Modern Birdbaths That Actually Look Good

It’s not that most birdbaths look bad…it’s just that they don’t match the style of a mid-century or modern home. So what are us bird-loving MCM fans to do?

I tracked down these modern birdbaths that satisfy thirsty birds as well as picky homeowners. Plus, I’m sharing some tips to make any birdbath safer and more appealing for our feathered friends.

Note: This article contains affiliate links. See my disclosures for details.

Modern Birdbaths

White Hanging Birdbath

Made by Eva Solo of Denmark, this option is full of Danish modern cuteness. If you choose a hanging birdbath and feel that it’s swaying too much, try adding some river rocks to weigh it down for extra stability.

Eva Solo on Amazon

Pedestal Birdbath

This seafoam birdbath offers a new take on the classic pedestal design. The profile is simple for us minimalists, and the petal cutouts add Scandi details along the bottom. Just the right amount of whimsy!

Sunnydaze on Amazon

At 21 inches tall, this pedestal is compact. Sunnydaze is running low on the seafoam color, but hopefully they will have more in stock soon.

Black Staked Birdbath

In beautiful black, this birdbath has a contemporary look that won’t distract from your showstopping flowers. I’ve heard that staked birdbaths can get knocked out of place by eager birds, but placing some rocks around the base will add stability. The bowl detaches for easy cleanup.

Auhoky on Amazon

Gray “Stone-Look” Birdbath

This is the birdbath I chose, and naturally I think it’s the perfect mid-century modern option. The textured rectangles around the outside are reminiscent of retro breeze blocks. And the gray and white speckles have a stone look that is similar to the vintage speckled dishes I’m always looking for at antique stores.

Oohgarden on Amazon

You can hang this in a tree or remove the chain and place the bowl at ground level.

Heated Turquoise Birdbath

Some birds stick around through the winter, and they still need a safe place to drink and bathe. I’ve seen people use string lights to offer warmth near their birdbaths. You can also get a heated birdbath designed for overwintering birdies. This one is simply gorgeous in turquoise or orange.

Farm Innovators on Amazon

Birdbath Tips

Where to Place a Birdbath

Shade: Full shade is ideal if possible, especially in hot regions. A shady spot will slow down evaporation and keep the water temperature cooler.

Strategic Cover: This part’s tricky. You want to give the birds a safe place to flee to if a predator shows up, but not so much cover that a predator could be hiding out nearby. A deciduous tree works well, if it’s at least 10 feet from dense shrubs like rhododendrons (aka cat disguisers).

Ground and Air: In addition to pedestal and hanging birdbaths, you might want to provide a ground-level option to attract more wildlife and ground-feeding birds. Check out the little ones enjoying a drink and bath underneath my hydrangea in these two photos. I also caught a 5-second video here. So cute!

Dark-eyed junco bird drinking from a ground-level birdbath
Bird in a ground-level birdbath in a backyard habitat

Water Access: Choose a location that isn’t too far from your hose, to make it easy to refill and clean the birdbath regularly.

Important Additions to Your Birdbath

Various Depths: Different birds need different depths of water, from 1 to 3 inches according to this helpful book by the National Wildlife Federation. It’s best to have a gradually sloping birdbath so your visitors can wade in to their preferred depth. With a flat birdbath, you can add rocks to create different depths.

Escape Route: Make sure that anyone who accidentally slips into your birdbath has a way out, especially if you pick one with a tall border like mine. Mossy sticks create a natural look and offer an easy exit for smaller creatures like bumble bees.

Related: Create a modern bee bath watering station

Birdbath with rocks, pebbles and mossy sticks to provide various depths and escape routes

Texture: Birds don’t like slipping around in a glossy bowl. If your birdbath isn’t naturally textured like stone, try adding rocks or sticks that birds can perch on.

Moving Water (Nice to Have): This isn’t required, but some visitors — especially hummingbirds — prefer moving water. You can get a water fountain to attract them. Solar fountains are affordable but they need direct sun, so you might want to use them in a larger water feature that won’t overheat too fast.

How to Clean a Birdbath

Observe your birdbath to see how often it needs fresh water. The Audubon Society suggests refilling birdbaths every other day. I’ve noticed some of my shallow birdbaths need more water daily.

In addition to keeping the water fresh, it’s important to occasionally clean the birdbath with a mixture of nine parts water to one part vinegar. Try an eco-friendly dish scrubber to remove any grime.

Modern gray birdbath hanging in a plum tree

More Modern Birdbath Ideas

If you prefer the DIY route, it’s easy to make your own birdbath. Just pick a durable platter or plant saucer and add water. I have a gray platter with river rocks as my ground-level birdbath, and it’s getting daily action.

You might also like these pretty DIY birdbaths from other sites:

And for the ultimate mid-century throwback, you could start a flock of pink flamingo birdbaths.

Modern birdbath ideas
Modern birdbaths

2 thoughts on “Modern Birdbaths That Actually Look Good”

  1. WOW! I didn’t realize there are so many choices for birdbaths. I like the ones you have chosen! I also like the seafoam one (but saw it is a bit spendy.) The flamingo ones are awesome! We have had some cool birds here over the winter and into spring. Even got a bird feeder last year and food. But the pigeons (which we were told 21 years ago in our welcome kit when we moved here) are nuisances here in Vegas. (You are allowed to poison them which we wouldn’t do because of pets.) So we don’t do a birdbath to invite them. The doves, yes we love and hummingbirds which we have 2 feeders for. You guys have so many wonderful species of birds in your area it’s great you provide comfort for them!

    • Thanks, Judy! Haha, the flamingo birdbaths are so fun! I think it would look great to set up a bunch of them together in an over-the-top retro display.

      More and more birds have been discovering my birdbaths, and I’m having the best time watching them each day. They are adorable!


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