How To Keep Birds Out Of Water Fountain

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Susan Levitt

Keeping birds out of your water fountain can be a frustrating task for many homeowners. Not only do they make a mess, but their droppings and feathers can also pose health risks to you and your family. As a wildlife management specialist, I have seen firsthand the damage that birds can cause to water fountains – clogging pumps, damaging filters, and ruining the overall aesthetics of the feature.

Despite these challenges, there are several effective ways to keep birds away from your water fountain without harming them or compromising its beauty. In this article, we will explore some tips and tricks that you can use to deter feathered friends from using your fountain as their personal watering hole. Whether you are dealing with sparrows, pigeons, or larger species such as geese or ducks, our advice will help you maintain a clean and attractive outdoor space while keeping our avian neighbors safe and healthy.

Understanding The Behavior Of Birds

Like a symphony of fluttering feathers, the sight of birds visiting your water fountain can be quite breathtaking. However, their presence in the fountain may prove to be problematic if you’re trying to keep it clean and functional. Understanding bird behavior is key to keeping them out of your beautiful water feature.

Bird migration plays an important role in understanding why they visit certain areas. During their journey, birds will often stop at locations where there’s access to food and water. This makes fountains an attractive spot for these feathered creatures as they provide both necessities in one location.

Another aspect that affects how frequently birds visit fountains is their feeding habits. Birds love seeds, nuts, fruits, insects and other small animals such as fish and tadpoles. Fountains are also home to algae which attracts smaller prey like bugs or snails- another source of food for the birds.

By knowing what attracts birds towards a fountain, we can make informed decisions on ways to deter them from using our fountain as a rest-stop. In order to do this effectively, we need to consider several factors including choosing the right type of water fountain which would help minimize bird activity around it.

Choosing The Right Type Of Water Fountain

When choosing a water fountain, one should consider bird-proof fountains, as well as proper fountain placement. This is important in order to prevent birds from having access to the water, which can cause a variety of issues. I recommend selecting a fountain with a cover and that is placed away from trees or other bird perches. Lastly, it’s essential that the fountain is kept clean to avoid attracting more birds.

Bird-Proof Fountains

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast like me, you probably enjoy attracting wildlife to your yard. However, when it comes to adding outdoor water features like fountains, birds can sometimes become a nuisance. As a wildlife management specialist, I recommend taking steps to bird-proof your fountain so that both the birds and the beauty of your fountain can coexist in harmony.

Firstly, consider the location of your fountain. If possible, place it away from trees or other tall structures where birds might perch and use as diving boards into your fountain. Also, choose a design that includes few ledges for birds to rest on. Smooth surfaces make it difficult for them to land comfortably and will discourage them from using your fountain as their personal bath.

Secondly, invest in some physical deterrents such as netting or wire mesh covers that can be easily placed over the top of your fountain. These materials create barriers between the birds and the water while still allowing light and air flow through. Be sure to secure any covering tightly to prevent curious critters from getting tangled up.

Thirdly, try incorporating moving water elements into your fountain’s design. The sound and movement created by flowing water is often enough to deter most birds from attempting a landing altogether. Consider adding a waterfall feature or even just small jets around the edge of your basin.

In conclusion, with these tips in mind you’ll be able to attract wildlife without having unwanted guests bathing in your beautiful new fountain! Remember that there are many different types of outdoor water features available on today’s market – take time researching before making any final decisions about what type would work best for you based upon factors like how close it is located near vegetation or if there are certain species which may pose problems due proximity (such as larger predatory avian fauna).

Fountain Placement

As a wildlife management specialist, I understand the importance of choosing the right type of water fountain for your outdoor space. While many factors come into play when making this decision, one key element to consider is strategic positioning. The location of your fountain can have a significant impact on its functionality and effectiveness in attracting wildlife.

When it comes to selecting the ideal spot for your fountain, there are several landscaping ideas you should keep in mind. For instance, placing it near dense foliage or trees may not be the best idea since birds tend to perch on these structures before taking a dive into nearby bodies of water. Therefore, you might want to avoid such areas and instead choose an open space that’s far away from any potential bird perches.

