What Do Baby Birds Eat

What Do Baby Birds Eat?

Baby birds eat whatever their parents feed them. This can range from insects such as:

  •  Caterpillars
  •  Mealworms
  • Earthworms
  • Aphid
  • Beetles
  • Grubs
  • Spider
  • Ants
  • Earwigs
  • Whiteflies
  • Crickets
  • Moths
  • Grasshoppers
  • Stinkbugs
  • Snails
  • Slugs 

There are also some varieties of birds that are partial to the produce supplied by some of our plants including:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Cobnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Gages
  • Bulace
  • Figs
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Black Currants
  • Red Currants
  • Blackberries
  • White Currants
  • And More

There are also larger birds that eat many of our bigger pests including:

  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Shrews
  • Snakes
  • And Other Small Animals

There are also birds that eat seeds from many plants found in the wild and in our gardens. Baby birds are very demanding, they require feeding every 15 to 20 minutes for at least 12 hours per day. So the parent birds don’t get much rest while the young are growing, as they also have to feed themselves.

How Do Parents Feed Baby Birds?

As the babies cannot fend for themselves, they rely entirely on their parents for food. This keeps both parents busy as they have to worry about feeding themselves, fending off predators, marking out their territory, and feeding the babies.

How Do They Actually Feed The Babies?

Any food the adults bring back to the nest will be too large for the baby birds to swallow, so the adults eat the food themselves and then regurgitate it and feed it to their young. This ensures that the babies only get food that will sustain them without causing them any harm. It’s no accident that birds hatch at the same time of year that there’s an abundance of food to fortify the babies, getting them ready for the rigours of adult life.

How Much Food Do Birds Need?

Wild birds eat between ¼ to ½ of their body weight daily on average, and consume more in Winter as they use more energy keeping warm. A house sparrow will only survive for 15 hours at temperatures of -5 C (5 F) without food,  but can survive for 72 hours in Summer when the conditions are warmer.

What Do Birds Eat?

As there are so many types of birds, if they all had the exact, same eating habits, many would starve. But that’s not the case, different types of birds eat different food stuff. From the Finches that eat seeds, to the Crows. Jays and Magpies that pretty much eat anything. From fruit, vegetables, seeds, insects and meat.

Swifts and swallows spend most of the time in flight and eat mainly insects although some varieties eat berries. Doves and pigeons eat seeds, nuts, and fruit. Woodpeckers and nuthatches are mainly bug eaters found on trees but they also swoop down to catch some flying insects. Plus they also eat nuts, acorns, and fruit too.

What Should You Do If You See A Baby Bird Away From Its Nest?

In the first instance, you should probably do nothing, unless the bird is in imminent danger. Fledgling birds often end up on the ground when trying to fly, most will climb back into the tree and either give it another try, or wait ‘til the next day. By touching the bird, you cover it in your scent, the adult birds can then reject it from the nest.

So never pick up young birds unless it is absolutely necessary. Your good intended act can cause the abandonment of that fledgling bird. Only if you are absolutely positive that the bird is in danger, or starving should you interfere.

If you do spot an abandoned bird contact the RSPB (the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). They have skilled staff who will care for the bird correctly, to make sure it is kept safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you take care of an abandoned baby bird?

If you are sure it is abandoned, and have been watching for some time for the parents to return,then you should contact the RSPB. They have trained staff who will be able to identify the bird and give it the correct food and care it needs.

Do baby birds need to drink water?

Baby birds don’t usually need water, as they get all the moisture they need from the food their parents supply them with. Usually insects and other bug type creatures that have enough moisture to sustain baby birds.