How to Repair a Cracked Birdbath

Learn how to fix a cracked birdbath so your backyard birds can continue to use it.

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Robin splashes in a birdbathCourtesy David Heilman
A robin splashes in a birdbath.

Fix Cracked Birdbaths with Glue

Kathlene Freitas of Aurora, Colorado, asks, “What can I use to repair my plastic birdbath that has a crack in it?”

We applaud your interest in repairing your birdbath rather than simply throwing it away and buying a new one. We’ve had success sealing cracks in birdbaths with clear waterproof silicone glue. It comes in a tube and is available at most hardware or home improvement stores. It’s safe for home use. As long as you allow ample time for it to dry before refilling the birdbath with water, it will not pose a threat to birds or other wildlife. Ask a sales associate for guidance in selecting the right product. This is how to attract birds to use a birdbath.

Apply Sealant to Concrete Birdbaths

“The cold and ice have caused my concrete birdbath to leak. Is there something I can seal it with that won’t harm the birds?” asks Janet Newton of Hartsville, South Carolina.

It depends on the kind of leak. If water is seeping through the concrete, you may have to use sealant on the whole inner surface. If cracks are letting the water out, you can fill and seal them. Silicone caulk fills cracks permanently, and it comes in tubes that make application easy. Be sure to do this in a warm and well-ventilated place. The caulk may smell bad for a couple of days, but after it dries thoroughly, it’s harmless to birds. Experts at home improvement or hardware stores can show you safe and effective products to use.

Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman
Kenn and Kimberly are the official Birds & Blooms bird experts. They are the duo behind the Kaufman Field Guide series. They speak and lead bird trips all over the world. When they're not traveling, they enjoy watching birds and other wildlife in their Northwest Ohio backyard. Fascinated with the natural world since the age of 6, Kenn has traveled to observe birds on all seven continents, and has authored or coauthored 14 books about birds and nature, including include seven titles in his own series, Kaufman Field Guides, designed to encourage beginners by making the first steps in nature study as easy as possible. His next book, The Birds That Audubon Missed, is scheduled to be published by Simon & Schuster in May 2024. Kenn is a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society, and has received the American Birding Association’s lifetime achievement award twice. Kimberly is the Executive Director of Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) in northwest Ohio. She became the Education Director in 2005 and Executive Director in 2009. As the Education Director, Kimberly played a key role in building BSBO’s school programs, as well as the highly successful Ohio Young Birders Club, a group for teenagers that has served as a model for youth birding programs. Kimberly is also the co-founder of The Biggest Week In American Birding, the largest birding festival in the U.S. Under Kimberly’s leadership, BSBO developed a birding tourism season in northwest Ohio that brings an annual economic impact of more than $40 million to the local economy. She is a contributing editor to Birds & Blooms Magazine, and coauthor of the Kaufman Field Guides to Nature of New England and Nature of the Midwest. Accolades to her credit include the Chandler Robbins Award, given by the American Birding Association to an individual who has made significant contributions to education and/or bird conservation. In 2017, she received a prestigious Milestone Award from the Toledo Area YWCA. Kimberly serves on the boards of Shores and Islands Ohio and the American Bird Conservancy.