API 650 Deck-Mounted Heated Bird Bath Review

8.5Expert Score
Quick Summary

If you want a large heated bird bath you can care for from the convenience of your deck, this one should be on your short list. Attractive design, great price and super-easy to empty and clean. Keeps water liquid down to -20ºF (-29ºC)

Effectiveness
10
Durability
6.5
Cord Length
3
Value
10
We Liked
  • The API 650 Deck-Mounted Heated Bird Bath is perfect for apartments and condos.
  • 20-inch plastic bowl has room for lots of birds.
  • Rim gives birds a natural grip.
  • EZ-Tilt mount makes it easy to empty.
  • Heating element is on thermostat.
  • Cord tucks away when not in use.
We Didn't Like
  • Requires extension cord.
  • Basin doesn't sit perfectly level.
  • Can be tricky to mount.

Table of Contents

API 650 Deck-Mounted Heated Bird Bath Review

The API 650 Deck-Mounted Heated Bird Bath is designed with birds (and people) in mind.

The textured surface and sloping bowl lets birds safely choose the water depth they want and the rim has a nice groove in it that gives birds a natural grip.

It’s handy for humans too. To empty the bowl, all you need to do is lift and tip – the hinged mounting bracket means there’s no need to detach it from your deck for cleaning.

“Has enhanced our enjoyment, minimized our chore time, and eliminated inconvenience while improving access to fresh water for many birds and small critters.”

Who is this product for?

The API 650 Deck-Mounted Heated Bird Bath is an ideal choice for giving birds ice-free water in winter, from the convenience of your deck.

Bird-lovers who rent their homes will appreciate that the mounting bracket is easy to install with no need to drill holes.

This product is a great option for apartment and condo dwellers because it doesn’t take up any floor space on your balcony.

“Bird bath was easy to install on our railing. We’ve had several weeks of below freezing temps and the water does not freeze. The tipping feature makes it very easy to empty and refresh the water.”

In this video, birds and a brave squirrel enjoy a drink of water at -20ºC in Quebec (-4ºF).

What's included?

Boxed API 650 Heat Deck-Mount Bird Bath (Review)The API 650 Deck-Mounted Heated Bird Bath needs no assembly but you will have to attach it to the mounting bracket and attach the bracket to your deck railing.

All the hardware needed for this comes with the bird bath.

Overview of Features

The API 650 Deck-Mounted Heated Bird Bath stands out from other deck-mounted heated bird baths for its attractive design and generous size. At 20 inches wide, it’s large enough to accommodate a dozen birds at once.

Designed for year-round use, it’s also large enough to add a solar-powered fountain in summer time and still have lots of room for birds. (Fountain not included.)

At about 4 pounds it’s lightweight and easy to handle while you’re setting it up, and the 15-inch power cord tucks out of sight for the warmer seasons.

“I highly recommend if you are looking to keep your birdbath water free of ice in sub zero temps. it has been -14ºF (-25ºC) in Maine and the water never froze.”

The mounting hardware included with the birdbath is intended for deck railings made of 2″ X 4″ or 2″ X 6″ lumber (or the equivalent width of other materials, such as concrete.) It may also work well on a 2-inch wide rail.

If your deck railing is different, you may need to attach a piece of wood to accommodate the mounting bracket.

The heater in this bird bath is completely enclosed by the basin and is turned on and off by an internal thermostat. With 150 watts of power it will keep water liquid well below the freezing point.

There’s no need to put this bird bath on a timer and doing so may put too much strain on the heating element, causing it to fail prematurely.

You will need a quality outdoor extension cord and a GFCI outdoor outlet for this bird bath.

See also: Why is the power cord so short?

 Some people find the mounting bracket tricky to install, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem for most. However, it doesn’t help that Allied Precision sometimes forgets to include instructions in the box.

If that happens to you, there’s a PDF you can download with instructions for the bracket. (Note that instructions not pertaining to the bracket apply to a different model bird bath.)

Finally, several owners note that the basin often isn’t perfectly level after installation, probably due to the EZ-Tilt bracket. This really bothers some people, while others say it just makes the birds easier to see.

How to use the API 650 Deck-Mounted Heated Bird Bath

Attach the brackets

  1. Attach the top bracket to the bird bath, ensuring that the power cord lies inside the channel on the bottom of the basin.
  2. Position the mounting bracket on your deck rail and tighten the bolts.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure all the piece are facing the right direction, otherwise the basin may be unstable.
  • If the deck railing is not level you may have to put shims under the bracket to level it. Tip: slide the bracket along the rail to find the most level spot before tightening the bolts.
  • Make sure the power cord sits in the channel on the bottom of the basin.

Fill with water and plug it in

  • Plug the bird bath into an outdoor-rated extension cord.
  • If the connection will be exposed to rain and snow, use a safety seal and/or gasket where the two cords connect.
  • Fill the bird bath with water.
  • Plug the cord into an outdoor GFCI outlet.

Alternative to this product

API 14B Four Seasons Heated Bird Bath

This very similar heated bird bath is also made by Allied Precision Industries, but has a smaller 14-inch basin. This unit can be pole mounted (pole included with bird bath) and holds a gallon of water. If you have a smaller balcony or patio, or just don’t get very many birds the API 14B might be a better choice for you.

Conclusion

The API 650 Deck Mounted Heated Bird Bath is one of the better looking and most reasonably priced heated bird baths on the market. Easy to empty and care for with a hide-away cord for year-round use, it’s a product you’ll enjoy for years to come.

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