Many avid gardeners and bird watchers have added bird baths, ponds or other water features to their landscape designs. But unfortunately for the birds, not as many people pay attention when the winter settles in and they spend more time indoors.

Here are options to keep your bird baths working all year-long:

  • Most newer homes have outside electrical outlets, and if you do not, an electrician can install one fairly inexpensively. You can purchase a heater/de-icer for your existing bird bath. Many de-icers are thermostatically controlled to run when the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and provide stainless steel guards to protect the birds from the heating element.

  • Another alternative is to buy an “all-in-one” bird bath, which has the heater built into the base. These bird baths are a complete unit, and just need to be installed, filled with water and plugged in. Many of these baths are made of thermoplastic, and are much easier to clean than concrete feeders. They turn on when the temperature drops below 35 degrees Fahrenheit and have an energy saver feature.

  • Green alternatives: Buy a solar-powered heater or bird bath. During the day, the solar panels collect energy to circulate the water. They don’t require any electricity, so they are very cost-effective, and because they are not attached to an electrical cord, you can place them anywhere in your garden or landscape. (Note: Not all solar bird baths are meant for winter use, so be sure to read the package!)