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A General Examination of Common Solar Run Bird Baths

Sep 14, 2008
Solar bird baths let you enjoy frequent feathered visitors and a lovely garden ornament but without the hassle of running power to a water pump. The sound of moving water is not only tranquil - it also attracts birds, who listen for water sources as they migrate.

Read on for an overview of some popular solar bird bath fountains, along with a few tips and tricks on how to care for your fountain.

ITEM and PRICE: Bird Bath; $190; Plow and Hearth - plowandhearth.com

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Solar powered bird bath with a small fountain

REVIEW: The fountain pump is invisible and recessed, but provides a constant source of moving and bubbling water that attracts birds. However, there is no battery in case the day turns cloudy or shade puts an end to your bird party. Finally, this popular bird bath is made from solid copper, and while it's attractive - it may be too slippery. Try filling the bottom with rough stones or sand.

ITEM and PRICE: Frontgate Solar Fountain - $299 (frontgate.com)

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Two-tiered, solar-powered, pedestal bird bath with fountain

REVIEW: Definitely pricey. Also, the pedestal style is attractive, but may dissuade some birds that prefer water sources which are closer to the ground. The fountain is built using Stonecast, a synthetic material that has a non-slippery surface and is durable enough to leave outside all year. Like most solar fountains, this model does not store power and won't work on a shady or overcast day.

ITEM and PRICE: Solar Bird Baths by Guildford - $129

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Two-tiered, solar-powered, pedestal fountain bird bath

REVIEW: The Guildford solar bird bath is made from a durable material with a rough, stone-like surface that's easy to grip. Birds will love the burbling water and the security of a non-slippery surface. The Guildford fountain is sold as a pedestal, but the two-tiered basin can also be removed and placed on the lawn.

Caring for a Solar Bird Bath

The best thing you can do for your solar bird bath after purchase is coat it with an outdoor sealant before using it. A spray-on sealant will protect the finish from wear and tear and keep your bird bath looking great for years to come. Once you've applied the sealant, make sure it's completely dry prior to setting it out for flying visitors - this is to prevent the inadvertent poisoning of the water source.

The next key factor in maintaining and caring for solar bird baths is to watch the water levels on very windy or sunny days. The heat and wind can cause your low water levels to quickly dissipate, eventually evaporating it all. If the pump is still running, it could burn out. To avoid this problem, look for a bath that's shallow, but also large and slightly deeper in the middle.

With those caveats in mind, providing a bird bath run from solar power is a great option for conservation-minded people who want to provide a friendly perch for their feathered visitors while saving on energy costs.
About the Author
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