One of the frustrating things bird bath owners encounter is having stagnant pools of water. When this happens, the birds stop coming, which defeats the whole purpose of having a bird bath in the first place. Which is why more and more birth bath owners are converting to solar powered bird baths.
So… what are the best solar powered bird baths you can buy? The best solar powered bird baths are measured by their ability to take energy directly from the sun, and propel water successfully into the air, while being easy to assemble, durable, and versatile (in that they fit multiple bath designs.) We’ve narrowed it down to the 10 best bird baths on the market.
Solar bird baths are the new rage, as they provide your neighborhood birds with clean, moving water, so you can rest assured the water in your birdbath is safe for drinking, bathing, and playing. The best bird baths provide this ever-moving-clean water, as well as a beautiful stream of water to create an attractive fountain effect, perfect for your local feathery friends!
What Should I Look for in a Solar Powered Bird Bath?
As you’ll see in these individual reviews, there are a variety of qualities that make a solar power bird bath of value. If you’re considering purchasing a new solar-powered bird bath or retrofitting an existing bath, these are important items to consider:
- Integrated vs. Stand-Alone Panels – integrated solar panels do not generate quite as much power since water covers the panel, whereas stand-alone panels generate more power.
- Light Sensors – Light sensors come in handy as they only power your fountain during the daylight hours, and turn off come night. This is important as a constant flow of water in the night might attract nocturnal creatures you may not be intending to invite into your yard (like raccoons, for example.)
- Winter Settings – Certain solar panel fountain models come with winter ratings, which means they come with heaters. However, some of these may still get damaged if temperatures fall too low and freeze.
- Quiet Pump – Ideally, you’ll want a quiet pump so as not to frighten the birds away you want to attract with your new solar power pump. It’s also less annoying for the humans enjoying the fountain as well.
- Additional Battery – An additional battery solar power pump is handy to have if you live in a climate that does not have consistent sun, as the battery allows for the panel to charge up when in direct sunlight. That way when the clouds roll in, the fountain can run on the sun energy memory it collected during its stint in the sun.
Retrofitting A Regular Bird Bath into a Solar Powered Birth Bath?
Many models of solar panel fountains available today are made for the very purpose of retrofitting non-mobile bird baths, pools, or ponds. One will notice that many of the solar fountains available are solar bases that can be easily inserted into existing non-solar bird baths.
The keywords you’ll be searching for if retrofitting a bird bath are “portable solar power pump” or “portable solar power fountain.” When you purchase and receive your new solar power pump, you’ll anchor it down into your existing bird bath (typically via plastic suction cups that stick to the bottom or edges of your bath.) If you don’t anchor the pump down, it is liable to be knocked over by wind, which will then cause water to splash out of the bird bath haphazardly.
A benefit to purchasing a stand-alone solar power panel vs. buying a new solar-powered bird bath with an integrated panel is that the stand-alone panels are a cheaper option and tend to actually function better and more reliably, as they offer more power than the newer built-in bird baths.
The Top 10 Solar Panel Bird Baths (Including both Integrated and portable pumps)
This is a very easy to install solar panel portal pump for bird baths, it’s eco-friendly and has a very sleek and simple design. This pump also comes with a one-year guarantee! Customers also reported experiencing a positive customer service experience, which ranks very important for me, in case any problems do arise.
- Easy to Use – the simplicity of the design makes it so user-friendly, in that you can’t move it to new locations as you please, you aren’t constrained by plugs or by it being pre-attached to an already existing entity. With this pump, you simply place it on the water, watch it float, and when the solar panel gets enough sunlight, it will automatically begin dispersing water through the pump out through the spout.
- Multiple Styles – this pump comes with 8 different kinds of water-spout styles, so you can choose your desired shape and density of spray (and which would be gentlest for birds.)
- Inexpensive – you can purchase this solar panel pump for under $15, and easily retrofit any body of water to become a new haven for neighborhood birds
- Lightweight – due to its lightweight nature, some complained that the panel had a tendency to float around, and when it did get loose and float around, it cause the water to spray everywhere.
