feathers are extremely water repellent. Once shaken and fluffed, the feathers are completely dry again.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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