The UK’s Best Bird Watching Spots

How To Attract Birds to A Nest Box

What Do Baby Birds Eat?

May 10, 2022
UKs best bird watching spots
how to attract birds to a nest box
what do baby birds eat

Are you wondering what baby birds eat? Wonder no more! In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of food that baby birds can eat and provide tips on how to feed them properly.

So, what do baby birds eat? They tend to eat the same food their parents eat. That typically includes things like insects, seeds, and earthworms. When a bird parent hunts for food to feed its young, it will find and eat insects, worms, or seeds. Then, the bird will regurgitate what it just ate. This softens the food so they can feed it to their babies.

How Long Do Birds Feed Their Young?

The average bird will feed their young for about two and a half to four weeks. However, this can vary depending on the species of bird. Some birds, like swifts, will continue to feed their young until they are eight weeks old or even older!

What To Feed Baby Birds

As you can probably imagine, baby birds need a lot of energy to grow and develop properly. For this reason, their diet consists mainly of insects. Baby birds will also eat some fruits and vegetables, but insects should make up most of their diet. You can also feed them birdseed in small amounts. You can also supplement feed with peanuts – but you must make sure that they are not whole as this can cause them to choke.


Tips For Feeding Baby Birds

Now that you know what baby birds like to eat, here are a few tips on how to feed them:

  • If you find a baby bird that appears to be injured or orphaned, contact a local wildlife rehabilitation centre before attempting to feed it yourself.
  • When feeding insects to baby birds, make sure they are small enough for the bird to swallow easily. You don’t want the bird to choke on its food!
  • Avoid giving baby birds cow’s milk, as it can upset their stomachs.
  • Last but not least, always wash your hands before and after handling baby birds or their food. This will help prevent the spread of disease.


What To Do If You Find a Baby Bird

First of all, it’s very common to see fully feathered young birds on their own in the spring or summer. You might not see any parents around and worry they’re in danger, but this is a perfectly normal part of their development. These are called fledglings, and they’ve left the nest to build their strength before they can fly.

If you interfere with a fledgling, you could do a lot more harm than good. If they are a monogamous species of bird, both of their parents are probably nearby. If not, at least the mother bird is likely close, looking for food or watching their young from a safe distance. Your very presence may have even scared them away in the first place! You should only touch or remove a fledgling when you know it is injured or you are certain it is abandoned.

However, if you see a very young baby bird that is bald or covered in fluffy down (not feathers) it is called a nestling, and it may have fallen out of its nest. Sadly, it may have been ejected by its parents because it is unhealthy or likely to die. If you know for sure where that bird came from and you know it is healthy and uninjured, you can carefully put it back in its nest.

If not, that bird will need to be hand-raised and it will be dependent on humans. If you find a baby bird that appears to be injured or orphaned, the best thing to do is to contact a local wildlife rehabilitation centre. These centres are staffed with experts who can care for the bird and ensure it gets the proper food and medical attention it needs.


When Does a Baby Bird Need Help?

If you find a bald baby bird that is unable to fly, has feathers that are wet or matted, or appears to be injured in any way, it may need help from a wildlife rehabilitation centre. If you are unsure whether or not the bird needs help, err on the side of caution and contact a local wildlife rehabilitation centre for advice. Do not touch the bird before you speak to the experts.

We hope this blog post has helped answer your questions about what baby birds eat and how to feed them properly. Remember, if you find an injured or orphaned bird, contact a local wildlife rehabilitation centre for assistance. And as always, wash your hands before and after handling baby birds or their food.

Have you ever found a baby bird? What did you do? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. My outdoor cat found a baby bird, she then attacked it and brung it to my door. It was still alive so I obviously knew to save it. I then searched up websites and got the bird to safety. Currently the bird is ok, and the parents may not be where I live. But I am certain that the bird is ok!

  2. We rescued a baby bird from the jaws of a lizard. One of the wings is broken from the grip of the lizard. We have placed the bird in a plastic basket to allow it to heal by itself. Other birds hover around it.

  3. I found one full of feathers yesterday and let it be as the mother was visiting him regularly, but this morning I found him dead upside down. I don’t know if it was because of the rain or because the mother didn’t feed him enough or for other reasons. It looked very healthy and tired to jump/fly yesterday, so I thought he was a fledgling trying to learn but apparently he needed more care.

  4. My baby bird was found on the ground. I found a woman that worked for Tennessee wildlife place and she told me to mix warm water with dry cat food. And when it got very soft, I used a large syringe to get the food, small amounts in his little mouth. I did this every 1-2 hours all day. Then at night he stayed in a comfortable box with no lights on. So he would go all night in the dark like that and didn’t eat for 6 or 7 hours. Then started the feeding every hour or 2 all day again. When he was ready and big enough, I took him to the bird lady and she had ways to teach him how to eat in the wild etc. He did great! Ended up being very healthy and she was able to safely turn him loose! It was a lot of fun but if you don’t have an expert then when you let them go they won’t survive. That’s why they have to be helped by experts to learn to take care of itself before it’s let go. That’s very important.

  5. I found her near the sidewalk, under a tall fir tree. I couldn’t see the next but I think I saw the mom. I took baby bird home and fed her fresh fleshy peach (almost overripe); along with some flies that got caught on my sticky ribbon trap. Baby bird eats a lot and I don’t want to over feed her. How much much, how often in a day so they eat?