Waterfalls, Ponds And Fountains – Birds Can’t Resist Moving Water

by Larry Jordan on August 29, 2008

One of the most important aspects of attracting birds to your yard is to provide fresh water. Most bird species need water, not only to drink but to bathe in. If you provide moving water you have the best avian magnet you can find because most birds can not resist the attraction of moving water. Birds will flock to a waterfall or stream or even a fountain much more readily than they will a still pond or bird bath.

Our Pond

We built a pond and waterfall 7 years ago and we love it.  Our pond is about 12 feet in diameter and holds about 1000 gallons.  In our pond we have several Shubunkin gold fish, many, many frogs and a mutlitude of water plants.  As soon as we built the pond, I mean within days, we had frogs and birds and all kinds of creatures visiting.  Here is a family of California Quail and a deer that stopped by for some refreshment.

Quail At Pond Deer At Pond

The one thing I feel that is important to mention here is that maintaining a pond is fairly labor intensive.  This is especially true if you have fish in your pond.

There is an alternative however if you want to have all the benefits of the soothing sound of the water and the visual waterfall, without all the maintenance.  It is called a pondless or vanishing waterfall.  This is how it works.Pondless Waterfall Instead of a pond at the bottom of the waterfall, the water cascades down a short stream and dumps into a pondless basin where the water pump lives.  It pumps the water though a hose back up to the top of your waterfall where the process starts all over again.  The pump chamber and pump are covered with rock and the flowing water disappears into the rock.  The great thing about this flowing water system is that all you have to do is fill up the basin with water occasionally as it evaporates and you’re good to go!  These pondless waterfalls come in kits that you can install yourself starting at around $500.  There are also self-contained, artificial rock fountains made of fiberglass and resin if you don’t want to do any digging.  If you are not interested in a water feature in your yard, the next best thing is a solar powered water fountain.Solar Powered Fountain These water fountains are the latest technology in birdbaths and fountains.  They are powered entirely by the sun, they have a hidden reservoir so you don’t have to fill them up everyday and they are made to keep a constant water level in the bowl. Another alternative is a simple container fountain with a decorative pump that will produce the flowing water that is so attractive to birds.

Whatever you decide is the best solution for you, a clean water supply is essential to attracting birds, even if it is just a shallow ceramic bowl.  Just remember the water must be kept clean and if the bowl is more than 1 1/2 inches deep, put some rocks in the bottom for the smaller birds to climb on to keep them from drowning.

If you don’t have some kind of water source within your backyard habitat yet, consider all of your options and get some fresh, flowing water out there!  You will be amazed at the amount of wildlife in your neighborhood that will come to visit, no matter where you live.

Happy Birding!

Other posts from the Blogosphere:

Pondless Waterfall – I came across the concept of a pondless waterfall and I knew that’s what I wanted…

PacificOutdoorLivingPro.com: Pondless Waterfalls – For such homeowners, the pondless waterfall is a great solution, and is one of the fastest growing sectors of the water feature installation industry…

How to build a pondless waterfall – For those of you who want a hassle-free water garden, a pondless waterfall is a much more viable solution. Pondless waterfall kits provide you with all the materials that you require in order to install your very own backyard waterfall. …

Pondless Waterfalls: Concrete vs. Pond Liner – First, let’s talk about apples (concrete waterfalls). We will construct a pondless waterfall that is 20 inches wide at the top by 20 feet long…

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Klaus August 29, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Great post – informative and good images! Good job!
Cheers, Klaus

Klauss last blog post..Skywatch Friday Wk 36 GMT


Larry August 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Thanks Klaus,
Maybe someday, if I live long enough, I will be able to get images half as good as your great photos.

Folks, if you haven’t seen Klaus’ photos, click on his link above. You are in for a real treat!


Greg September 1, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Great pics and some really good ideas here. I’d love to have a couple of water features around our house and your pondless waterfall would sure make the maintenance easier.

Gregs last blog post..Habits, Olympic Thoughts, and Musings


Larry September 1, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Hi Greg,

Thanks for stopping by. Well, I just spent a couple of hours cleaning the leaves out of my pond and cleaning the filter, getting everything ready for fall. If you don’t care about having fish, and you want to be able to just turn the waterfall off when you want, the pondless waterfall is the way to go. And yea, it is WAY less maintenance.

I am working on partnering with a dealer to get some great deals on them for my customers.

Stay tuned!


Jenny November 2, 2009 at 7:24 am

I think I’ll do a little waterfall in my pond. Love the beautiful pictures here.


Bridget Vanzante July 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

bless you a with regard to producing this


Keith Martin August 13, 2010 at 7:28 am

I enjoyed your site and the video with the finches in it proves what you said to be true in regard to birds loving moving water.

Your pic’s are absolutely beautiful

Thanks for sharing.

Keith Martin
Publisher, InfiniteWaterFountains.com
.-= Keith Martin´s last blog ..Bond Napa Valley Water Fountain – Make an Impressive Splash In Your Backyard =-.


YourBirdOasis.com December 21, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Just browsing some of the archives here and came across this article. The pondless or vanishing waterfall is such a great idea, I love it! You are so right that a pond is plenty of work to maintain and the vanishing waterfall is a perfect alternative to anyone that is most interested in a water feature to attract more birds. You really have created a bird oasis in your back yard, beautiful!


Conspiracy girl March 2, 2011 at 2:34 am


I loved the idea of having a flowing water in your backyard. It gives the house an additional ambiance to view…..
Maybe you really like birds….
They really are very beautiful


Abélia August 26, 2016 at 10:35 am

My husband is an avid bird watcher and would like to attract more birds to our backyard. It’s good to know that birds can’t resist moving water. I guess we’re putting in a water feature then! It’s amazing that you had birds, frogs, and even deer visiting your yard within days of building your pond. You have created an instant little eco-system. Thanks for sharing your experience!


Tom Rice June 26, 2017 at 4:54 am

Thanks for the article, it will be useful for beginning gardeners. I will recommend you as an instruction to my friends


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