Solar birdbath fountains harness the power of the sun to create an inviting, bubbly watering hole for birds. These fixtures are a convenient alternative to electric fountain birdbaths, since the solar panels don’t require a cumbersome power cord. The best solar birdbaths have an attractive design, a reliable solar power system, and are made from durable and easy-to-clean materials. Read on for the best solar birdbath fountains to attract feathered friends and pretty up your property.
- BEST OVERALL: Vivohome Antique Bird Bath and Solar Powered Fountain
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Aisitin 3.5W Solar Fountain
- UPGRADE PICK: August Grove Gada Acadia Birdbath
- BEST TWO-TIER: Sunnydaze 2-Tier Solar Fountain with Battery Backup
- BEST GLASS: Smart Solar Sunflower Solar Birdbath
- BEST WITH LIGHTS: Estefanlo 3W Solar Fountain
- BEST CONVERSION KIT: Smart Solar AquaNura Solar Birdbath Insert Kit
- BEST SOLAR PUMP KIT: Eco-Worthy Solar Fountain Water Pump Kit
- BEST SOLAR/PLUG-IN: Accent PlusWishing Well Solar Fountain
- ALSO CONSIDER: Williston Forge Osio Gingko Solar Birdbath
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Solar Birdbath Fountains
Fountain birdbaths can appeal to both birds and human beings. Avian species are attracted to fresh, flowing water and most folks appreciate the tranquil sounds and pleasing design element. Electric models need access to a safe outdoor outlet, while solar birdbath fountains rely on exposure to sunlight (or possibly a backup battery for cloudy days) to power their water flow and/or heating features. In many other ways, solar birdbaths are similar to their electric counterparts, but there are some extra features to keep in mind when choosing one.
Most solar birdbath fountains are pedestal models rather than hanging or wall-mounted units. A pedestal birdbath consists of an elevated basin atop a short, sturdy column. This is a popular style of birdbath fountain, and solar versions come in a wide range of materials and design nuances.
- Solar birdbath fountains typically have one of three pump types: fixed, floating, or separated.
- Fixed fountain pumps are lodged in place in the water basin of the birdbath.
- Floating fountain pumps are essentially separate water units that contain the solar panel and pump as a single device that floats on top of the water. These pumps make it easy to convert a water basin into a fountain birdbath.
- Separated solar pump fountains feature a solar panel separate from the fountain itself. This offers the flexibility to locate the panel wherever you choose, as long as it’s nearby the fountain.
In a solar birdbath fountain, pumps keep the water moving to attract birds and prevent stagnation. The pump determines the type of water flow and water pressure, and in some situations, pump size is a key factor.
Birdbaths with included fixed pumps come with the pump already installed, so shoppers can’t choose or adjust the pump size. However, those who hope to convert an existing non-fountain birdbath into a fountain can do so, rather easily, by adding a solar-powered pump. To ensure that a floating pump or the pump kit fits the existing birdbath, check both the pump size and the appropriate water depth level for operation. Make sure that the pump not only fits the basin but allows ample room around it for birds to drink and bathe.
All solar birdbath fountains require a solar panel to operate. Since these fountains draw power from the sun and not a power cord, they are environmentally friendly, economical, and very convenient—and they can be placed almost anywhere in a garden.
Solar birdbaths can have a built-in solar panel or a separate solar panel that connects to the fountain with a wire. Built-in solar panels are integrated into the unit (often in the basin, which is hidden from view under the water). This tends to be the most attractive appearance, but the design requires the birdbath to be placed in a spot that receives ample sun.
Separate solar panels may look somewhat obtrusive, but they allow for more flexible placement. For example, the birdbath can be placed in a shady area under a tree that birds like, while the solar panel can rest in a sunnier spot nearby.
Some solar birdbaths switch on automatically when enough sun hits the panels, while others have a manual on/off switch. Units with a battery backup can work into the evening or on cloudy days.
