Nothing can beat the sight of birds splashing around and having a good time in the bird bath in your yard. However, despite installing the best bath, there is no guarantee that birds will visit it.
So, how do you make your bird bath more attractive to your feathered friends? Are birds attracted to brightly colored bird baths and what colors attract birds the best? Read on to find out all this and more.
Best Paints for Attracting More Birds
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Using an acrylic or latex based paint is safe for painting your entire birdbath. You can even paint the basin where the water is and it will remain safe for wildlife. Consider using bright colors to attract more birds!
Can Birds See Color?
Before we delve into what colors attract birds, let’s take a look at how birds see colors. You would be quite surprised to learn that birds have better vision compared to humans.
Humans are trichromatic, which means that the retina of the human eye has 3 types of cone cells that can perceive blue, red and green light, whereas, birds are tetrachromatic i.e., they have 4 cone cells and can perceive blue, green, red and UV light.
In fact, the visual perception of birds is much higher than humans, which means that they can distinguish even slight differences between 2 very similar colors. This ability enables birds to find their food hidden in the foliage or spot any camouflaged prey. Since birds can see such minute differences in color, it is but natural that they are also attracted by the color of the bird bath in your garden.
Why Do Birds See Colors?
Several species of birds rely on colors in the environment in various ways such as:
- When the fruit is brightly colored, it indicates that it is ripe, full of nutritious content and is ready to be eaten.
- When the plumage of the bird molts to brighter colors, this indicates the start of the breeding season.
- The bright colors of plumage indicate that the bird is mature, healthy and has the potential to be a good mate.
- The presence of colored marking may be warnings of lurking predators or toxic plants.
- Brightly colored flowers are typically signs that they are filled with nectar and attract insects, which are a source of food for birds.
- When the color of the foliage begins to change, this is an indication of the changing seasons, which may be a cue to birds that it is time for migration.
So, as you can see, colors are extremely significant and hold different meanings to birds. Birds are so familiar with colors that adding the right colors to your bird bath can be a creative and wonderful way to attract birds, especially during the duller seasons like late autumn and winter.
What Colors Attracts Birds?
When you consider what colors are birds attracted to, well different colors attract different types of birds. While some birds may be attracted to certain colors similar to their own plumage because this may be an indication of a potential mate or another bird of the same species, others may be attracted to colors that represent a source of food.
Typically, most birds are attracted to bright colors; however, certain species are attracted more to certain colors, such as hummingbirds that are attracted by red, pink, yellow and orange, warblers and goldfinches like yellow, orioles are drawn to orange, while jays and bluebirds are attracted to blue.
Bluebirds may be attracted to blue because it resembles the color of their plumage, while hummingbirds may be attracted to pink and red because these resemble the plants that provide them nectar such as petunias and bee balms.
Skittish birds with nervous temperaments such as quails, doves, thrushes, etc. are attracted by natural, earthy camouflage colors like green, brown and gray as these colors signify safety and security.
What Colors Scares Birds?
Birds are attracted to most colors, except white. This is because white represents danger, aggression and alarm to most birds and they are scared by the color. In fact, several birds use white plumage as a signal of warning.
How to Make Your Bird Bath More Attractive to Birds?
As we discussed earlier, birds are attracted to bright colors that resemble their plumage, foods, flowers, etc. and so, it is a good idea to paint your bird bath in bright primary colors to attract the birds you want. This is because birds can see these bright colors from long distances.
And, the color white scares birds away because they perceive it as a danger. So, you should avoid painting your bird bath white or adding a lot of white to your garden as this will be counterproductive and frighten the birds away instead of attracting them.
While a brightly colored bird bath may not guarantee that birds will be attracted to it; nevertheless, it can definitely help. Not only does a brightly colored bird bath help to attract birds to your yard, but it can also add a pop of color to your garden and liven up the landscape.
It is a good idea to choose a bird bath made of a mosaic that uses a combination of colors in a ceramic build or glass that has a nice shiny appearance. You can also paint the bird bath in a bright color with a glossy finish that reflects the sunlight and glistens.
Or, you can use a bird bath made of copper that shines in the sunlight. You can use all these methods to create a nice and shiny bird bath that is extremely attractive to birds that are far away or flying overhead.
Typically, pebbles and rocks are used in a bird bath as they help to create a better footing for the birds, provide a perch for them and prevent them from drowning. You can use a mix of brightly colored pebbles and rocks that are not only functional but also are a great way to brighten up a dull bird bath, attracting more birds.
Not only is this method very easy but quite inexpensive too. You can also make the bird bath more attractive by fixing decorative or imitation flowers to the bird bath.
While shiny mosaic, glass or copper bird baths are wonderful and colorful ways to attract birds; however, these are static sources of water, which do not offer any reflections to attract birds flying overhead.