Another factor to consider when deciding where to put your fountain is sunlight exposure. Fountains placed in direct sunlight will evaporate more quickly than those located in shady spots. This could lead to higher maintenance requirements as you’ll need to refill them more frequently. On the other hand, too much shade can make fountains less inviting to both humans and animals alike.

In conclusion, finding the perfect spot for your water feature requires careful consideration of various factors like strategic placement and landscaping ideas. By following some basic guidelines like avoiding tree-covered areas while also ensuring adequate lighting conditions exist around your chosen location, you’re sure to create an attractive environment that appeals equally well-to all kinds of creatures – whether they’ve got wings or legs!

Placing Your Water Fountain Strategically

Now that you’ve chosen the right type of water fountain for your yard, it’s time to consider where you’ll place it. Proper placement is crucial not only for aesthetic reasons but also to prevent birds from using it as a bath or drinking source.

Landscaping tips can help you choose the best location for your water feature. Avoid placing it near trees or other structures where birds may perch and have easy access to the fountain. Instead, opt for an open area with plenty of sunlight that will make it harder for birds to approach unnoticed.

Water feature placement should also take into account any nearby bird feeders or nesting sites. If possible, position your fountain away from these areas so as not to attract more birds than necessary.

In addition to strategic placement, installing bird deterrents around your water fountain can further discourage feathered visitors. Consider adding items such as reflective tape or hanging CDs near the fountain, which will create movement and flashing lights that many birds find unnerving.

  • Incorporate potted plants around the base of the fountain to create visual barriers.
  • Use netting overtop of the water surface when not in use.
  • Install motion sensor sprinklers on either side of the fountain.
  • Set up decoys such as owls or snakes nearby.

By following these landscaping tips and incorporating bird deterrents, you can ensure that your water fountain remains tranquil and free from unwanted guests. In our next section, we’ll discuss how to install these bird deterrents effectively without harming any wildlife in your yard.

Installing Bird Deterrents

Bird behavior analysis is crucial to understanding how best to deter birds from landing and nesting in your water fountain. Different species of birds have distinct behaviors, so it’s important to identify the type of bird that frequents your area. Some birds are attracted to fountains for drinking or bathing purposes, while others seek out these structures as a place to nest.

Fountain hygiene practices can also play a role in deterring birds from congregating around your water feature. Regularly cleaning and maintaining your fountain will ensure that there is no standing water or debris that can attract unwanted avian visitors. Additionally, keeping the surrounding areas free of food scraps or other organic materials can help reduce the likelihood of attracting birds looking for a meal.

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There are several non-lethal methods available for deterring birds from landing on or near your fountain. One effective approach involves using sound deterrents such as high-frequency alarms or recorded predator calls. These devices emit sounds that mimic natural predators like hawks or owls, which can frighten off smaller birds.

Using visual scare tactics can also be an effective way to discourage birds from making themselves at home in your fountain. Placing objects with reflective surfaces near the fountain – such as CDs or mirrors – can create flashes of light and movement that may startle nearby birds. Similarly, installing plastic owls or other decoys that resemble predatory animals has been shown to be successful in some cases.

Transition: While auditory and visual deterrents can work well initially, they may lose their effectiveness over time if birds become accustomed to them. In the next section, we’ll explore additional strategies for keeping pesky feathered friends away from your water fountain.

Using Visual Scare Tactics

Now that we have covered installing bird deterrents, let’s move on to using visual scare tactics. Visual scare tactics can be very effective in keeping birds away from your water fountain. Using bird decoys is one such tactic. Placing a plastic owl or hawk near the water fountain will make it seem like there is a predator nearby, scaring off any potential intruders.

Another effective method for deterring birds is installing motion sensors around the area. These sensors will detect when birds are approaching and trigger loud noises or flashing lights, startling them and causing them to fly away. Be sure to adjust the sensitivity of the sensors so they do not go off unnecessarily due to other movements.

