Build a bird bath

Bird baths are a great way to attract birds to your garden as it provides a safe and reliable source of water. As they drink and bathe, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy watching your garden visitors.

You can buy bird baths, but you can also make DIY baths very easily with things you might already have! There are a few important things to consider though. Firstly, the dishes that create the bath should ideally be below 10cm deep and as wide as possible with shallow slopes. This will make it easy for the birds to get in and out.

If you have a dish that’s deeper than 10cm, you can add some large rocks or bricks to the middle to create an island for the birds. Secondly, the location of your bird bath is important. They should be in the shade away from midday sun to reduce the water evaporation and minimise algae growth. It will also help hide smaller birds from birds of prey. This leads to the final point to consider, to make bird baths safe they should also be raised off the ground away from ground predators.

In a similar way to bird feeders, different styles and positions of bird baths will attract different birds. Below are instructions to build a standing bird bath, but you can also have hanging bird baths or ones on the floor.

Extra: Below is a garden bird spotter guide – use it to identify and tick off your visitors!

Sparrows in a bird bath © Chris Speller


What you will need:

  • Large dish, under 10cm deep, such as a terracotta pot saucer.
  • Bricks to stack for the base
  • Small pebbles and rocks
  • Rain or tap water

How to make a bird bath

  1. Find level stones or bricks that you can stack to make a sturdy base. Think about ways you can make the base more stable or secure it to the ground.
  2. After you have stacked your bricks or stones, place your dish on top and test if it’s stable.
  3. If the dish is slippery inside, you can add some small pebbles and rocks to the bath to provide some grip. Furthermore, if the dish is deeper than 10cm, you should add some large rocks to the middle to create an island. This will help them to not get stuck in the bath.
  4. Fill your bird bath with water and see what birds come to visit it! Make sure to keep it topped up with water when it’s warm and free of ice when it’s cold.


Time to complete

15 minutes

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Resource Level


Help protect Scotland’s wildlife

Our work to save Scotland’s wildlife is made possible thanks to the generosity of our members and supporters.

Join today from just £3 a month to help protect the species you love.

Join today

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now

Back to top