Updated at: 10-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

It makes logical to be concerned about a basically heat-conducting substance, but a metal bird bath can reach temperatures that are very safe.

Warm temperatures in metal bird baths will scare away wild birds. People and birds alike may experience heat from metal bird baths, but this poses no threat to their health. Keeping the water cool for the birds is perfectly OK, especially if there are rocks in the water that the birds may use to avoid touching any metal.

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If you can press your fingers comfortably on the surface of the metal bird bath, then it is probably safe for the birds’ toes.

Metal bird baths, such as those constructed of cast iron or steel, wouldn’t be made available if there was a chance they could be harmful to birds because that would indicate that the equipment poses a risk to children.

Metal bird baths can get scorching, but never so hot as to hurt a wild bird or cause you to get burned by touching them. Bird baths constructed of different materials, such as stone or plastic, may feel cooler to the touch even in the hottest months.

Birds prefer the type of bird bath that provides a comfortable perch for them to rest on as they preen in the water or lean over to drink from.

The one thing I think is most important is to keep the bird bath water as cool as possible during the day.

Birds are more likely to drink from a metal bird bath if it is placed in a shady area, although this is not a requirement.

Because metal is such a good conductor of heat, it is possible to keep a metal bird bath from freezing over in the winter, while a stone or plastic bird bath would require additional heating for this purpose.

No hotter than other material

In the winter, wild birds’ feet may become stuck on a metal bird bath due to the frost that forms on the surface; however, in the summer, a bird bath heated by the sun will not present the same hazard.

Unlike plastic, stone, or resin bird baths, I don’t think a metal bird bath would ever get too hot to use.

Even though metal is an excellent heat conductor, a bird bath made of the material would never reach hot enough to harm a wild bird’s feet.

Bird baths with water in them can certainly reduce the temperature, and depending on where the bird bath is located in the yard, it can continue to cool down once it comes into the shade.

Metal bird baths don’t become very hot, which is good because it would pose a health risk to humans; however, it’s important to know how to handle a metal bird bath safely.

Thank goodness, bare skin is safe to touch a metal bird bath that has been baking in the sun all day. It might feel a little warm, but it shouldn’t be hot enough to burn naked flesh or a bird’s feet.

Shade will keep it cool

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Even while there’s no real danger of a metal bird bath overheating in the sun, it doesn’t hurt to take precautions just in case.

A bird bath made of metal should not emit enough heat to scare away the backyard birds we like to attract rather than deter them.

Small birds can feel the heat radiating from metal, as can be expected from any other heat conducting object in the yard. Even yet, the metal bird bath might seem dangerously hot when, in reality, it would be quite safe.

It is nevertheless important to situate the bird bath in a well-lit area, which should ideally be an area that receives direct sunlight.

But placing the bird bath in the shade can be beneficial for the birds and the water quality as well.

In particular, the metal bird bath should be placed so that its surface is shaded for the majority of the day, reducing the amount of time it spends heating up in the sun.

Placing a cast-iron bird bath, for instance, in a shady area should ensure that all visiting birds feel comfortable.

Concentrate on water temp

The temperature of the water in the bird baths is more important than the possibility that the metal may heat up in the sun.

What I can tell is that water in a bird bath that has been sitting in the sun all day cannot get hot enough to hurt a wild bird or discourage birds from using the water for bathing or hydration. The water in a bird bath may seem warm to the touch, but it will maintain a consistent temperature that is safe for the birds.

But there are ways to keep the water in bird baths at a comfortable temperature.

Birds will drink from a bird bath to cool off, but if the water in the metal bird bath is too warm, they won’t be able to drink it.

Stone or plastic bird baths are easier to keep a constant water temperature in than their metal counterparts. Changing the water in bird baths as often as possible is all that’s required to keep the water cool.

The advantages of a deep bird bath over a shallow one are the prevention of algae growth and the maintenance of a more constant water temperature.

To conclude

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Because metal is a conductor of heat, it’s understandable to be wary about putting one in the yard, much less a bird bath.

Heating up metal bird baths in the summer sun isn’t really an issue at all with a bird bath constructed to contain water that allows wild birds to preen in the water or drink when perching around the bird bath rim.

While a high-quality metal bird bath may feel warm to the touch, an excessively hot bird bath would be more of a design defect than an advantage.

There’s no harm in conducting a few temperature checks to make sure the metal’s surface doesn’t get too hot to the touch.

Wild birds won’t have any trouble perching on the metal surface of the bird bath if your finger won’t hurt when you press down on it.

You should focus on keeping the water in the bird bath cool in the summer, as the birds will enjoy a refreshing dip in the water just as much as you will.

Placing a cast iron bird bath in the shade can help keep it cool, but it should never be left in direct sunlight, especially during the summer.

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