It is important to note that simply having these visual scare tactics present may not always work effectively long-term. Birds can become accustomed to their presence over time, rendering them less effective as deterrents. It is recommended to periodically change up the placement or type of decoy being used to keep birds guessing.

In summary, employing visual scare tactics through bird decoys and motion sensors can be an effective way to deter birds from your water fountain. However, it is important to continually switch things up to avoid habituation. In our next section, we will explore another means of deterring birds by employing sound-based deterrents.

Employing Sound-Based Deterrents

Sound-Based Deterrents

One effective way to keep birds away from your water fountain is by using sound-based deterrents. Birds are sensitive to certain frequencies that humans cannot hear, and you can use this knowledge to create a bird-deterring system.

There are several types of sound-based deterrents available on the market, such as ultrasonic devices or speakers that emit predator noises. Ultrasonic devices work by emitting high-frequency sounds that irritate birds’ ears. On the other hand, speakers with predator noises imitate the vocalizations made by natural predators to scare off birds.

It’s important to note that not all bird species have the same hearing sensitivity, so it’s crucial to choose a device or sound frequency appropriate for the type of bird causing problems at your water fountain. For example, some species like pigeons and sparrows may be less affected by higher frequencies than others like finches or doves.

When selecting a sound-based deterrent, consider factors such as range, volume control options, and durability. It’s also essential to follow manufacturer instructions carefully when installing and maintaining these devices for maximum effectiveness.

  • Consider placing multiple deterrents around your water fountain area
  • Test different sound frequencies before settling on one
  • Use in conjunction with visual repellents for added effectiveness
  • Be aware of local noise ordinances and regulations
  • Check regularly for any necessary maintenance

By utilizing sound-based deterrent methods effectively, you’ll minimize potential damage caused by birds while keeping them safe from harm. However, creating an alternative water source will ultimately provide a more sustainable long-term solution.

Creating An Alternative Water Source

As a wildlife management specialist, it is important to understand the impact that birds can have on our water fountains. Did you know that a single bird can produce up to 50 droppings per day? This means that if your fountain becomes a popular spot for birds, it can quickly become unsanitary and unappealing.

One way to deter birds from using your fountain as their personal bath is by installing misters. These devices release a fine spray of water into the air, creating an area around the fountain where the ground remains damp but not wet enough for birds to bathe in. By keeping the area surrounding your fountain dry, you are reducing its attractiveness as a bathing destination for birds.

Another effective method is adding rocks or other decorative items to your fountain. Birds prefer smooth surfaces where they can easily perch and take a dip, so adding rough-textured rocks makes it more difficult for them to access the water. Additionally, rocks add aesthetic value to your outdoor space while also serving a practical purpose.

Maintaining your water fountain is crucial in preventing birds from making it their personal spa. Regularly cleaning and refilling the basin will prevent standing water from becoming stagnant and uninviting to both humans and animals alike. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to managing wildlife interactions with outdoor spaces!

Maintaining Your Water Fountain

It’s important to keep your water fountain clean, as this will discourage birds from visiting. Adding netting around the fountain is an effective way to keep them out. Scare tactics can also be used, such as placing a fake predator nearby or using motion-activated devices to startle them away. I’d recommend using a combination of these strategies to keep your fountain safe from birds. It’s also important to check regularly that the netting and scare tactics are still working. With the proper maintenance, your water fountain will be safe from birds!


As a wildlife management specialist, I often get asked how to keep birds out of water fountains. While there are many ways to do so, one important aspect that is often overlooked is cleanliness. Tips for preventing algae growth and the importance of regular cleaning cannot be emphasized enough.

Algae thrives in warm, stagnant water which makes it an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects as well. If left unattended, this can lead to serious health concerns for both humans and animals alike. To prevent this from happening, ensure your fountain has adequate filtration and circulation systems in place. Regularly clean the filters and pump system to prevent clogs or buildup.

