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DIY Hummingbird Baths (5 Awesome Ideas)

 Last Reviewed by Jesse Foutch on 04-09-2024

Are fountains too large and expensive to buy? Maybe you want something more portable, or something that holds more water, a statement piece for the yard, or something easy and so cheap you won’t be mad if it breaks. Whatever the reason, there is a DIY hummingbird bath idea out there for you. Once you know what qualities hummingbirds are looking for in a bathing and drinking area, you can create a perfect design for them. We’ve gathered some great tutorials for DIY hummingbird baths, whether you want something easy or requiring a little elbow grease.

Tips for your DIY hummingbird fountain

  • There needs to be an element of shallow water. So shallow that it is barely a centimeter deep. Hummingbirds will not splash around and bathe in deep water like other birds.
  • Hummingbirds don’t like stagnant water. All of these DIY baths contain a fountain, and the reason is hummingbirds prefer moving water.
  • The water can be showering and spraying, or gentle and bubbling.
  • Hummingbirds really like wet rocks. The texture of rocks is great for gripping with their feet and for rubbing against to scrub feathers.

5 Ideas for DIY Hummingbird Baths

Let’s look at 5 different types of hummingbird baths you can create. 

1. The DIY Rock Fountain

This could not be simpler. It’s a bowl with a pump. You can dress this up or down, stay simple or get fancy. Put it out on your garden or on a table top.

What you need

  • A bowl: Probably not more than 5 inches deep. You want something that will fit the pump and some fist-sized rocks. The wide-rim soup bowl shape works well, but anything with a bit of a rim is fine.
  • Submersible pump: either solar powered or electric (plug).
  • Some rocks: about fist sized


  1. Place the pump in the center of your bowl
  2. Arrange the rocks in a circle around the pump.
  3. Add water, enough to cover the pump except for the top of the nozzle, and make sure the tops of the rocks are above the waterline.
  4. Place the bowl wherever you want. If you are using a solar pump, make sure the solar panel is in a spot with direct sun, and you’re done!

Here is a tutorial video from the lovely Robbie (Robbie and Gary Gardening Easy on Youtube).

2. The DIY Bucket Bath

This bath uses the same idea as the bowl fountain above, but lets you increase the amount of water so that you don’t have to refill it daily.  By using a bucket as the water “reservoir”, then creating a simple top piece as your fountain, you can go a whole week without having to refill!


  • 5 gallon bucket for the reservoir. Or any 3-5 gallon or above sized container (such as a large planter pot with NO drain holes).
  • For the top piece, a plastic chip and dip tray for a fountain effect or just use the lid of the bucket for a more “splash pad” effect.
  • Submersible pump – either solar powered or electric (plug).
  • Tubing: enough to run from the top to the bottom of your bucket/container. You can find this at hardware or aquarium stores. Bring your pump with you for sizing, make sure the tubing fits snug on the pump outflow and any nozzle attachments you will be using.
  • Something to make holes in the plastic. If you have drill bits that could work. The woman in the tutorial video uses a small soldering iron to melt through the plastic easily. This one has great reviews and is pretty inexpensive.

Here are the basic steps, followed up by a tutorial video. One you catch on to the basic idea, you can let your creativity run wild with your own designs!


  1. Cut your tube to size (to reach from the top of the bucket to the bottom. Doesn’t have to be exact, leave a little slack for “wiggle room”.
  2. Place the tube facedown on your lid/topper piece, in the center. Using a marker trace around the tube. This is the size of the hole you need to cut to thread the tube through.
  3. At various points in your top piece, drill small holes. These holes will allow the water to drain back into the bucket. Small holes are best to avoid getting debris and bugs in your bucket. You will probably need 5-8 holes but you can start low and adjust later. Just make sure to place them where they will drain into the bucket.
  4. Place the pump inside the bucket, attach the tubing, and thread the tubing up through the lid hole, and voila!
  5. Decorate as you see fit! You can paint the bucket (non-toxic paint). Add some stones (don’t cover your drain holes) for the birds to stand on. Group stones around the water nozzle for more cascading.

Here is the tutorial video by Robbie for a “chip and dip” top bucket fountain. Click here for her tutorial on using the bucket lid.

3. DIY Concrete Ball Fountain

Hummingbirds love a sphere shaped fountain. It combines a gentle burble of water they can dip into and drink from, with a thin sheet of water running over a hard surface that they feel comfortable sitting on and rolling around in.

visual example of concrete sphere hummingbird bath
visual example only – not to scale

Buying one of these fountains can get pretty expensive, especially if you want one made out of stone and not plastic. But you can DIY one yourself out of concrete and it might be easier than you think.

Step by Step instructions can be found on this page.

4. DIY Hummingbird Splash Pad

If you really want to take your DIY to the next level, try your hand at this splash pad design from the Home Stories blog. I think it’s an interesting design idea that you can customize in many ways. A shallow tray creates the perfect water depth while the tubing gives the spray and moving water the enjoy. Decorate with stones, aquarium pieces, faux plants, anything you like!


