5 Wildlife Attracting Water Features

Water features not only look great, they also help to attract wildlife to your garden.

Birds, amphibians and insects are attracted to water for many reasons including hydration, reproduction, bathing and to cool off on a hot day.

Here are 5 water features that you can install to attract birds, frogs and other wildlife to your backyard.

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Wildlife drinking from water feature


1. Garden Pond

Ponds are popular backyard water features that will attract a whole range of wildlife to your garden.

Ponds without fish are great for bringing frogs into your backyard and if they breed, you’ll be able to watch the tiny tadpoles swimming around in your pond.

When designing your pond, it’s ideal to have a slanted area that frogs can use to access the pond and a shallow area where birds can have a drink and clean themselves.

Ponds are also good for attracting butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. They like to land on rocks in shallow areas of the pond.

Growing some plants around the edge of the pond will give frogs and lizards a place to hide and shelter from the sun and rain.

Lizards and frogs will also appreciate some large rocks to sun themselves on.

Frog in a garden pond

2. Bird Bath

Birds use bird baths not only to drink from but also to remove loose feathers, dirt and parasites.

The best type of bird bath is one that is elevated to protect the birds from cats and dogs, and made from terracotta or concrete so the birds can easily grip on to the edges.

Bird baths that are made from glass, plastic or glazed pottery look attractive but they can be difficult for the birds to balance on.

Birdbath water only needs to be 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) deep and should be replaced regularly to keep it clean and free of mosquitos. You can also give it a scrub every now and then to remove built up algae.

Birds need access to fresh water year round, so if you live in an area with freezing winter temperatures, you could install a heated bird bath, which will ensure that the water doesn’t freeze.

Bird bath

3. Water Features

Gently trickling water features are great for attracting hummingbirds and other small birds to your backyard.

Regular bird baths are often too deep for small birds to access, so these types of water features are perfect.

Another good option for small birds is a bubbling water feature.

Bird near water feature

4. Fountains

A fountain with splashing water will attract lots of birds to your garden.

Birds can hear the water dripping and splashing from a distance and they’ll happily stop into your yard for a drink and a bath.

Moving water stays cleaner than stagnant water, so there’ll be less algae and bacteria build-up in a fountain than a regular bird bath.

It’s a good idea to place the fountain where you can sit and watch the birds from a short distance without scaring them off.

Birds in a water fountain

5. Natural streams

If you have space for a natural stream in your garden you’ll be able to attract a whole range of wildlife to your backyard including butterflies, bees, moths, dragonflies and other insects as well as birds and lizards.

Bees and other small insects need a landing site to stop for a drink, so place a few large rocks along the stream so the insects can easily land.

Bee drinking water

So there are five water features that you can install to attract wildlife to your backyard.

Animals of all types will appreciate having a cool place to rest and rehydrate, especially during the hot summer months.

Do you have any wildlife attracting water features in your backyard? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest?  I have boards dedicated to Ponds and Water Gardens that you may enjoy.

wildlife attracting water feature

Wildlife attracting water features for your backyard

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener with a special interest in ponds and water gardens. For over a decade, I've been designing and creating beautiful gardens that feature stunning water features, from small garden ponds to large water gardens. Read more