Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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.

Please Leave a Comment

8 Comments on “How to Make a Homemade Birdbath Dripper for Your Yard”

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  1. Carol Says:
    February 15th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    What a simple fun way to have water motion – Thanks

  2. René De Beaumarchais Says:
    May 19th, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    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.

  3. Caz Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    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…

  4. C Payne Says:
    June 11th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    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!

  5. Laura Says:
    November 15th, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    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.

  6. Diana Says:
    June 30th, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    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.

  7. Bill Berry Says:
    July 6th, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Put a dab of silicone on the hole and make a second, smaller hole.

  8. Stacy Says:
    August 28th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    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! :D This was after impatiently waiting a couple days after setting up feeders lol

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