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I want to get a nicely decorated bird bath for the yard and have been looking…a friend told me that the nicest ones are up in northern Michigan. He recommended a place near Glen Arbor, which seems like a long ride to take for a bird bath.
Can you recommend anyplace in southeastern Michigan? I have looked at on-line stores but would like to see, if possible, what it really looks like. I've seen nice small solar heated ones for winter. Any ideas? - D.B. -
They're "out there" in many places -- garden centers, gift shops, bird food sellers, home stores, art fairs, concrete statuary makers... We've listed "bird bath" following many business names on our Recommended Sources page. (Jump to those websites from our Recommended Sources page.)
We know our back yard birds appreciate the water we offer all year so we do notice bird baths in others' gardens. We don't often ask "where did you buy that?" but when we do we often hear an answer like this one regarding Bath B (below), "Hmmm. I can't remember for sure where I got that one. I kind of looked all over and found it someplace along the way."
We've posted on the Forum to ask where others have seen memorable bird baths. In addition, we asked for sources and stories about those shown here.
We choose for the birds, certainly. LuAnn Linker, owner of our local Wild Birds Unlimited says, "It should be shallow, and easily cleaned with just a soft brush so you will put fresh water in it at least every few days, and not use any chemicals... A heater for winter is nice and those often go on sale at the end of summer."
Sturdy is good, too, so the bowl won't tip easily. Forum Moderator Celia Ryker is a lifelong wildlife watcher, and reports seeing, "Two thirsty rabbits cooperated to tip over the bird bath. I kid you not!"
Metal and concrete are sturdy if they're set on a level surface.
Below: We love garden art that has multiple functions, such as F that is also a sundial. Art fairs often offer unique baths.
We kid about this fountain (H) with water gently burbling up through the center. Birds love to sit on that top spot so water garden specialist and Forum Moderator Scott Bates dubbed it the "birdy bidet."
"That's a nice one" is different for each person. Who can tell until they see it whether a whimsical fairy or classic clean lines (Fleur Detroit) have the greater appeal?
Check local farm markets for rustic bird baths.
Reader J.R. bought a plain bird bath and made it a project with her grandkids to apply tile, stones and more to the surface.