This IdealHouse solar fountain is made of a black epoxy, making it a sleek, versatile, and easy to use product. They also offer the option of purchasing the solar panel pump with or without a battery!
- Battery Option – one of the best features of this pump is that they allow you to choose upon purchase whether or not you’d like to include a backup battery. This is awesome because a backup battery holds the sun’s energy memory, so when the solar panel is not in direct sunlight any longer, the panel can run off of the charged battery. That extra battery life can offer you 3-5 extra hours of fountain time without the use of the sun.
- Easy to Clean – simply take off the cover of the pump and remove any pollutants.
- Variety of Nozzles – this pump also comes with a variety of nozzles and fountain heads, providing you with options on the kind of fountain spray you prefer
- Intermittent Spurts – a select number of customers reported the fountain doing intermittent spurts as soon as clouds rolled in. It’s possible these users did not purchase the battery option.
This free-floating solar panel pump is one of few that can taut being able to survive in cold weather, as well as achieving an impressive fountain height. This Solatec solar fountain is sure to have your neighbors jealous of your bird bath glory!
- Different Water Styles – this pump comes with 4 different nozzle heads, so you can change the height of the water, and also choose different patterns as well. This fountain can reach approximately 50cm high
- Gentle Water Flow – this fountain is quiet and will provide the ideal tranquility you’d like for your garden, with the added benefit of not scaring away your aviary friends!
- Inexpensive – This solar panel pump and fountain will only run you about $10 or less, which is incredibly affordable, especially for a top-rated solar panel pump.
- Floats Around – some users reported that this particular model has a tendency to float around the basin of a fountain if it isn’t properly secured correctly.
This beautiful Smart Solar ceramic fountain is multi-layered, and comes in five different distinct colors, all as stunning as the others. It is powered by a separate solar panel and can hold up to 2 gallons of water! If you’re looking for a unique and attractive looking fountain for your bird and other animal friends to enjoy, this might be the one for you!
- Attractive – This cascading style ceramic fountain is beautiful and unique in its design.
- Cascading Effect – The most stand out aspect of this fountain is its beautiful 4-tiered, cascading effect. It ensures for constant water movement as well as a beautiful, gentle sound for your garden.
- External Solar Panel – I like an external solar panel because it affords you the opportunity to position it in the sun as best as possible, vs. just having it inside the fountain. This external panel comes with a 10 ft. cable.
- Materials – These ceramic fountains are made from black clay from Vietnam.
- Sturdy – Weighing at about 18lbs, this fountain isn’t likely to blow over in a breeze because it is heavy and sturdy.
- Pricey – These solar panel bird baths do not come cheap, unfortunately. They run around $100 or more.
- Not For Winter – this solar powered bird bath is not made for the cold weather. In fact, low temperatures may actually damage the solar panel and or fountain itself. If you live in a place that gets really chilly in the winter, you’ll want to empty the water and store the unit somewhere safe and warm.
- Pump Only Works in Absolute Direct Sunlight – One of the knocks on this bird bath is that some customers reported that the pump will completely stop when not in absolute direct sunlight. For those who don’t live in the desert, this could be rather annoying.
This small little ceramic koi fountain is an adorable idea for a bird bath, and it is solar powered! You can purchase anywhere from just one, or a pack of four. They can rest on the ground or be secured to a wall (your bird friends would likely prefer this option.) It comes with a low voltage pump to keep the water flowing, and an external solar panel that can be placed up to 10ft away.
- Design – the extra unique design of the rich blue and the koi fish water spout makes this particular bird bath desirable
- External Panel – the solar panel, with its 10 ft breadth, allows you to position the solar panel in the most desirable position, without it being limited to being stuck in the fountain
- Price – This ceramic little bird bath is reasonably priced, considering it runs under $50.
- Quiet – if you are looking for a tranquil and quiet fountain, this fountain would meet both those qualifications
- Slightly Unreliable Pump – some customers have reporting have to replace the pump that the fountain comes with, for a more reliable, high-quality pump
This Peaktop bird bath is ideal for your garden or patio, made of a highly durable glass, and comes in six different styles (ranging from butterfly designs, bird paintings, and flower petal designs.)
