What Do Baby Birds Eat

What do baby birds eat, should you find one? Feeding abandoned baby birds that you have found on the ground requires special care. They look so helpless. Knowing what to do with them can save their lives.

Nestling vs. Fledgling Baby Birds
Determining whether the bird is a nestling or a fledging is the first step in caring for the baby. A nestling does not have all of its feathers. If the baby bird looks healthy, return it to its nest if you can find it. Its parents will probably care for it even if the baby has a human smell. If you can't find the nest or the bird appears to be sick or injured, you can try to care for it, knowing that a sick bird may not be able to be nursed back to health.

Fledglings are baby birds that have all of their feathers, can hop around a bit and can flap their wings. Just because a fledgling is on the ground doesn't mean that the bird has been abandoned. Jumping out of a nest is the first step to flying. You might try to leave the bird, lock up your pets and wait to see if mom or dad comes to the rescue.

What Do Baby Birds Eat?
If the baby is truly on its own, you will have to feed it about every thirty minutes from sunrise to sunset. As it gets healthier, it will squawk to let you know it's hungry.

When you first feed abandoned baby birds, you are going to have to get energy down their throat ASAP. Add together four teaspoons of water and one teaspoon of sugar. Get an eyedropper and carefully suck up the sugar-water so that there aren't any air bubbles in the dropper. You may have to open the baby's beak carefully using your fingernail. Stick the dropper into the bird's throat behind its tongue and slowly and carefully plunge in the water. This is not a long term way of feeding the bird. There are not enough nutrients in sugar-water to help baby birds grow.

Try to figure out whether the bird is primarily a seed eater or a meat eater. While both types of birds eat meat and grains, combinations change if the bird is a seed eater instead of a meat eater. Grains that you can feed the bird include corn meal that has been ground into a powder, oatmeal that has been ground similarly, high protein dry baby food and wheat germ. Meats can include strained beef baby food, puppy kibbles that have been soaked in water until the kibbles are soft or live mealworms. The proper mix for primarily carnivorous baby birds is two parts grains and one part meat while seed eaters enjoy four parts grain to one part meat. Cut down the end of a popsicle stick to a point and use the point to carefully feed the baby.

Remember that the purpose of this is to learn the proper process for feeding abandoned baby birds back to health, not to keeping them forever.

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