Fountain Depth and Design
The fountain depth for birds is a shallow 1 to 2 inches, which provides enough water for feathered friends to bathe comfortably. A birdbath with shallower edges and a deeper center will make it comfortable for birds of different sizes to enjoy.
Birdbaths are also decorative garden elements that come in a huge range of styles. Shoppers can choose from fountain, bubbler, dripper, or mister water features. A wide variety of materials, finishes, colors, and patterns are available. Also consider the fountain shape, multitiered designs, and any decorative carvings and sculptures that may enhance your outdoor space.
Solar birdbaths can be made from a range of different materials. The best options are UV- and frost-resistant to withstand outdoor conditions year-round. Common materials include plastic, resin, fiberglass, concrete, ceramic, metal, glass, and stone.
Plastics and polyresins are affordable, lightweight, durable, and easy to clean. They can also fake the look of other materials, like iron or stone, without the extra cost or weight.
While concrete, stone, and metal birdbaths look great and feel substantial, lighter weight options are easier to move and clean. No wonder glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) has become a popular choice. This specialized type of concrete is strong, attractive, and lighter than traditional concrete.
Glass and ceramic birdbaths are also beautiful options that can come in a range of colors and patterns. These materials are delicate, however, and tend to be the least durable.
There’s one drawback to many solar-powered products: less sun means less power. Some solar birdbath fountains only run when receiving direct sunlight, while others have a backup battery. For sunny locales, a backup battery may not be a necessity, but for cloudy climates, they’re a huge perk.
A backup battery can hold some charge to power the birdbath into the evening or on cloudier days. They usually provide about 6 hours of runtime when the sun isn’t shining. The backup battery can also power other fixtures, like heaters to prevent freezing or LED lighting fixtures to make the birdbath glow pleasantly into the evening.
Many solar birdbath fountains won’t run around the clock—they’ll usually run out of power sometime through the day. For those who want a birdbath to run constantly, consider a solar birdbath with a backup electric power source.
Solar birdbaths can include a few additional features to make them more attractive and convenient to use. Some include different nozzle types so users can choose between a bubbler, a shower, and a spray fixture. LED lighting can impart a lovely glow to make the birdbath look attractive into the evening.
An auto on/off function will keep the birdbath running through the day and conserve energy when birds are asleep. Automatic switches are a good choice for those who don’t want to remember to check the birdbath every day.
Our Top Picks
A beautiful solar birdbath invites avian species into the garden to drink and bathe while serving as a pretty, soothing outdoor fixture. The best solar birdbath fountains in this roundup are attractive, durable, and easy to keep clean, making them a lovely addition to any garden.
Installing a birdbath is simple and straightforward with this attractive set from Vivohome. This easy-to-assemble birdbath comes together in four twist-on pieces—no tools required. Users can then add the optional solar water fountain pump to turn it into a birdbath fountain, or omit it for a regular pedestal birdbath.
The polyresin material makes this birdbath durable and easy to clean. At 4.4 pounds, this model is super lightweight, so it’s a breeze to move it around the garden to find the best spot to attract birds. Stakes are included to anchor the birdbath into the ground, and its hollow pillar can also be filled with gravel or sand to add weight.
The fountain is a simple solar-powered pump and comes with four fountain heads. The pump has suction cups to keep the fountain in place, although some users have complained that these can be finicky.
- Material: Polyresin
- Size: 20 by 20 by 28 inches
- Weight: 4.4 pounds
- Very easy to assemble
- Durable and easy to clean
- Antique-inspired look
- Potentially too lightweight for windy areas
- Lacks a battery backup
- Fountain pump may not always stick to the water basin
Get the Vivohome birdbath and fountain on Amazon, The Home Depot, and Walmart.
Those with an existing traditional birdbath can quickly and inexpensively convert it into a beautiful bubbling model with this floating, freestanding solar fountain. It can be easily added to a pedestal, a hanging birdbath, or a ground birdbath. As an added value, the pump includes six water nozzle types, so users can explore different spray effects, with the maximum nozzle producing a spray of an eye-catching height of 2.6 feet.