Cleaning your fountain on a weekly basis will help maintain its condition while also deterring birds from nesting near it. Birds are attracted to standing water sources not only for drinking but also for bathing purposes. A dirty fountain with debris floating around may provide them with an ideal spot for their daily hygiene routine! Keeping it clean by removing any leaves or twigs regularly would also mean reducing the risk of blockage within the filtration system.

In conclusion, keeping your water fountain clean is essential not just for aesthetics but also for maintaining its longevity whilst keeping pests such as birds at bay. For best results when dealing with bird issues, consider using humane methods to discourage them from frequenting the area instead of resorting to harmful chemicals or physical harm tactics. With proper maintenance and care, you can enjoy the beauty of your water feature without worrying about unwanted guests – feathered or otherwise!


Now that we’ve discussed the importance of cleanliness in maintaining your water fountain, let’s move on to another effective method for keeping birds at bay – netting. Installing bird netting is a popular choice among wildlife management specialists as it provides a physical barrier between birds and your water feature. The mesh size should be small enough to prevent birds from getting tangled or trapped while still allowing water to flow freely.

Bird netting can also be used in conjunction with other repellent methods such as bird spikes or sound deterrents. Bird spikes are typically placed around the perimeter of the fountain or on ledges where birds may perch. These spikes make it uncomfortable for birds to land, discouraging them from coming back.

It’s important to note that when using bird repellents, you must follow humane practices and avoid harming the birds. Some chemicals or pesticides can harm both birds and humans, so it’s best to stick with natural alternatives like citrus scents or vinegar solutions.

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When installing bird netting, ensure that there are no gaps or openings where birds can enter. It’s also crucial to regularly inspect and maintain the netting to prevent damage or wear over time. With proper installation and upkeep, bird netting can provide an effective solution for maintaining your water fountain without resorting to harmful tactics.

In summary, incorporating bird netting into your maintenance routine is an excellent way to deter feathered visitors from making themselves comfortable near your water feature. By combining this technique with other non-invasive repellent measures like bird spikes and regular cleaning, you’ll be able to enjoy a pest-free outdoor space without compromising on aesthetics or safety concerns.

Scare Tactics

Now that we’ve covered the importance of cleanliness and bird netting in maintaining your water fountain, let’s discuss another effective method for deterring birds – scare tactics. As a wildlife management specialist, I highly recommend using non-invasive bird repellent methods to ensure the safety of both humans and animals.

One popular option is decoy options such as fake owls or snakes. These decoys can be strategically placed around the perimeter of your fountain to create the illusion of predators in the area. Birds are less likely to approach an area if they sense danger, making this an effective solution for keeping them at bay.

Sound deterrents are also an excellent choice for scaring off birds without causing harm. Devices like ultrasonic speakers emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant for birds but not harmful to humans or other animals. This method is particularly useful for larger outdoor spaces where placing physical barriers may not be practical.

When implementing scare tactics, it’s essential to rotate different types of deterrents regularly to prevent birds from becoming accustomed to them. Additionally, it’s crucial to maintain these devices properly and replace batteries as needed.

In conclusion, incorporating scare tactics into your maintenance routine can provide a humane way of deterring birds from your water fountain while still preserving its aesthetic appeal. By combining these techniques with regular cleaning and upkeep, you’ll be able to enjoy a pest-free outdoor space without compromising on safety concerns.

Seeking Professional Help If Necessary

If you have tried all the common techniques and still cannot keep birds out of your water fountain, it may be time to seek professional help. A wildlife management specialist can provide expert advice on how to deter birds from accessing your fountain while also ensuring that no harm comes to them.

One advantage of seeking professional help is that a specialist will have access to more advanced methods for keeping birds away from your water feature. They can recommend high-tech solutions such as motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices that emit sounds at frequencies only audible to birds. These options are often more effective than traditional scare tactics like fake predators or shiny objects.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to hiring a professional. For one, their services come with a cost attached. Depending on the extent of the problem and the complexity of the solution, this cost could range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. You will need to weigh up whether this expense is worth it in relation to the benefits gained by having a bird-free environment around your fountain.

