Attracting Birds with Water: 5 Simple Steps

How to attract birds with water header

Birds are beautiful, aren’t they? They are therapeutic, too. So, if you could see birds while at home, it would be great for your mental and emotional well-being. Good thing they can be attracted to water.

Here are five simple steps in attracting birds with water. 

The Magic of Bird Therapy

In 2013, Joe Harkness suffered an emotional breakdown. Bird therapy helped him overcome that. 

Now, he has helped thousands of other people by writing about his breakdown and recovery with the help of our feathered friends. In his book, “Bird Therapy,” he wrote about the consistency of birds and many other great qualities.

It makes sense

When we are down, nature will always help us cope. It helps us relax. That’s why we need parks. 

When we go to the beach, we are happy. When we go on a hike, we feel at peace. 

That’s the power of nature. 


The therapeutic effects of birds aren’t just detailed in one book. British and Australian universities had separate studies about the positive impact of birds in one’s mental health. 

Even without studies, it’s quite understandable how people would enjoy the sight of birds. 

That’s right!

They are beautiful, for starters. With their colorful feathers, birds will truly brighten up your day. 

Two colorful birds next to each other

Then, there is also the signing. The melodies coming out of the birds’ beak will surely make your day. 

This is not a drill

Seriously, many have recorded birds singing or birdsongs for various albums on nature sounds. 

Nature audio is a popular stress reliever. The most popular, of course, is the sound of water or waves. Then there are also animal sounds like the birdsong or the frog croak and many others. 

Birdsong is supposed to reduce stress and increase productivity. 

Now that we have that established

You should really find a way to invite birds into your home. 

No, I’m not talking about getting a pet bird. It’s always best when the birds are free. You don’t need to put them in a cage just to see them every day. 

Here’s the deal

You could create a bird box or a bird feeder and they will surely flock your home. 

Another way is by providing them with water. 

Birds Love Water

Birds love to bathe. Little is known about their bathing behavior but it’s a given that they truly enjoy water. 

That’s why

If you want to see birds all the time, you need to attract them with water. 

Of course, there is also the importance of drinking for nourishment. So, when you provide birds with water, you are inviting them to quench their thirst, take a bath, and play around. 


Birds enjoy splashing in the water, too. 

Experts say that bathing provides an important role when it comes to the maintenance of feathers. 

Feathers, after all, are very important to birds. 

Reasons why the feather is important:

  1. It provides warmth to the birds. 
  2. It allows them to fly. 
  3. It keeps them beautiful.

It’s quite similar to people, don’t you think?


People cherish hair because the right cut could spell the difference between being beautiful and not. 

During the cold, people are usually better protected from the cool air when they have longer hair. And in the case of men, a beard would serve them well. 

Bird flying above water

In other words

If you maintain your hair by washing it with shampoo and conditioner, then birds will also maintain their feathers well by washing them every now and then. 

Birds preen, which is the process of tidying their feathers with their beaks. They use water for that, too.

Now, be a sweetheart and provide the birds with the needed water for their daily needs. 

Attracting Birds with Water

Let’s get to the fun part. How do we attract the birds with water?

Here are the important things you need to know about what birds want when it comes to water. 

1. Water should be moving

Birds are more prone to check out the water if it is moving or flowing. It’s just more natural that way. 

This doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be attracted to standing water at all, but the moving water is just easier to catch their eye. 

2. Keep it low

Natural water is not usually up high. That’s why, keep your water low. 

If the water has to be of a height, the best would be a foot or two off the ground. 

3. Water should be clean

For standing dishes, it should be cleaned every day. For other water attractions, they should be cleaned according to standards. 

Dirty water won’t attract anyone–birds or not!

Bird bathing in water

4. Think about the well-being of the birds

If you want to attract birds, then your water attraction should be made for birds. 

You have to think about the well-being of the birds. 

What does this mean?

