When reading this question (What is the ecological justification (if any) for bird feeders?) on bird feeders I wondered if there would be an ecological impact on having a bird bath.

Especially in cities where summer temperatures can be a bit unforgiving (and the fact that we've replaced natural landscapes with concrete) it may seem like installing a bird-bath in your yard will aid birds in dealing with the temperatures.

So far it seems like a good idea. But is there be a downside I might be missing?

  • In my quick search, I found that bird-baths attract birds that do not eat seeds -- that is, birds that will not be attracted by the typical bird feeder. Thus, the ecological downsides (if real) of bird baths should be less than those of bird feeders. I also found out that a lot of thought has gone into what is an ideal bird bath, from a bird's point of view.
    – ab2
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 20:54
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    No, no downside, bird baths actually do help birds find water, particularly when it's hot and dry and all the natural puddles are dried up.
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 4:54

1 Answer 1


The only downside of birdbaths that I can think of is that they become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. And you can't do much about that, you can't put any insecticide in it for fear of messing up the birds, and the baths I have seen are too shallow to put in minnows or whatnot to eat the mosquito larvae.

  • 1
    I blast the water out of our birdbath every two days or so with a hose, and then refill.
    – ab2
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 17:11
  • +1 for the warning about mosquitoes. I suggest you edit your answer to include emptying and refilling the birdbath regularly. My birdbath is very sturdy so it very easy to blast the old water out and refill with the hose; it would be more work otherwise, but not much.
    – ab2
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 22:11
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    Actually you can by mosquito dunks comprised of a bacteria that's lethal only to mosquitoes. Mosquito larvae feeding on the bacteria die, while birds and livestock are unaffected. Handy for rain barrels, water features, and watering troughs. Whether the ongoing expense is justified by the pleasure of a birdbath is a matter of opinion. Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 5:15

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