Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath Review

6.5Expert Score
Quick Summary

Count on the Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath to give your birds drinking water in the coldest weather without using too much power. The red cedar stand looks good almost anywhere but you’ll have to spend a bit of time putting it together.

Effectiveness
10
Durability
7.5
Cord Length
3
Value
5
We Liked
  • Can be adjusted so bowl sits level on a sloped surface
  • Wide rim has room for lots of birds
  • Thermostat-controlled
  • Very stable
  • Easy to empty and clean
  • Power cord is hidden inside pedestal
We Didn't Like
  • Assembly requires tools, takes 30-60 min
  • Small, shallow bowl needs frequent refills
  • Needs outdoor extension cord
  • Wide rim collects bird droppings

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Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath

Photo of Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath
Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath

The Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath is an beautiful rustic alternative to the usual cement or plastic resin bird baths.

“After a night of -28ºF (-33ºC), there is still a spot of open water in the middle. We initially thought this bird bath would be something basic to provide water during the winter, but we quickly came to prefer it for how attractive it is and how well it blends in with our landscaping.”

The striking Western Red Cedar stand fits in with virtually any setting, blends well in the garden and would be a lovely complement to a wood deck or gazebo.

Having the power cord neatly hidden inside the pedestal underlines the rustic look, and the wide rim around the basin has room for lots of birds to gather.

A smallish basin is one feature we didn’t like about the Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath. It’s only 14 inches wide and about 1.4 inches deep, less at the center due to the heating element.

Smaller birds will be able to bathe comfortably, but it’s too small for some of the birds that visit bird baths to do anything but drink.

It also doesn’t hold much water, so in very dry or windy weather you’ll need to replenish the basin at least daily.

Pro Tip: Put this bird bath in a handy spot for easy refills in the snow.

Table of Contents

Who is this product for?

If you’re handy with tools and enjoy a little project now and then, this bird bath stand will give you some hands-on satisfaction without presenting a huge challenge.

But if your winters often get below -10ºF (-23ºC), it’s possible this low-powered heater may not be able to keep up.

What's included?

The Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath comes as a complete kit:

  • heated basin with power cord
  • all the required pre-cut wood pieces
  • all the hardware
  • assembly instructions
  • 2 U-shaped metal stakes to anchor the stand to the ground

Overview of Features

The most outstanding feature of the Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath is the gorgeous red cedar stand. Just rustic enough to look handmade, its natural look blends with most yards and decks and provides plenty of room for birds.

Unfortunately, it requires assembly, and lots of it. It’ll probably take an hour (more or less) to get it all put together.

After doing all that work, you’ll probably want to make sure the beauty is long-lasting.

Raw cedar weathers fast, so you might also consider applying a non-toxic eco-friendly sealant to preserve the beauty of the wood.

Here’s woodworker Izzy Swan demonstrating how to apply a mixture of Teak Oil and Helmsman Spar Urethane to give the cedar a beautiful and long-lasting finish.

You don’t need to be a master woodworker to assemble the stand, but it does help to be reasonably handy with an electric screwdriver.

A few people who purchased the Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath thought the assembly instructions could be better, but most say it’s not too hard to assemble.

“My 10-year-old grandson assembled this bird bath for me with some guidance from his dad. The parts fit together well and the instructions were clear.”

The actual heated bird bath is made of heavy-duty plastic with a heating element sealed between them. The presence of the heater makes the middle of the basin shallower than the edges.

The basin only holds a half-gallon (two litres) of water, and since moisture evaporates fast in dry or windy winter weather, you’ll need to top it up daily or more often.

The Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath heater uses 60 watts of power and is controlled by an internal thermostat that turns the heater on when temperatures drop below 35º F (2º C).

The short power cord and extension can be hidden inside the pedestal but may disconnect when you remove the basin for cleaning. A safety seal would help prevent this. (I tie the two cords in a simple slip knot before connecting them.)

When assembled, the Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath stands 29 inches high and 22 inches wide.

Its 4 legs make it quite stable, but the kit includes two U-shaped anchors to ensure it doesn’t fall over.

Pro Tip: Use a safety seal or tie a knot to keep the power cords from disconnecting. If you’ve used the stand’s anchors and the ground has frozen it’ll be hard to reattach the cords.

How to use the Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath

The Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath requires more effort to set up than other heated bird baths, but the finished appearance is much nicer than most.

  1. Take the bird bath kit out of the package and locate the instructions.
  2. Check to make sure you received all the wood pieces and all the hardware you’ll need.
  3. Connect the bird bath basin to your (unplugged) outdoor extension cord.
  4. Secure the connection so it doesn’t come apart when you move the basin for cleaning.
  5. Put the cord and basin aside.
  6. Assemble the pedestal stand according to directions and seal the wood so the color doesn’t fade.
  7. Feed the power cord through the pedestal and put the basin in place.
  8. Put the bird bath in position and fill it with water.
  9. Plug the extension cord into an outdoor GFCI outlet.

Alternative to this product

API 400 12-inch Diameter Heated Bird Bath with Stand

This heated bird bath has a basin about the same size, uses a little bit less power (50 watts) and gets good reviews for performance. It’s much less expensive than the product reviewed here, but the stand is not nearly as attractive and doesn’t conceal the power cord at all.

Conclusion

The Songbird Essentials Heated Bird Bath keeps liquid water available even when temperatures get low, but the real selling point is the beautiful and rustic real wood stand.

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