What To Feed a Baby Bird?

what a baby birds do eat

The baby bird’s diet depends on its age and species. The baby birds generally eat 15-20 times a day within 12 hours. Diet rich in insects and sufficient nutrition ensures a faster growth rate for baby birds.

While the adult perching bird feeds on insects, worms, etc., the baby birds prey on grasshoppers, flies, and snails. As the baby birds grow faster, they need a constant supplement of protein and other nutrition.

If you see any abandoned hatchlings in your yard, don’t try to feed them. First, observe if its parents come to feed them or not. Sometimes the parent birds leave their babies to inspire them to find their food.

As discussed above, the bird’s diet depends on their species and age. Generally, the baby birds follow the same diet as their parents. But this should be personalized in their way. To know details about baby birds and diet, keep reading the article till its end.

What Do Baby Birds Eat?

You can feed baby birds several types of meals. Apart from nutritional needs, you should provide the baby bird with care. However, you can also get some market-available foods that fail to satisfy the baby bird’s diet requirement.

There are some high-quality foods also that can work for these tiny birds. Here different options that a baby bird can eat are given below:

1. Omnivore Birds

Some omnivore bird examples are Sparrow, Nightangel, Black Stars, Hawthorn, etc.

Omnivore birds most of the time reside in the wild. Especially during their breeding session, they prefer to prey on insects.

However, in the wild, they may not get meat frequently. So, they also depend on fruit seeds, worms, cereals, etc.

You can also give them mixed cereal powder, rice powder, etc. But make sure these foods are free from sugar.

You can also add an egg yolk to make the food more nutritious. Or, add small bites of meat, prawn, and fish powder.

Before feeding the birds, make sure that the foods are soft enough. In that case, you can soak it for some time to make it smooth.

Sometimes, you may find some baby birds that do not eat anything for a long time. In that case, don’t open your mouth forcefully. You can give them a few drops of glucose water every two to three hours.

2. Herbivores

The herbivore birds are generally parrots, hoatzins, and Munia. They don’t grow slowly even if you give them food mixed with powder and warm water with varied grains. So, you can provide them with porridge mixed with powder and warm water.

You can add the egg yolk and little probiotics to the food. You should not overfeed herbivores’ meat.

3. Carnivores

Falcon Eagle Owl falls in the category of carnivores, and they mainly eat mealworms and fresh meat. Make sure to feed the carnivores baby bird puree.

These species of birds generally require calcium and new supplements of meat. But also give them enough sun exposure which benefits their health.

How Often You Should Feed Baby Birds

The baby birds generally eat a lot. So, you need to give them a constant supply of food. The timing of their food depends on the age and species of the bird.

  • The hatchlings should get food every 15-20 minutes.
  • The nestlings eat every 30-45 minutes.
  • You can feed fledglings every 1-3 hours.

The baby birds constantly eat for 12-14 hours every day, then with their parents.

You can arrange a bird feeder in your yard. The parent bird gets easy access to their baby bird’s food.

How To Know Age Of Baby Bird

If the bird has small gaps and an awkward wing flap, then the bird is a fledgling who is learning to fly. The newcomers are generally active and alert, and they are covered with short tail feathers.

Before you pick them up, make sure to observe them for 1 to 2 hours. Maybe it’s mom or dad watching their baby. If it’s making noise, let it be, and it will create its parent alert to find it.

Apart from that, if you find one with a small size and little to no feathers in their body. Then it must be a nestling. It probably fell out of the nest or knocked due to a storm. Rescue it and return it to its nest.

Tips To Feed Baby Birds

  • Make sure the food is spongy. Not dripping the food in water, it may cause choking and drowning. Before giving it to the baby bird, make sure this is soft enough.
  • The food should be at the right temperature. Avoid heated or chilled food for the baby birds.
  • Keep the bits small prospective to the bird’s size. The small size birds need the tiniest measure of food. You can crush or cut the food to get the required size.

Always remember that feeding a baby bird should be an emergency measure. If you see any baby birds as abandoned or needing care, you should send them to a bird rescue organization.

What Are Some DIY Baby Birds Food

Here are two DIY baby bird food ideas that you can try.

  • Soak dog biscuits or kibble in water. It will make the food easy to digest for the baby birds. This food is rich in high protein, crucial for the nestlings.
  • Mix one cup of dog food, dried insects, and high protein multivitamin bird supplement. Now liquefy all the ingredients altogether. Feed it when it is at an average temperature.

How To Feed A Baby Bird

You should never force the baby bird to open its mouth. The hungry birds open their mouths wide enough when they are hungry. To make them open their mouth, you can tap on its makeshift nest. If it’s not opening its mouth still now, then the bird is not hungry or highly Ill.

It would help if you did not use anything with a stiff end that can cause injury inside your mouth. Instead, use a paintbrush or cotton swap that ends with a softer point.

Now cut the food into small sizes or make a paste of it. Proper food consistency won’t stick to the end of swap or paintbrush. Now drop down the food into its mouth.

The baby bird will stop eating once they are full enough.


I hope now you have understood what baby birds eat. You should not force a baby bird to open its mouth, and the baby birds can also stay without food for one day.

First, conserve if its parents come and feed here or not. In case the parents are not found, then you can provide them.

Before you give food, you can also ask your local vet to minimize the risk. If the bird is behaving abnormally, call a rehabilitation center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you give baby birds water?

The baby birds don’t get dehydrated generally. Sometimes, you may think it is pretty challenging to give the bird water. Don’t give water to a nestling as they don’t know how to deal with it. They get water from the food.

Q: How Do you take care of an abandoned Baby bird?

First, watch out for the bird if any of its parents come here to feed the bird or not. If not, then you should take care of it. Keep the bird in a safe place with one side open of their nest. So, its parents can easily find it.

Q: Can baby birds eat bird seed food?

No, you should not give baby birds bird food or seeds, which may cause hazards. Instead, give it moistened food. So, they can eat it safely. Moistened food will not create a choking hazard, and instead, it will be easy to digest.

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