Before making any decisions about whether or not to hire a wildlife management specialist, it’s important to conduct a thorough cost analysis. This should involve researching different companies and comparing their prices and services offered. Don’t forget to factor in any ongoing maintenance costs associated with whatever method you choose – even if it seems expensive upfront, it might end up being cheaper in the long run if it requires less upkeep.

Overall, seeking professional help can be an excellent option if you’re struggling with persistent bird problems around your water fountain. Just make sure you consider all pros and cons before committing and do your due diligence when choosing who to work with. With careful planning and consideration, you’ll be able to find an effective solution that keeps both you and your feathered friends happy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Chemicals To Keep Birds Away From My Water Fountain?

As a wildlife management specialist, it’s important to consider chemical-free solutions and alternative methods when dealing with nuisance animals. While some may suggest using chemicals to keep birds away from your water fountain, there are more eco-friendly options available. One effective approach is to add motion to the area surrounding the fountain, such as installing a spinning pinwheel or wind chime. Another option is to place reflective objects near the fountain that will deter birds from landing nearby. By implementing these strategies, you can successfully discourage birds without causing harm or polluting the environment with harmful chemicals.

Is It Safe To Use Sharp Objects Or Traps To Deter Birds From My Fountain?

As a wildlife management specialist, I strongly advise against using sharp objects or traps to deter birds from your water fountain. Not only is it cruel and inhumane, but it’s also illegal in many areas. Instead, consider bird-friendly alternatives such as placing decoys of natural predators nearby or installing motion-activated sprinklers. If the problem persists, seek help from professional bird control services who can provide humane solutions tailored to your specific situation. Remember, coexisting with nature is always the best approach.

Will A Cover Or Netting Harm Birds That Come Near My Fountain?

As a wildlife management specialist, I understand the importance of keeping our feathered friends safe while maintaining a beautiful outdoor space. Bird-friendly cover options are available that will not harm birds that come near your fountain. Alternatives to netting for bird control include using mesh covers or screens with larger holes that allow birds to safely access and drink from the water source without getting trapped. It’s important to prioritize both effective bird control and their safety when considering solutions for deterring them from your fountain.

Are There Any Natural Remedies That Can Repel Birds From My Fountain?

Wow, birds are truly magnificent creatures that bring life and beauty to any garden. There’s nothing quite like watching them flutter about, chirping happily in the sun. But sometimes, they can be a bit pesky when they start flocking around your water fountain. While chemical repellents may seem like an easy fix, as a wildlife management specialist, I always recommend natural solutions first. Not only do these remedies avoid potential harm to our feathered friends, but they can also provide additional benefits for your garden ecosystem. Consider planting herbs or using essential oils with scents that repel birds such as peppermint or citronella. Alternatively, try incorporating bird feeders or nesting boxes nearby to give the birds another place to congregate while still enjoying their presence in your outdoor space!

How Often Should I Clean My Water Fountain To Prevent Birds From Being Attracted To It?

As a wildlife management specialist, it is important to understand the frequency of cleaning your water fountain to prevent birds from being attracted to it. Regular maintenance and cleaning can help reduce any build-up of algae or debris that may attract birds looking for a source of water. Additionally, investing in a bird-resistant fountain design can also deter them from landing on or near the fountain. It’s recommended to clean your fountain at least once a week and consider using natural cleaners like vinegar or baking soda instead of harsh chemicals that could harm both birds and the environment. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your water fountain remains an enjoyable feature without posing any risks to our feathered friends.


As a wildlife management specialist, I strongly advise against using harmful chemicals or sharp objects to keep birds away from your water fountain. Not only can these methods harm innocent creatures, but they may not even be effective in the long run.

Instead, consider natural remedies such as placing decoys of predators around the area or installing devices that emit high-pitched sounds to deter birds without causing them any physical harm. Additionally, regularly cleaning your water fountain will discourage birds from flocking and potentially contaminating the area.

Remember, it is important to respect and protect all forms of wildlife while still maintaining our own living spaces. Let’s work towards finding humane solutions for coexisting with our feathered friends.

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