The Pedestal Birdbath

So what, exactly, is a pedestal bird bath?  It's a basin that sits on top of an elevated stand or "pedestal".

Photo courtesy of Ell Brown

The advantages of the pedestal bird bath to humans include their decorative value and ease of use.  In the landscape, they're graceful, soothing, and easily seen eye-catching art objects.  The elevated basin makes frequent water changes to keep the bird bath fresh and the occasional scrubbing to eliminate residue easier.

The advantages of raised bird baths for those whose watering use they are primarily intended (wild birds) include safety and comfort. Birds can't keep an eye out for predators as easily while bathing or taking a sip.  This puts them at greater risk from dogs, cats, raccoons and even birds of prey.  The elevated bird bath makes the birds feel less vulnerable and more comfortable as they bathe giving them a better view of their surroundings.

The pedestal bird bath design is easily the most popular.  And because they are popular, you'll find them in an endless array of styles, designs, sizes, shapes, colors and materials.

The pedestal may be rather short at around 6 - 9 inches.  Those with additional features such as multiple tier basins or fountains may be somewhat tall at up to 40 inches or so.  Most are found in a range from around 21 to 32 inches above ground.

So too, the bowls on pedestal bird baths may vary in width from 6 - 24 inches with most in the 15 - 20 inch range.  Usually round, they vary to include squares, rectangles and a host of decorative shapes.

Pedestal bird baths come in designs to compliment home and garden.  Taller stands are perfect for landscapes with tall grasses and among shrubs and rose bushes.  The lower ones decorate flower gardens. Victorian baths, colonial, contemporary, oriental, formal, informal and more are offered.


  • You'll need level ground in the area you select to place your elevated bird bath.
  • Make sure the pedestal base has enough weight and a solid footing to keep it steady and not easy to tip by wind or the weight of other animals such as squirrels that will certainly investigate.
  • If the bath is made of material that will be damaged in cold climates, assure adequate warmed seasonal storage space.
  • The bird bath should be larger or smaller to encourage the birds you want to attract.  Larger birds will need a larger bowl and small birds gather in groups appreciating extra room.
  • The ideal water depth for birds is 1.5-2 inches.  A deeper bowl is fine if you either fill it only to the ideal depth for birds or add a layer of pebbles in the bottom to create a water depth that's safe.
  • The weight of some materials will make moving the bird bath difficult and so may be hard to store out of the cold in harsh climates.
  • Assure the weather resistant / weather proof features of the fixture meet your needs and expectations.

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