If you live in a northern climate like I do, then you get all four seasons.  I look forward to the changes, but I must admit that Ontario winter seems awfully long compared to the other seasons! 

I am also a lover of feeding the birds and other backyard critters such as squirrels as those winter months can be stressful on their bodies.  There is nothing wrong with lending a helping hand, especially when it comes to birds finding water.  It is a really nice treat for them to drink from a ice free bird bath or have a quick wash. 

Before you hit the back button thinking oh great my electricity meter will spin out of control, these specialty heated bird baths are very efficient.  I already feed the birds well at their feeders and I thought it would be really nice to see them drink water as well.

heated bird bathsCredit: amazon.com
Songbird Essentials SE995 Songbird Spa
Amazon Price: $61.90 $42.71 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 15, 2016)

Thermostatically Controlled Mounted Bath

This dish can be mounted anywhere, but I especially like the idea of sitting it on the deck railing where I can watch them during those winter months.  It costs pennies a day to run, and is thermostatically controlled, so if you put the bath where the afternoon winter sun will hit it, it won’t come on as often.  

heated bird bathsCredit: amazon.com
Farm Innovators Model FS-1 Four Seasons Heated Birdbath, 70-Watt
Amazon Price: $61.46 $40.73 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 15, 2016)

Ground Heated Bird Pond

This particular one I was looking at as a way to also get water to squirrels and other critters in the winter as well as the birds.  The heating element is completely hidden and it also is thermostatically controlled so if you place it where some winter sun might hit it, it will not come on, but this can also be used in the summer as the cord can be hidden safely.  It is sand coated and would look natural in any garden setting, like a little pond or oasis for birds and critters.

heated bird bathsCredit: amazon.com
Songbird Essentials Heated Birdbath
Amazon Price: $129.90 $82.75 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 15, 2016)

Heated Bird Stand

This unit is on a stand and will come on when the outside temperature reaches 32 degrees F, and it too is thermostatically controlled to only come on when needed.  This gives the birds some height.  This unit would work best if you get a lot of snow, so that it doesn’t end up covered.  Keep it near the bird feeder for them to enjoy a drink or a quick bath.  This one can be used all year round, and the heating element is insulated.

heated bird bathCredit: amazon.com
API 5WWG Water Wiggler with Glazed Ceramic Pottery Cover
Amazon Price: $29.99 $27.83 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 15, 2016)

Bird Bath Agitator

If you don’t get seriously cold winters, but just enough to create some ice, using an agitator will keep the water from freezing by keeping it moving.  This also works well in the summer for keeping mosquitoes out of the water.  It doesn’t need any electrical cords as it works on D cell batteries.  This keeps the water fresher for the birds.

solar heated bird bathCredit: amazon.com
Maxpower Wild Bird Standard Solar Sipper
Amazon Price: $29.95 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 15, 2016)

Passive Solar Bird Bath

This technically is not a bath as they can’t swish around in it but they can get a much needed drink in the winter months.  The top is solar and will absorb even the winter sun to keep the water from freezing.  It also works in the summer to keep the water cool.  As you can see in the picture this bird has found it.  I am not sure how well this would work in my yard as we get seriously cold winters and a lot of snow but it would work on the sheltered part of my deck where the winter sun does seem to melt the snow.  This way I could see them up close.  I do like the idea of this for the summer too and you don’t need any electrical cords just the sun.

Feeding Birds and Squirrels in Winter Months

I know many bird lovers don’t like squirrels, but they can add some entertainment to your yard too.  Instead of spending day after day trying to figure out a way to keep them out, why not give them their very own feeding stations? 

I have a squirrel feeder in the other corner of my yard, actually right in the flower beds.  I fill it with sunflower seeds and sometimes peanuts and this way the mess they make and the shell casings can mix with my mulch to keep the weeds down in the growing season.  

squirrel feederCredit: amazon.com
Woodlink Squirrel Diner Feeder Model 75590
Amazon Price: $24.99 $19.14 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 15, 2016)

This keeps the squirrels off the bird feeders; so far this has worked well for me.  For the cost of a bag of sunflower seeds I am seeing a lot more happy birds.  The squirrel feeder will also attract larger birds so that your other feeders can be kept for the smaller song birds.

By adding a heated bird bath, they will look at my yard as the buffet of choice for those cold months and I will get to enjoy activity in my yard.  Those winter months can get gloomy, so seeing red cardinals, woodpeckers and chickadees everyday eating and drinking can be nice, and not to mention the funny antics the squirrels get up to.  I eat breakfast everyday at a little table in front of the patio doors, simply so I can watch bird and squirrel activity especially since there is no flower garden to look at under the snow. 

Using a Heated Bird Bath for All Critters

You will be surprised to see it will not only be birds, but the squirrels will thank you too.  Don’t forget to add different types of food for the winter, such as suet cakes, and good seed as the birds and the squirrels burn a lot of calories in the winter months.  When I first moved to this house, there was not so much as a bird showing up.  After adding bird feeders and then squirrel feeders and a bird bath they chirp their happy songs in my yard.