I made this bird fountain about 10 years ago and it has been a gathering place for so many different birds, not only to drink from, but also to bathe in. Because of the varying depth, It has likewise been visited by butterflies and many other insects as a watering hole.
The body of the fountain is a granite rock that had a slight hollow on one side which I chiseled deeper and wider that it was originally. This was time consuming work. When the ‘basin’ was as desired, I drilled a 1/2″ hole through the centre using a hammer drill and tungsten carbide bit.
I leave it running until the first this ice appears on it at the beginning of winter and then simply unplug it. I don’t drain it for the winter and I leave the pump in the water which, of course freezes solid but doesn’t seem to damage the pump. I replaced the pump only once in the 10 years it has been in operation.
The fountain requires topping up almost every day and a good clean-out each month to remove sediment from the reservoir underneath.
This spring, the water level was going down faster that previous years, so I decided to investigate by doing a complete overhaul of the fountain and took photos for others to view who may want to build something similar.
You will see in photo 2, I had buried a stainless steel bucket in the ground with the lip only slightly above the ground level – 1/8″ max. This is the fountain reservoir.
Photos 3 & 4 show the type of low volume pump I used.