This solar fountain has a 7.1-inch diameter, pretty much entirely composed of solar panels, to harness ample energy for a powerful water flow. This creates a more stable and higher fountain spray than those of smaller solar fountains. The pump switches on automatically when exposed to enough sunlight, and if the birdbath runs empty, an automatic shut-off feature keeps the pump from running dry.
- Material: Plastic
- Size: 7.1-inch diameter
- Weight: 12 ounces
- Floating design is very easy to install
- Automatic on/off
- Includes 6 nozzle types
Get the Aisitin solar fountain on Amazon.
An ornate fountain birdbath is a lovely garden focal point, attracting pretty birds while bringing an air of tranquility and calm. The Gada Acadia Birdbath from August Grove is an elegant and substantial choice made from glass fiber reinforced concrete, providing an upgrade over plastic and polyresin. The concrete adds a textural quality as well as some weight, yet at 26 pounds, this birdbath is still easy enough to move around.
A pedestal design, a fixed fountain, and pleasing details make this birdbath an appealing pick. It boasts a traditional pedestal shape with playful cattail motifs and frog figurines to add some personality and charm.
- Material: Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC)
- Size: 17.8 by 17.8 by 24.5 inches
- Weight: 26 pounds
- Made from glass fiber reinforced concrete
- Substantial weight keeps fountain in place
- Charming design
Get the August Grove birdbath on Wayfair.
Fabulous and functional, this two-tier fountain from Sunnydaze enhances outdoor spaces while giving birds ample areas to bathe and drink. The fountain features an ornate pedestal design with an eye-catching spiral top, lipped basins, and a traditional center column. It’s made from a durable resin and fiberglass material that offers a more substantial look and weight than polyresin options.
The solar pump is powered by a separate solar panel, which allows for more flexible placement. Once charged by the sun, the battery backup allows users to switch the fountain on for up to 4 hours in the evening or on cloudy days.
- Material: Resin and fiberglass
- Size: 23 by 23 by 34.5 inches
- Weight: 20 pounds
- Ornate design
- Durable materials
- 4 hours of battery backup
- Some users might find the separate solar panel attractive
Get the Sunnydaze solar fountain on Amazon, Overstock, and Walmart.
Glass birdbaths are a beautiful and delicate-looking alternative to polyresin and concrete options. With its pretty, painted sunflower motif, this bright birdbath will fit right into vibrant gardens.
The cheery glass basin sits on top of a durable and steady metal stand, yet it weighs a mere 11 pounds, so it’s no hassle to move it around the garden. Composed of just two pieces, it’s easy to set up and take down for storage (the manufacturer recommends that the birdbath be kept indoors when the weather gets frosty).
The design features a hidden water reservoir, which allows the birdbath to maintain enough water to recirculate water into its shallow basin. A solar panel powers the low-voltage pump to create a pleasant spray of water.
- Material: Glass and steel
- Size: 20 by 20 by 24.3 inches
- Weight: 11 pounds
- Vibrant design
- Delicate appearance
- Easy-to-clean glass basin
- Hidden water reservoir helps maintain water levels
- Not suitable for use in the winter
Get the Smart Solar birdbath at The Home Depot, Target, and Wayfair.
LED lights can add even more visual interest to a solar fountain birdbath, making it a lovely fixture for use in the evening as well as through the day. This solar floating fountain from Estefanlo is equipped with six colorful LED lights to add a gorgeous glow and pop of color to a birdbath.
The LED bulbs automatically switch on at night, and users can either choose a color or set the unit to cycle through its colors. There are also seven spray styles to choose from for even more personality.
As a floating birdbath, this unit is easy to install: Just pop it into a large-enough existing birdbath in a sunny area. The 7-inch diameter has amply sized solar panels to power both the water fountain and the lighting. The battery backup provides 1 to 4 hours of water flow and lighting to let this fountain work into the night.
