The Avant-Garden Shop: Your Garden & Bird Store

Garden Tips: Birds need water, too

Birds need water for drinking and bathing, and the heat of summer is a good time to get your bird baths out. Drinking Birds don’t need to drink as much water as mammals do, because they don’t have sweat glands. They lose water through breathing and their poop. Most songbirds feed on insects and get … Read more

Garden Gate: Episode 229-Heated bird baths (Nov. 19, 2021)

Winters in Canada are tough on birds. They spend all their time looking for food, water and shelter. Anything that we can do to help these beautiful little creatures is a good thing and will help them to survive the cold nights. Birds must eat from dawn until dusk just to survive the -30C nights. … Read more

Feels like drought already, doesn’t it?

Peterborough only got 16 mm of rainfall in May! The gardens, rain barrels, and farmers’ fields are so dry already. All the plants and critters, whether maintained in your yard or in the local natural areas all need more water. Including the birds. If you have active bird feeders (and we know many of you … Read more

Garden Tips: Supporting Birds in the Winter

Certain needs must be met to for any living creature to survive: food, water, and shelter from inclement weather and predators. These elements work together to form a critter’s habitat. No matter how ideal a habitat may appear to be in one or more of these areas, it will not be used by wildlife if even … Read more

Garden Tips: Bird Baths and Other Water Features

  “Water is the driving force of all nature.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci All life needs water. This summer has been extremely dry, which can make it challenging for birds and butterflies to find water for drinking and bathing. Adding a couple of water features to your yard is an easy way to help them … Read more

Garden Gate: Episode 144-Birdbaths

Providing birds with water is an important part of any garden. Both for drinking and for bathing. Birds are especially attracted to moving water, so if you can add a dripper, spraying hose or water wiggler, you`ll attract birds more quickly to the bath. In addition moving water prevents mosquitoes from laying their larvae in … Read more

Garden Gate: Episode 96 – Bird baths (Aug. 19th, 2016)

CHEX TV air date: August 19th 5-6pm Click link to watch this episode online. Providing birds with water is an important part of any garden. Both for drinking and for bathing. Birds are especially attracted to moving water, so if you can add a dripper, spraying hose or water wiggler, you`ll attract birds more quickly to … Read more

Providing Water for your Birds

Bird waterer

A water supply is a great way to attract birds to your yard along with a supply of food. Birds need water for drinking, bathing, and to dunk their food. Birdbaths come in many different styles and are constructed from several types of materials. They are made from concrete, ceramic, metal, plastic, and wood. You can purchase birdbaths that are pedestal type, hanging, or deck mounted. Other items such as garbage can lids and water trays off planters can be used for a birdbath. Birdbaths can be used to help accent your landscaping, as well as attract birds that do not visit your feeders such as the robin, thrush and warblers.


IMPORTANT FEATURES: Shallow, gently sloped sides, centre depth of 2 – 3 inches, small song birds prefer a depth of 1 – 1.5 inches, ledge to perch and nearby perches to preen. Use a small rock pile to help birds access the water if the edge of your birdbath is steep.

LOCATION: Near shrubbery or other shelter could be raised into branches of tree for shelter.

NOISE: The sound of water will attract birds, could be dripping, running or a light mist.

CLEANING: Hose clean regularly (daily in hot weather) and scrub occasionally.

WINTER NOTES: Remember birds like a water source during the winter as well, so clean and refill in below freezing temperatures. Heated bird baths are a great way to easily provide water throughout the year. New types can be deck mounted or pole mounted and come with automatic thermostats so the heaters only run when necessary. Note: ceramic may crack if water freezes


Water is an important requirement when attracting birds. Many birds eat insects and berries (rather than seed you provide) and will visit just to use a birdbath for bathing and for drinking. This is a year round requirement and care should be taken to keep the water clean (as well thawed in the winter). Visit to see a sample of what is available in the store as well as online.

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