You might not think to put out a bird bath in your backyard for the winter, but birds still need to bathe in the winter! Birds do not need to bathe as much in the winter as they do in the summer, as they can usually go a longer time without washing themselves. However, birds still need, and enjoy, taking baths in the winter.
If you enjoy bird watching like I do, I would recommend that you put a bird bath in your backyard during the winter months. I have for the past couple of winters, and plenty of birds consistently come to my house to bathe themselves. They also used the bird bath as a source of drinking water.
Unless you want to pour boiling water into your summer bird bath a couple of times a day, you have some much easier options for winter bird baths! One good idea is to get a bird bath that can serve as a heated bird bath in the winter, and a regular bird bath for the summer. If you go this route, there are a variety of heated bird baths to choose from. In the summer, you just won’t turn on the heat source.
Personally, instead of purchasing a heated bird bath, I decided to purchase a bath heater. The brand I bought is the Blue Devil 300 Watt Bird Bath Heater. I simply put the thermostat in my commercial bird bath, and it heats the water from anywhere from 40 degrees to 50 degrees. This particular heater can be used on a variety of types of bird baths, anywhere from plastic to pottery to concrete. All you have to do is plug the heater it in an outlet, and place it in the bath. When warm weather arrives you store it until next winter.
A couple things to keep in mind is that not only will birds use the bird baths for bathing, but they will use it for drinking water. Just like you would in the summer, it is important to wash and refill the bird baths often. Never put any chemicals in the water. Do not even think about using antifreeze in a winter bird bath. Also, birds have the option to obtain drinking water from snow, but if there is no snow on the ground there are usually not many other sources of fresh water. Try to refill your bird bath often as birds will come to depend on your supply of fresh water.