- Material: Plastic
- Size: 7 by 7 by 2 inches
- Weight: 14 ounces
- Appealing color-changing LED lights
- 7 spray styles
- Battery backup
- Provides lighting for up to 4 hours only
Get the Estefanlo solar fountain on Amazon.
Floating solar fountains are a straightforward option for converting a water basin into a birdbath, but some people don’t care for the appearance. This solar birdbath fountain inserts into the basin and sits at the bottom, a design that hides the fountain apparatus for a more seamless look, especially since the neutral gray finish blends in with a range of birdbath styles.
Since it has no cords and cables, installing this solar fountain is, fortunately, just as easy as putting in a floating version. In direct sunlight, the unit will automatically switch on. Users can choose between a calming bubbler or a pleasant spray nozzle.
- Material: Plastic and metal
- Size: 9.25 by 9.25 by 2 inches
- Weight: 1 pound
- Simple installation
- Installs under the water line
- Neutral gray color to suit a range of birdbaths
- Only runs in direct sunlight
Get the Smart Solar birdbath conversion kit at The Home Depot, Target, and Walmart.
For a flexible way to convert a water fixture into a fountain birdbath, consider this Eco-Worthy kit with a separate solar panel. It includes a submersible pump powered by a separate solar panel on a lengthy 16-foot cord.
One nice factor about this model is the small pump size; unlike floating birdbaths or large birdbath conversion kits, the pump can fit in almost any water fixture. The separate solar panel allows for the conversion of a ground birdbath, a hanging birdbath, or a pedestal birdbath into a fountain model, while the long cord allows users to place the panel in a sunny spot up to 16 feet away.
- Material: Plastic, glass, and metal
- Size: 9.9 by 5 by 15 inches
- Weight: 5.3 pounds
- Small pump size
- Makes it easy to convert any birdbath into a fountain
- Separate solar panel with a 16-foot cord
- Separate solar panel may be unattractive to some users
Get the Eco-Worthy solar fountain kit on Amazon.
In climates with a lot of overcast days, many solar birdbath fountains will struggle to run throughout the day, but a model with a backup AC power source is a great solution. The Wishing Well solar fountain from Accent Plus is an appealing solar fountain birdbath that also has the option to plug into an outlet. The water fixture automatically switches on using solar power with sun exposure or can be set to run on cloudy days by plugging the AC adapter into an outlet.
This two-tiered fountain is convenient and also features a traditional manor-inspired look, with a stonework design crafted from durable polyresin. Two bird figurines add even more charm to and may function to invite real feathered friends.
- Material: Polyresin
- Size: 15 by 15 by 25 inches
- Weight: 17 pounds
- Option to run on AC power with included AC adapter
- Manor-inspired design
- Realistic stone look
Get the Accent Plus solar fountain on Amazon.
While traditional ornate birdbaths are charming, a more understated and modern design might be a better fit for contemporary homes. The Osio Gingko Solar Birdbath by Williston Forge features a sleek and simple pedestal design, without the cutesy animal motifs common in traditional birdbaths. Instead, an elegant weathered stone finish and tasteful gingko leaf motifs add a bit of personality without detracting from the minimalist look.
This birdbath is made from glass fiber reinforced concrete, which gives it a sturdy appearance. It’s on the heavier side at 33 pounds, but it’s still easy enough to move around the garden. Two fountain heads allow users to switch up the water feature spray style.
- Material: Glass fiber reinforced concrete
- Size: 21.3 by 21.3 by 29.3 inches
- Weight: 33 pounds
- Minimalist design
- Durable material
- Attractive weathered stone finish
- Lacks a battery backup
Get the Williston Forge solar birdbath on Wayfair.
The Vivohome birdbath and fountain is an affordable, attractive, and incredibly easy-to-install birdbath that will look lovely in many garden settings. For an even more budget-friendly pick, consider the Aisitin solar fountain, which makes it very affordable to convert a traditional birdbath into a solar birdbath fountain.