- Attractive – these Peaktop fountains are undeniably cute. If one of your priorities when purchasing a solar-powered bird bath is also that it looks good, then you can’t go wrong with any of these designs. Of all the bird baths listed, it’s also one the most classic ‘bird bath’ styles as well, reminiscent of your mother or grandmother’s bird bath.
- Variety of Designs – this beautiful stained-glass bird bath comes in various different styles,
- Solar Powered LED – this feature means you don’t have to display or reposition an external solar panel several feet away, this solar power LED will power the fountain internally.
- Easy Assembly – since this bird bath only comes with the basin and stand, the assembly is truly less than 5 minutes
- Can be Pricey – depending on which model and style you decide on, these bird baths range anywhere from $40 to $80 or so. While a $40 high-quality glass fountain doesn’t seem too expensive, for some an $80 fountain may exceed their ideal bird bath budget.
- Flimsy Stand – Some customers have reported that the 18” metal stand that the glass bath sits on is rather flimsy. If you live in a climate where there is likely to be difficult weather or strong winds, you may want to fortify the stand or even perhaps find a sturdier stand for the basin to rest upon.
It doesn’t get any more classic ‘bird bath’ than this Smart Solar stone fountain, especially the Kensington Gardens model with its weathered stone look. This is a beautiful, idyllic bird bath, that has adopted modern solar technology. While the price may be rather steep – you are getting what you’re paying for, which is a high quality, attractive fountain. The water flows continuously to avoid stagnation and attract your feathered friends.
- Comes with Battery – the additional battery component is excellent as it helps to charge up the solar panel in high sun, so when the clouds roll in, the fountain will still expel water at a normal rate, vs. the way some solar power bird fountains just stop instantly as soon as the sun disappears (once charged it can provide up to 6 hours of running time).
- Low Maintenance – this smart solar fountain is easy to drain, clean, and refill
- Sturdy – this is a very sturdy bird bath, at around 38.5lbs, made of glass fiber and reinforced concrete, and finished with weathered stone. This baby ain’t goin’ anywhere!
- Integrated solar panel – while these typically provide less power to the pump, an integrated solar panel with an additional battery should run rather smoothly. This bird bath also claims to allow you to use solar “on demand,” meaning you get to choose when you want your fountain to work.
- No Operational Costs – since this requires no electricity, once purchased, there will be no additional operational costs (unless, of course, you need to replace a part over time.)
- Two-Tiered– the multi-tiered design not only makes for a more attractive fountain, but for consistent water flow, preventing stagnation, and an elegant sound.
- Expensive – these are definitely the most pricey solar powered bird baths on the list, starting at around $100, and ending somewhere around $200+. If you’ve got the money, this really is a most excellent fountain. However, for some, this price may feel a bit excessive.
- Not for Winter – this is a fountain you will want to drain and put away for the winter. Otherwise, it may be damaged by the extreme cold.
- Instructions not Helpful – some customers reported that the instruction booklet that comes with the fountain was less than helpful. However, it seems as though ignoring the booklet and assembling without it was a synch.
This VivoHome solar-powered polyresin fountain is the best of both worlds, as it comes with the fountain and a portable solar panel. This means you will get the strength of a retrofitted, portable solar panel, but for the price of an integrated fountain design. The antique polyresin also makes for an exceptional design and would look beautiful and natural in any garden or backyard setting. Bonus? This is a very reasonably priced bird bath!
- Combo Set – when you order this bird bath, you’ll receive both the bird bath base as well as the external and portable solar-powered fountain pump.
- Sturdy – this is a weather-resistant polyresin fountain, built to be tough and last for several years (its antique green design reminds us of The Statue of Liberty! And she’s more than weather-resistant!)
- Light Weight – this will not be a difficult fountain to handle. It is lightweight and easy to transport and move anywhere in your garden you desire. It also comes with stakes to help secure the fountain into the ground, so you don’t have to stress that your lightweight fountain will float away in a light breeze.
- Design – the antique design, having been given a delightful vintage vibe, is reminiscent of old-world European statues and sculptures, which makes for an absolutely lovely bird bath fountain
- Easy Assembly – the assembly for this bath is very simple. The most taxing part of which will be simply positioning the suction cups of the solar panel to fit the fountain, after which you should be set!