You can use a solar-powered foundation bird bath to move the water in the waterfall and create reflections, which can help to attract birds. While you can purchase a readymade fountain bird bath; however, this can be quite expensive.
You can simply purchase an inexpensive solar fountain pump and fix it to the bird bath installed in your home and convert it into a fountain bird bath, which is easy and inexpensive.
And, when the fountain is working, the water will sparkle in the sunlight, catching the attention of birds flying past, who will think that it is a water source and be drawn to your bird bath.
While installing a glass, mosaic or copper bird bath just to attract more birds is a good idea; however, it can be a gamble, especially if you’re spending your time, money and effort on brightening up the bird bath when a stone one can be equally effective.
You can simply use a regular metal, stone or plastic bird bath, which is a cheaper and easier option and you can ensure that you attract more birds to it by placing it near blooming flowers or attractive plants.
And, if you don’t have any flowering plants, then you can plant some bulbs or seeds, which will grow into blooming plants in the growing season.
You can also opt for fruit plants or plants that attract insects, which in turn, will help to attract birds to your yard and in turn, your bird bath. Not only will these attract birds but also make your garden more attractive by adding more color to it.
Some other ways to attract birds to your bird bath is to focus on the entire yard instead of just the bird bath and brighten up the entire area. You could paint some of the walls, the fencing, pots, trellis or a shed in your yard in nice bright colors like green, orange, etc. that can be seen by birds from a distance.
Installing a bird bath in a yard surrounded by brightly colored objects can help to attract plenty of birds. Or, you could place the bird bath on your bright green lawn, which is more attractive to birds rather than on the concrete pavement or patio.
You can also place a brightly colored feeding station next to the bird bath, which will encourage the birds coming to feed to also use your bird bath.
While ideally, the exterior of the bird bath should be painted in bright colors to attract birds, the bottom of the bird bath basin should be of light color such as light green, beige, gray, etc. as light colors make it easier for you to notice any buildup of dirt in the basin.
Avoid using black or dark colors for the basin of the bird bath as this will make it very difficult to spot any dirt in the basin.
Add Blossoming Plants
Use pebbles in various bright colors or regular gray rugged pebbles – but placing a birdbath near blooming plants can certainly lighten the mood.
Indeed, placing a birdbath among blooming flowers is even better all year round. Birds are attracted to vivid colors, but even more so to blossoming plants, which could be fruit plants that they consume or plants that can hold insects that they will devour.
On a side topic, planting sunflowers in your yard may eventually attract various seed-eating backyard birds. Nonetheless, if you want to let all bird species drink or bathe in the birdbath once they’ve visited the plants surrounding it, you might also attach a bath station to the bird feeding station. You may link it to the color they prefer so that birds can use the birdbath once they’ve finished feasting.
Unfortunately, blossoming plants with loads of color aren’t guaranteed all year round in the United States, but it’s certainly something to try from spring to summer.
Spruce Up Your Yard
Rather than focusing on one area of your backyard to attract wild birds, such as the birdbath, wouldn’t it make more sense to brighten up the entire yard?
It does not have to be painted in an unpleasant, overly bright color scheme; rather, you may paint it in more neutral colors such as green or a tainted orange, which can look good. In addition, brightly colored fencing, a shed, or a trellis can also be painted because, undoubtedly, it will stand out more from the dull yards around yours.
A birdbath in the center of the yard, with vivid colors nearby or surrounding it, can truly attract a slew of wild birds. Instead of placing a birdbath on an old gray, drab patio or concrete pavement, why not place it on a vibrant green lawn? – which is more appealing to birds.
Birds are Drawn to Fountains
Brightening up your garden or purchasing a colorful birdbath to attract common garden birds is something you may do, but the results will vary.
But, remember, either hue is static, so there will be few to no reflections for birds to see as they fly by. Aside from utilizing glossy glass or a mosaic birdbath, you can use a solar-powered fountain birdbath to produce reflections in the water as it moves in the cascade.
Fountain bird baths can be purchased ready to use, but so can inexpensive solar fountain pumps, allowing your existing static birdbath to be transformed into a backyard fountain feature. If you’re already used to coloring pebbles in an otherwise bland birdbath, a fountain can undoubtedly grab a bird’s attention.
This is because water glistens in the light, and the reflection is subsequently noticed by birds, who identify it with a water source.
In conclusion, birds have better vision than humans and can view colors and even distinguish between similar-looking colors. They are attracted by bright colors and so if you want to attract more birds to your bird bath, then it is a good idea to use these colors to draw birds to your yard.
And, after reading our article, you know which birds are attracted to what colors and so, you can choose to paint your bird bath in these colors and see your favorite feathered friends swooping into it in large numbers.