Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Custom Heated Bird Bath

Meg got this bird bath de-icer for her birthday. Last night it dropped to 20 degrees, this morning the bird bath water was slightly warm this morning. The other bird bath was frozen solid.

We had two bird bath stands where the tops broke and were not repairable.  So I found this ceramic bird bath top at Southern States ( I did not buy the low end bird bath heater that Southern States sells) and it worked beautifully. The dragonfly and tiles I made this past summer in a tile making class at Claymakers in Durham.  Used thin set mastic for setting in the tiles and dragonfly. When I attached the bird bath top to the bottom I used a handful of mortar mix used in setting bricks, the thin set would have worked as well.
 I also made several 10 inch or so dragonflies like this one in tile making class.
 The tiles are of 4 hand stamped patterns I make in class as well.
This photo shows the low boy stand. I think it was hand made as well, the old top for it had stones set in it all the way around the top. The dogs should not be able to knock this over, sorry Dot! Once the cold weather is over we'll store the heater in the basement until next winter.

FYI the tiles set in this bird bath would make it prone to breaking from a good freeze if filled with water with out the de-icer. If you want to use a bird bath in the winter without a de- icer you should use a bowl shaped one. This way when it freezes the ice can just lift itself out instead of breaking the bird bath.

In case your wondering this is a Farm Innovators Bird Bath De-icer model C-50 (150 watts) It comes with a 3 year warranty too. I bought it locally at Cynthia Fox's Wild Bird Center of Chapel Hill. The Wild Bird Center has been there forever and is a great place to find neat bird stuff.

15 comments:

HAZEL said...

I love the dragonfly tiles. You are clever...you do like blue don't you. I painted a fence of a courtyard blue once...it goes so well in the garden. The bird bath heater is ab brilliant idea in your climate.

Southern Lady said...

I love the bird bath. Mine has frozen up almost every night this winter. I need a heater. Thanks for the info on one. Carla

Kelly said...

...I love the glaze you used on your tiles, and the dragonfly is really cool. I never thought about mortaring tiles into an existing birdbath...cool!

Rosey said...

Very fanciful. Your birds are spoiled. :)

I need to order one of these de-icers. It might help attract more birds if I actually offered water.

Randy Emmitt said...

Hazel,

To be clear the color of glaze on the dragonfly is Pouty Purple. I love that color!

Carla,
Something to think about, not seen the birds even on it yet. Placed where Meg can see it from her office.

Kelly,
Learned a lot about tiling, we'll be mortaring the big dragonfly tiles to the foundation walls.

meemsnyc said...

Oooh, this is really cool! I like it.

Janet said...

I like finding cool bird stuff. What fun. Love your tiles.

Carolyn ♥ said...

Just invited my husband in to read your post. Yes, thanks to you, a bird bath de-icer is now on my wish list. I've never even heard of this before.
I definitely need this. Thanks for sharing!

Gail said...

I was admiring the ceramic tiles when you mentioned you made them! They are wonderful...I bought a similar one and it's keeping the birds happy. gail

Town Mouse said...

Love the tiles, especially the dragonfly! I'm impressed how well your birds are being treated. When we have a little ice, I just smash it with a brick. That's usually enough to keep it liquid -- no slightly warm water though.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Beautiful tiles! How fun to take a tile-making class. I think they turned out wonderfully well, and I like the cobalt blue. I'm sure your birds are very grateful for the de-icer. It rarely freezes hard here, but I have had to knock ice out of the poultry waterers a few times this winter!

Kimberly said...

Really beautiful!! I love it! The cobalt blue is a perfect choice.

madcobug said...

I tried to find a heater for ours last winter. Places around here had never heard of them. Helen

sweetbay said...

The bird bath looks great. The birds will love it on cold days..

Ginger said...

The tiles you made are so cool! You should do a whole post about that.

Awesome job reusing the bases. I bet the birds are delighted.