5. DIY “Disappearing Water” Fountains

If you want to try your hand at a more decorative fountain that you put together yourself, but also don’t want to try and figure out what pieces are going to work and buying everything separately, a kit might be perfect for you. This Aquascape Rippled Urn Landscape Fountain Kit contains all the pieces you need to put together a fountain.

You bury a basin that acts as the reservoir for the fountain, connect the vase on top and the water pumps up through a tube out the top of the vase then trickles back down into the ground, emptying back into the basin. This is a great decor piece for the yard and hummingbirds would enjoy the flat top and cascading water.

Aquascape Rippled Urn Landscape Fountain Kit with Aquabasin and Ultra Pump, Medium | 78271

I hope this gave you some ideas of the many ways you can DIY your own hummingbird baths. Use these designs to get your imagination going and come up with your own creations. Leave a comment and share your DIY successes with us!

Additional Hummingbird Bath Safety Tips

In addition to ensuring shallow water depth, incorporating moving water, and providing textured surfaces like rocks for better grip, as mentioned earlier, consider the following additional safety tips to create a secure and inviting environment for hummingbirds:

  • Regular Cleaning: To prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and algae, clean the hummingbird bath regularly with a solution of one part white vinegar to four parts water. This natural cleaning solution is safe for hummingbirds and helps maintain a healthy bathing space.
  • Strategic Placement: Position the bath in a spot that offers quick escape routes to cover, such as near shrubs or trees. This placement helps protect the hummingbirds from predators. However, ensure the bath isn’t too close to potential hiding spots for cats or other predators.
  • Non-slip Surfaces: To prevent slipping and ensure a safe landing, the bath’s surface should be non-slip. Adding small pebbles or a textured liner can provide the necessary traction for hummingbird feet.
  • Chemical-free Water: Avoid using any chemicals in the water to clean it or to prevent it from freezing. Chemicals can be toxic to hummingbirds. Instead, opt for natural cleaning methods and provide fresh water regularly.
  • Predator Watch: Be mindful of the local wildlife that could pose a threat to hummingbirds. Placing the bath in an open area can help hummingbirds keep an eye out for predators, while still offering some nearby cover for quick retreats.

Additional Water Features for Attracting Hummingbirds

Building on the basics of incorporating shallow, moving water and ensuring safe, grippable surfaces, here are further enhancements and features to attract hummingbirds to your garden oasis without redundancy:

  • Fine Mist Sprayers: Install misters in your garden to create a fine spray of water that hummingbirds adore. This simulates a gentle rain, providing them with a refreshing way to cool off and bathe in mid-flight. Place the mister so it lightly sprays foliage or the area around your hummingbird bath for added appeal.
  • Gentle Drippers: Adding a dripper to your bird bath setup can mimic the natural dripping of water from leaves after a rain. This not only adds movement to the water, attracting hummingbirds but also creates a soothing sound that can enhance the ambiance of your garden.
  • Subtle Fountain Features: If your current hummingbird bath setup includes a fountain, consider adjusting it to produce a gentler flow. Hummingbirds are attracted to water that moves just enough to catch their eye without overwhelming them. A simple solar-powered pump can achieve this effect with minimal fuss.
  • Leafy Waterfalls: Create a small, artificial waterfall that spills over strategically placed leaves and into a shallow pool below. This feature combines the visual movement of water with natural elements, closely mimicking a hummingbird’s natural habitat.
  • Reflective Surfaces: Adding shiny or reflective elements near your water feature can attract hummingbirds’ attention from afar. Consider placing a few small, mirror-like tiles around the bath or fountain to catch the light and draw curious birds to investigate.
annas out of bath
Anna’s hummingbird | source:

Choosing the Right Gravel or Substrate for Your Hummingbird Bath

Selecting the appropriate gravel or substrate for the bottom of your hummingbird bath not only adds aesthetic value but also comfort for these tiny visitors. Here’s what to consider when making your choice, enhancing the foundation without duplicating previous advice:

  • Size and Texture: Opt for small, smooth pebbles or gravel that provide secure footing for hummingbirds. Rough or jagged stones can be harmful, but smooth stones allow for easy movement and safe landings.
  • Color and Visual Appeal: Brightly colored or naturally toned substrates can add visual interest to your bath, attracting hummingbirds with their vibrant hues or blending seamlessly with your garden’s aesthetic. Consider using natural river rocks for a more organic look or colored glass beads for a decorative touch that catches the light.
  • Safety and Non-toxicity: Ensure the materials used are non-toxic and safe for wildlife. Natural stones are typically a safe choice, but if you opt for colored gravel, verify that the dyes used are non-toxic and will not leach into the water.
  • Ease of Cleaning: The gravel should be easy to remove and clean, as regular maintenance is crucial to prevent algae growth and ensure the health of visiting hummingbirds. Choose materials that can be easily rinsed off and replaced.
  • Water Quality Maintenance: Certain types of gravel can help maintain cleaner water conditions by facilitating beneficial bacteria growth. These bacteria can naturally break down waste and reduce algae buildup, keeping the water fresh and appealing.