Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

There is never a better time to set out a bird bath, so if you think it’s around that time of year again, you’re mistaken.

When birds utilize a bird bath year-round, though not as much during wetter months as they do during drought or the summer. Birds need to constantly re-hydrate and preen their feathers, so even if you don’t see them using a bird bath, don’t assume they aren’t.

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Any time of year, birds will drink from a bird bath in the yard, but if you want them to use it more frequently, you should leave it out year-round so it becomes a reliable water source.

As you may be aware, bird baths are not used as frequently as feeders, which might be used multiple times a day by the same birds.

That’s because it takes a lot less effort to find water in the wild because it’s abundant for most of the year. Birds expend a lot of energy when foraging, so refueling at a bird bath can be an important part of their routine.

Nonetheless, wild birds need to drink water multiple times a day to rehydrate, which is essential to their survival.

While most birds will visit a pond or puddle — even the brink of a river — to drink or bathe, a bird bath can serve a useful purpose if placed strategically in your yard at the appropriate time of day.

Provide a bird bath that stays full of water year-round, and don’t forget to refill it or otherwise take care of it.

Birds use bird baths all year

A bird bath can be used at any time of the year, so long as you put it out when you want to use it or set up a new one in your backyard when you want to use it.

Birds will use a bird bath regardless of the temperature, season, or activity of mother nature because it is an integral component of their natural behavior to drink and clean their feathers.

For the survival of wild birds, a bird bath should be easily accessible throughout the day.

Birds utilize a bird bath more for preening their feathers than for taking a bath, which is important for their health.

Birds can be seen using a bird bath in backyards year-round, while it is more likely to be utilized in the warmer months of the year.

More so in drought

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All birds who utilize a bird bath will use it year-round, but its popularity tends to peak in the summer.

A temporary drought can occur in the summer due to a lack of precipitation or other natural water supplies.

Similarly, a prolonged drought might deplete all surface water sources, leaving birds unable to find any source of water other than a bird bath.

If you have a bird bath, you may expect to get some use out of it throughout the spring as the weather warms up, and then again during the summer when it gets really hot.

Although it may be disheartening to notice fewer birds perching on the rim of a bird bath throughout the fall and winter months, you shouldn’t take it down because it’s still needed.

The rain that falls during the colder, wetter winter months means that birds don’t need to go to the trouble of using a bird bath.

Less so if water is plentiful

Many people believe, incorrectly, that birds only utilize a bird bath during the summer.

A bird bath would seem like it would get more use in the summer, but that’s not the case because it’s possible to get lots of rain even in the summer, so there’s no worry of ponds or streams drying up.

In the wild, birds will use whatever source of water is closest to them, whether it be a watering hole close to their nest or a puddle for a fast rinse.

During the summer and other warmer months, bird baths may go unused if they coincide with persistent wet weather.

Birds would rather visit a reliable and guaranteed water source, such as a pond or natural drinking hole that has collected rainwater, rather than a bird bath.

Bird baths not seasonal

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It doesn’t matter what season it is, a bird bath can be utilized all year round.

The material the bird bath is made of wouldn’t be visibly damaged either, as outside bird baths are designed for exactly that.

Keep your bird bath outside all the time; there’s no need to worry about it going unused inside the house.

In the warmer months of spring and summer, birds may not utilize a bird bath, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need it. If the ground dries up, birds will need a water source immediately.

A long period of dry weather can cause natural drinking holes to dry up, therefore refraining from using a bird bath in the colder, frosty months of autumn can still have an effect.

And while, that’s less likely to be observed in the winter, what might go wrong in sub-zero weather is the ground freezes over, while ponds, puddles, and even bird baths freeze over, leaving birds without an obvious water source.

To make up for dry or frozen water sources, bird baths should be used regardless of the weather.


Believe it or not, a bird bath can be used year-round. Bird baths are essential to the year-round survival of avian species, not just during the spring and summer.

Like humans, domesticated animals, and domesticated pets, wild birds require access to fresh water around the clock.

Although bird baths may not seem to be used frequently, birds will grow to rely on them when the weather becomes extreme, such as during a drought or extremely cold temperatures.

Summer drought means less available water for animals to drink and bathe in. When insects disappear due to a lack of rain, birds may change the way they normally eat to compensate.

Given this, it seems sense to place a bird bath close to feeders so that both may be observed simultaneously.

Bird baths are not just for show or for the few months of the year when you have the time. A bird bath in your lawn can provide a year-round water source for the birds in your neighborhood.

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