Which Colors Attract Birds To A Birdbath?

Which Colors Attract Birds To A Birdbath?

As a bird enthusiast you are always looking for ways to improve your garden and outdoor spaces to be more attractive and appealing places for birds to visit and maybe even nest near!

So did you know that the color of your bird bath can have an impact on if it will be an attractive option for birds?

If you’re wondering which colors to choose for your backyard birdbath, then you’re in the right place!

Some birds have a special affinity for certain colors, and if you know what those colors are, you can try to attract even more feathered friends to your backyard.

Why Are Colors So Important For Birds?

For birds, bright and vibrant colors serve a very important purpose. They help birds identify food sources, potential mates, and even potential dangers in their environment.

Bright colors scream out to a bird:- “Hey, I’m over here and I’ve got what you need!”

How Do Birds See Color?

Birds have an extra special advantage over us humans when it comes to seeing the world in a kaleidoscope of colors. They have an increased number of cone cells in their eyes, which is what gives them the ability to see a wider range of colors.

Cone cells, you see, are specialized cells in the retina that help with color vision. In birds, there are typically four types of cone cells, each with a unique sensitivity to different ranges of colors.

This means that birds can see not just the rainbow of colors we humans see, but they can even see ultraviolet light – a whole other spectrum that’s beyond our reach.

With this heightened color vision, birds have a real advantage in their daily lives.

They can easily distinguish between different types of food, spot their mates, and quickly recognize predators. It also helps them navigate and find their way back to their nests with ease.

What Colors Work Best To Attract Birds?

It’s understood that most bright and bold primary colors can work well to attract birds to your birdbath, they are easy to see but also can attract specific species especially if it matches their plumage.

Bright colors like blue or red in birdbaths can attract birds for several reasons. First, bright colors like blue can signify water to birds and stimulate their natural instinct to find a source of drinking or bathing water.

Secondly, some birds are naturally drawn to bright colors, as they can symbolize food or other potential resources.

The brightness of the color can make the birdbath stand out and be easily visible to birds from a distance, making it more likely for them to investigate.

Overall, the combination of the color, brightness and familiarity to birds’ natural habitat can make bright colored birdbaths a successful tool in attracting avian visitors.

You should understand that by painting a birdbath yellow, it may not lead to Goldfinches arriving in your garden, if there are none in the environment around you!

So although we will mention some that can be attracted it doesn’t mean they will turn up for a splash.

With that said, let’s have a look at some of the colors you could paint your birdbath to attract your feathered friends.

See also: How to make your backyard more attractive to birds

Best Birdbath Colors

Here are the best options for choosing an interesting color for your birdbath:


Blue symbolizes the sky and water, two essential elements in a bird’s life.

Birds are instinctively drawn to this color because it represents safety and security. By having a blue bird bath, you’ll not only provide them with a source of water, but you’ll also make them feel at ease.

Blue may attract Blue Jays and Indigo Buntings


Red symbolizes the availability of food, which is why birds are naturally attracted to this color.

If you want to increase the chances of attracting birds to your bird bath, consider adding some red accents to it. Whether it’s a brightly colored birdhouse, a red flower pot, or even a red bird bath itself, this color is sure to draw in feathered friends.

Red may attract birds like Cardinals and Woodpeckers


Yellow symbolizes the sun and warmth, two things that birds love.

By adding some yellow accents to your bird bath, you’ll create a bright and inviting space for birds to come and drink, this color will definitely grab the attention of birds and encourage them to come closer.

Yellow may attract Yellow Warblers, Goldfinches, and Grosbeaks

Greens, Browns and Greys

Green, brown, and grey are neutral colors that can blend in well with natural surroundings. While these colors may not be as attention-grabbing as brighter colors like red, blue, or yellow, they can still be effective in attracting birds to your birdbath.

A green, brown, or grey birdbath can help the bath blend in with the surrounding vegetation, making it appear more natural and inviting to birds. In addition, these colors can help the birdbath look like a natural rock or soil formation, which can provide birds with a sense of safety and security while they do their thing.

Green brown and grey can appeal to most birds especially smaller more skittish varieties like a Wren.

See also: How to build a birdbox for your backyard

What Color Birdbaths Should You Avoid?

I mentioned earlier that birds are understood to be attracted to bright primary colour, but white can be the exception, although it meets the criteria of what birds are looking for.

White can be seen as a bit of a risky choice especially if it’s bright. From the birds point of view the white will silhouette them more than other bold colours, exposing them to predators and generally will not give them the safety other colors do.

Is It Safe to Paint your Birdbath? Is Paint Safe For Birds?

It’s important to think about the safety of your feathered friends. The type of paint you choose and how frequently the birds are exposed to it can play a big role in their well-being.

While it’s best to steer clear of paints that contain toxic chemicals such as lead or heavy metals, water-based paints are often seen as a safer option for birds.

Although some water-based paints can contain harmful ingredients if ingested, this means it’s crucial to let the paint dry and cure completely before filling the bird bath with water.

Or do not paint inside the bowl, only paint around the outer rim and whatever your birdbath rests on.

If possible try to keep the bottom of the birdbath as neutral as possible like beige or grey if you do paint it, this is so you and the birds can see if the water is clean or not.

To ensure your birds are safe, it’s a good idea to regularly clean and replace the water in the bird bath. This helps prevent any build up of paint residue or other potentially harmful contaminants.

Final Thoughts on Birdbath Colors

Birds are attracted to water, regardless of the color of the birdbath in most cases it seems, buckets left out in the rain, or patio puddle can bring birds in for a refreshing wash and drink.

Most of the time you can guarantee that birds will use any birdbath as long as it has clean water and is either covered and protected by trees and bushes, or the complete opposite, out in the open where the birds can keep a good eye on everything going on around them.

You will only be able to attract birds that are already in your area!

While researching this blog, I found an interesting study regarding birds and the color red.

It was studying birds own biases against the color (and some others) depending on the birds own experience with that color in the wild and some other factors.

I thought this was relevant to our blog as you can imagine the same issue arising if for example local birds attribute a certain colour house with being dangerous, due to predators or people.

To wrap up, attracting birds to your birdbath can be made easier by incorporating certain colors in the setup.

Bright and bold colors such as red, orange, and yellow can attract the attention of birds, while calming colors like blue and green can provide a peaceful environment for them to bathe in.

Experiment with different colors and see what works best for your birdbath.

Remember to also keep the water clean and provide perches for the birds to rest on. With these simple tips, you can enjoy the beauty of birds visiting your birdbath. Happy birdwatching!

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