How to Make a Homemade Birdbath Dripper for Your Yard


Birds love gently moving water.

A dripper is a great addition to the birdbath in your garden. The sound attracts birds, and the moving or rippling water prevents mosquitoes from breeding, making your birdbath the freshest, busiest one in the neighborhood! In addition, on frosty mornings, a dripper will make your birdbath slower to freeze.

You can purchase ready-made birdbath drippers that consist of a clamp-on shepherd’s hook and a length of plastic tubing. The tubing is connected to an outdoor water faucet, and the shepherd’s hook regulates the pressure to a steady drip. However, you can make your own birdbath dripper out of recycled materials that will save on water usage while still providing the birds with the moving water they enjoy.

How to Make a Bird Bath Dripper

This project is satisfying yet so very simple:

  1. Carefully punch two pinholes in a clean, recycled plastic jug (one hole in the bottom for the water to drip, and the other near the top for air flow).
  2. Fill the jug with water.
  3. Hang it over your birdbath and voilà! The bird spa is open!

A few tips to keep in mind when making your dripper:

  • Make the smallest holes possible. A straight pin or fine-gauge needle is best. I first tried it with a thumbtack and the water flowed out too fast.
  • Using a pair of pliers, carefully heat the pin over a candle flame, and it will very easily slip through the plastic.
  • You can hang the jug using twine, wire, ribbon, or anything you have on hand.
  • Be creative – choose a pretty jug, and paint it (or use a colorful hanger) for a decorative look.
  • For a less visible dripper, try attaching the jug to the bottom of a cascading hanging plant, where it will be hidden in the foliage.
  • You’ll need to refill the jug every day or two. Or, to conserve water, you can fill it when the birds in your yard are most active.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah, I made the hole too big on my first attempt.

    I thought that a 5 L jug would work.

    Oh well, I have a spare 2 L.

  2. I made my hole with a needle and it was still too big. I am going to try it with no air hole on top. Maybe that will slow it down… or maybe, if I make sure the tip of the needle just barely pierces the plastic? Love the idea, just have to keep tinkering with it to make it work for me…

  3. I have made several of these and found the best results by taping the bottom hole, filling and then freezing the bottle,then remove tape. Hang and let melt and slowly drip!

  4. If you make the hole just a little too big, try filling the bottom with pebbles and pine bark. the combination will slow down the water and it will still seep through.

  5. Thank you so much for this suggestion. I made life easy and used a milk carton so the handle just hung from the hook. Covered the carton with a pretty artificial vine that looks very real.

  6. I recycled an old hamster water bottle that I had lying around and stuck a small hole at the top! Dripping is perfect, just waiting for my birds to flock in! 😀 This was after impatiently waiting a couple days after setting up feeders lol

  7. I took an old Cool Whip tub, filled it and froze (C Payne’s suggestion) then put it in a wicker basket and threw a few fake greens in the basket for effect and hung from shepherd’ hook.

  8. I used a bottle like the one pictured. To hang it I used screw-in safety hooks (think cup hangers in your cupboards). I simply screwed it into the center of the lid, screwed the lid back on, and hung it. I found one pinhole in the bottom and one pinhole near the top was ideal for a slow drip, drip, drip. I used a straight pin.

  9. I absolutely love the idea! I made my dripper this morning, although I made my hole too big. However, I partially opened a paper clip and put the end of it in the hole to slow down the drip. I have not seen any birds in the birdbath yet, but I do have a slow drip. I am hopeful the birds will eventually come and enjoy it.

  10. i made one out of a plastic soda water bottle, heated a needle to pierce the bottom tied in the tree above the bird bath, kept the screw top lid and had it loose. Works well ?

  11. I tried this and made the hole too big. I used a 2l bottle, put it in a colorful knee high sock and hung it by the sock.. For the top, I cut a piece of foam from a pool noodle and put it in the top of the bottle. The 2L lasted about 24 hours.. Another method, I have only seen once, is to use a a recycled wine bag from a box wine! That seemed to work GREAT! Waiting to try that!

  12. This idea is worth trying! I live on property covered with Pinons, and Fur trees in the mountains of New Mexico. I used a empty clean milk jug–pricked a hole on the side of the bottom and a hole near the top for air release. The birdbath is snuggled in some trees with a birdfeeder close by, I hung the jug on a plant hanger on a branch. The constant drip causing ripples on the water attracts all the little finches–and sounds so soothing.

  13. I love my birds and found the drippers just cost too much,this is such a big help,THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH.

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