Attract more birds with water that moves


For us humans, there’s something relaxing about the sound of moving water—think of the burbling of a stream, rain tapping on the roof, ocean waves gently lapping at the shore. Birds, on the other hand, are excited by it. So, if your birdbath is quiet, break its silence, and you’ll turn it into a bird magnet—they’ll find it irresistible, and you’ll see a lot more activity (this is true for any water feature). Here are several appliances that’ll make water move.


The job of a bubbler is to roil water so that it’ll produce bubbles. They’re typically solar-powered, and there are many styles, from plain to elaborate.

Image of birdbath with bubbling water.

A flat solar-powered bubbler positioned in the center of a birdbath. (Donaleen / Flickr; CC BY 2.0)

Water agitator

Set one of these in the center of your birdbath to produce continuous, gentle ripples. Available as solar-powered or with batteries.

Image of a Water Wiggler, which makes water in birdbath wiggle.

A water wiggler sold by and others.


The sound of dripping water also attracts birds. The dripper must be connected to a water source, usually a garden hose. (You can find instructions online for do-it-yourself drippers made from plastic bottles, but keep in mind that plastic is toxic—current research suggests that even BPA-free plastics may be unsafe.

Image of Universal Dripper, used in birdbaths.

Universal drippers are available at and other sources.


This does just what its name says. If you can position it so your birdbath will catch falling droplets and nearby foliage also gets wet, the birds will be very happy, indeed! Some will soak in the drips and ripples in the birdbath water, some will bathe in the mist, and others will “wash” themselves in wet leaves.

Image of the Super Easy Water Mister product.

“Super Easy Water Mister” (

Fountains, water features

A fountain or water feature is a wonderful alternative to a birdbath. If you want the birds to bathe, there must be a shallow area for doing that. Most birds bathe in water only 0.5–2.0 inches (13–51 mm) deep.

A gently bubbling brook with various sizes of rocks and pebbles lining the sides and bottom.

A shallow “bubbling brook” water feature is ideal for birds. (© Zigzag Mountain Art / Shutterstock)

More reading:

Provide water for wildlife   
How to attract birds to your yard   
No spring in the step of hungry spring birds   
Assortment of bubblers and agitators at Amazon  

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