First, if the birds are perched on the edges of your water thing, then they should be able to reach the water. 

Now, if they want to have a bath, then they should be able to do so. That means that the water should be shallow–about two inches should be enough. 

Another thing:

The bottom should not be slippery. Keep the birds safe by having rough surfaces at the bottom like pea gravel or maybe stones. 

5. Provide shade

If you have a tree near the water, that would be great. You don’t necessarily need to put cover directly over the water. 

You want to attract birds, so don’t cover the water. However, the birds might also want to stand by and just relax somehow. A tree would be a good shade for them, but if you don’t have that, then at least provide a makeshift shade that will make the birds comfortable. 

Moving on

Having learned those pieces of information on attracting birds, here are the best ways of attracting birds with water.

Each of these things are also additional attractions to your yard or garden. They will improve the look of your area. 

Bird in water fountain

Waterfall fountain

This is just a beautiful attraction in the yard. That alone is already a good reason to have a waterfall fountain. 

Birds would love this, too. 

As we go back to the requirements of a water attraction for birds, the waterfall fountain certainly passes most of the criteria. 

Check these out:

The water is moving, of course, and they fall at a lower basin. You just need to clean it whenever it’s necessary. 

Depending on the size, it should be cleaned at least once a month. Maybe once every couple of months if it’s bigger. 


There are so many cases for a pond at home. Again, just like the waterfall fountain, it’s just beautiful!

It will certainly upgrade the look of your yard. 

Then of course

It provides a nature-like water attraction. Especially if you put some fish in the pond as well as some aquatic plants. 

Chances are the pond will also attract toads and frogs, which would just add to the natural environment that will be great for your mental health. 

How about the birds?

Ponds attract different kinds of birds. In fact, if your area is open, you might just attract ducks and geese as well. 

However, for migratory birds, you have to put in more thought when it comes to the creation of the pond. 

For example

The water should be reachable if the bird wants to drink from the perch. This is quite understandable.

Pond leaves

On the other hand, there should be a shallow part where the birds can bathe. We already covered this earlier–two inches should be shallow enough. 


So, this is kind of a wasteful way to attract birds. A mister, as the name suggests, it’s a device that provides mists of water. 

This is usually used to spray water on plants, but it also attracts birds. 

Especially when it’s hot

Birds would flock on the mister to cool down. 

So as not to waste water, the mister should have a basin that will collect the water and use it to water the plants or for other needs. 

Bird bath

This is the easiest and most popular way to attract birds with water. It’s also the cheapest. 

You might be wondering

How could this attract birds when it provides standing water and it’s usually of a height?

Well, it does! It’s still quite effective. 

When it comes to standing water, the issue is mostly that it doesn’t quite catch the birds’ attention that easily. 


Once a few birds are aware of it, they will come back. Plus, the others will follow. 

When you choose a pedestal bird bath, it is usually around three or four feet high. While we did say that it would be better if the water is low, that is mostly about attracting birds. 

Bird in bird bath


If the birds will understand that the bird bath is a source of water, they will be drawn to it. 

Or you could always remove the dish atop the pedestal–if that’s possible–and place it a lower area. 


There are five simple steps to attract birds to your yard. There are also at least four ways of attracting birds with water. If you want the easiest and cheapest way, you could get a bird bath, which is available in most garden or bird supply stores. Or you could be more elaborate with a waterfall fountain or a pond. 

All these will depend on your budget, of course. But put up the water attraction as soon as you can because birds are great for your mental health. From their beautiful plumage to their melodious tweets, birds will certainly make your life better. A pond, waterfall fountain and bird bath will also upgrade your outdoor space. 

Attract birds and attract positivity in your life!

Useful Resources

  • Bird Therapy: On the Healing Effects of Watching Birds – Forbes
  • 6 Ways Bird Watching can Boost Your Mental Health – Garden Health
  • 8 Top Friendly Pet Bird Species – The Spruce

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