How We Chose the Best Solar Birdbath Fountains
The best solar birdbath fountains are good-looking as well as eco-friendly and economical to run. We considered a few criteria when narrowing down the top solar birdbaths, including the design, materials, and solar power features.
Solar birdbath fountains are appealing for their convenience and easy installation. To ensure the solar fountain works as promised, we considered shopper reviews to find options with reliable solar power functions. We also chose a few options with battery backup and one with an AC adapter for those that want to operate the fountain on cloudier days.
Birdbaths aren’t just for the pleasure of our feathered friends; they’re also a garden decor piece. With this in mind, we prioritized birdbaths with attractive designs. To suit different tastes, we chose a range of styles, including plenty of charming traditional birdbaths, a colorful glass birdbath, and a more modern option. To keep the birdbath performing and looking its best for years, we stuck with options made from durable and easy-to-clean materials.
Tips for Using Solar Birdbath Fountains
Setting up and maintaining a solar birdbath is quite simple. To attract more birds, place the birdbath in a semi-shaded area with enough sunlight to power the unit, but not so much that the water evaporates too quickly. Some branches and plants nearby will be appealing to birds, but don’t place them too close to areas where predators can hide. Avoid placing the birdbath near windows or directly under plants or a bird feeder. Windows are a collision hazard, and plants or feeders will drop debris into the birdbath.
Once the birdbath is set up, maintenance mainly comes down to regular refilling and cleaning. Avoid letting the birdbath run dry, as this can damage the pump. Frequent cleaning is crucial, both for the health of birds and the appearance and operation of the birdbath. Ideally, the birdbath should be cleaned two or three times a week (although once a week may be enough for some), or whenever you notice the water is becoming dirty or discolored. A dirty birdbath isn’t just unpleasant for birds, it can also spread disease and encourage pests. Make sure the solar panel is also clean for optimal operation.
During cold winters, it’s best to bring the birdbath inside or use a birdbath heater or bird-safe anti-freezing products to prevent the water from becoming ice.
- In most gardens, a semi-shaded spot close to bushes or trees is the best area to place a birdbath.
- Avoid placing birdbaths directly under or beside trees and bushes, near windows, or too close to areas where predators can hide.
- Refill the birdbath frequently and avoid letting it run dry.
- Clean the birdbath one to three times a week.
- Take steps to prevent damage or frost in the winter.
Solar birdbaths are easy to use and relatively simple to maintain with a regular cleaning schedule. If you’re still on the fence about buying or using a solar birdbath fountain, read on for answers to some frequently asked questions about choosing and maintaining a solar-powered unit.
Q. Do birds like solar fountains?
Yes, birds prefer moving water over standing water, so a solar fountain is the more attractive choice. For us humans, they’re an appealing alternative to electric birdbaths.
Q. Do solar fountains really work?
Yes, solar birdbath fountains use solar panels to harness the power of the sun and run their water flow. While they might not run all day like electric-powered birdbath fountains, they do really work!
Q. Should water fountains run all the time?
Yes, it’s best for a birdbath water fountain to run as often as possible. Running water prevents stagnancy, lowering the chance of pests and bacteria, algae, and mildew buildup.
Q. How deep can a solar pump work?
It depends on the solar pump. Solar pumps for birdbaths are designed to work in water depths of up to 4 inches, which is a suitable depth for most birdbaths.
Q. How long do solar fountains last?
Solar pumps last about 2 to 4 years on average, while birdbaths can last for years longer depending on the materials and level of care. For better longevity, look for a solar birdbath with an easily replaceable solar pump or the option to replace the batteries.
Q. How do I keep a birdbath clean?
Birds visit birdbaths to both drink and bathe, so a clean basin is essential for keeping birds hydrated and healthy. Frequently remove any debris like leaves or feathers. Empty the birdbath and clean it thoroughly a couple of times a week with plenty of fresh water and a mixture of nine parts water to one part white distilled vinegar.