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Home > Bird Feeding Blog > How to keep bird baths ice-free this winter

How to keep bird baths ice-free this winter

Monday, 30th January 2017

Read this blog and the advice we give to ensure your bird baths don't freeze over winter.
If, like us, the idea of splashing around outside in cold water at this time of year, fills you with dread, then spare a thought for our garden birds as it’s essential they have access to fresh drinking and bathing water on a daily basis.

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For the birds that visit birdbaths and ponds in our garden, this water is a lifeline. Birds need to drink regularly whether the weather is hot or cold. Even in the depths of an extremely cold winter, they simply must bathe to maintain their plumage. Birds, especially small ones, need to drink at least twice a day and being able to rely on water that we can supply, makes a big difference.
Robin bird bath

That’s why we’re sharing our tips on easy effective ways to prevent your bird baths freezing over this winter:

A tennis ball, cork or ping pong ball placed in unfrozen water can help to prevent water freezing over as they’ll move in the wind and agitate the surface of the water. This may only keep a small amount of water ice-free but it will still mean that birds have vital access to drinking.
Blackbird drinking

Should you have a concrete bird bath we would not recommend pouring hot water directly onto the ice as this could crack your birdbath. Instead, try placing a pan of hot water on top, this should melt the ice in the same way.

Another tip is to line your birdbath with a bin liner or a sheet of plastic so that in the morning all you have to do is lift the liner out and refill your birdbath with fresh, clean water.
Robin on wooden pole

Avoiding chemicals is a must. Never add chemicals (such as glycerine, salt or anti-freeze) to the water. These may stop birds' feathers from being waterproof and even poison the birds themselves.

Providing water and food for your garden birds at this time of year can make the difference between life and death.

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  • Comments

"Mrs" by
01 Feb 2019

Have a bird bath that's frozen.but hot some good advice thank you.i love feeding them and watching them in the garden.

Haith's customer services:

Hello Anne,
Thank you for your comments on this blog piece, it's important that bird baths are not just used during Summer but throughout the year. However during winter, the drops in temperature cause them to freeze over. We greatly appreciate the comments on our blog pieces.
All the best,

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