- Multiple Water Patterns – this fountain comes with options, as you can choose different fountain heads to create different water shapes.
- Price – this is a reasonably priced fountain, running somewhere around $35. Not too shabby!
- Sporadic Spurting – some users have reported experiencing ‘sporadic spurting’ when the sun is not direct. If there is cloudy weather, you may experience irregular water flow. However, when the sun is direct and bright, the water flow seems to run smoothly.
- Difficult Suction Cups – another issue is that some customers felt the suction cups did not stick to the bath basin easily, thus experiencing a floating solar panel disk, versus a secured one. They solved this problem by putting a rigid, flat plastic item beneath the panel, and the suction cups worked on that, and now it seems it stays in place just fine.
SunnyDaze décor is well known for their high-quality, home outdoor furnishings. They travel the world seeking only the best, most innovative products and designs, which is why this particular solar bird bath receives top marks. It combines the beauty of an old-world fountain, with the tranquil sounds of the gently cascading water, and does all that with the use of a compatible submissive solar pump.
- Design – the design is truly remarkable, like something you’d see at The Huntington Gardens or in a royal gardens. It also comes in three different hues, ranging from white, earth-toned, to black stone.
- Durability – this fountain was built to last with its durable resin and fiberglass structure
- Rechargeable Battery – as mentioned previously, the usefulness of an additional battery as paired with a solar panel pump is to ensure that the pump has energy memory, so when the sun dissipates through the clouds, the pump will continue churning water
- Portable Solar Panel – this particular model comes with a large solar panel that has a 16 ft cord, which allows even more freedom than the normal 10ft chord, to place it in the most ideal position to receive the sun.
- 1-Year Warranty – SunnyDaze Décor promises a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty for your solar powered bird bath
- Expensive – this is by far the most expensive solar power fountain on our list, and for good reason, it looks like it was made by the Gods. However, you may not be itching to spend $300 on a bird bath, which I completely understand.
- Finicky Pump – a few users reported having a finicky pump. However, when they contacted the manufacturer, they received a replacement. After that, the fountain worked perfectly. So while maybe some of the bird baths might have had a malfunctioning pump, at least the company does follow through on its warranty.
This vibrant blue ceramic bird bath from Smart Solar is reminiscent of the Greek isles. It stands at nearly 30 inches and is scattered with a beautiful, white floral motif along its sides. It comes with an integrated solar panel, so you can guarantee on chord-less water flow from the fountain pump. This beautiful bird bath is sure to be a tranquil retreat for your local aviaries.
- Attractiveness – this fountain is really lovely; the design is vivid and intricate and will surely brighten up and add something extra special to any garden or outdoor space
- Integrated Solar Panel – no need to muss and fuss over fastening an exterior solar panel nearby, this fountain comes with it already built inside the fountain bed, so you are good to go!
- Sturdy – do its ceramic material, this is a sturdy fountain that you can guarantee will stay in place
- Expensive – This fountain runs around $180 plus, which may be too much for some
- Difficult to Clean – some users found this particular fountain difficult to clean, as the ceramic top (base) does not easily come off. A few customers accidentally dropped the fountain top because it comes up too easily. No one wants expensive shards on the ground. Therefore, if you purchase this fountain, be very careful removing the fountain base to clean it – or better yet, don’t remove the fountain base at all, just remove the water and clean with the top on.
Key Take Away?
The most important thing to seek in a solar-powered bird bath is functionality. It’s got to soak up the sun’s energy and turn that energy into movement in your water. If it doesn’t do that, what’s the point? While attractiveness may be important to some, it becomes obsolete if the solar bird bath doesn’t actually work, rendering the unit useless. Pay attention to customer reviews to ensure a product’s reliability factor, as well as reputation of the brand itself. However, you can trust that all the recommended bird baths are of the highest-rated and highest quality on the market currently. You can also trust your own acquired knowledge moving forward, having now learned what makes a solar panel bird bath worth purchasing.
Now it’s a matter of buying one—making both yourself and the birds happy.