What Do Baby Birds Eat? 12 Foods and Feeding Tips


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

what do baby birds eat

It’s natural to feel protective of baby birds, especially when they seem abandoned on the ground. And if you have pet birds, then the knowledge on what do baby birds eat is essential.

Chicks normally feed on worms, but insects and bugs may not be accessible all the time for you. However, you can feed the baby birds raw liver, pet food like biscuits and kibbles, hard-cooked eggs, for example. However, feeding must be done with utmost care.


Essential Information About Baby Bird Foods

Baby birds eat after hatching in order to survive. They eat what their parents bring for them, such as insects, worms, and seeds.

Circumstances When Feeding Baby Birds Is Required


What do baby birds eat in the wild could be different from what they eat with humans. But you can always find natural baby bird foods from the stores. But before you cross this line, let’s find out the situations when you need to feed baby birds.

1. New Pet Baby Bird

If your pet birds have newly hatched eggs, then to feed a baby bird is your top priority. As a responsible pet owner, you need to find baby bird foods to keep your new pets alive and healthy.

2. Lost & Found Baby Bird

It’s natural to worry about what to feed baby birds that fell out of nest. Good news is, you can always search for common residential foods for the young avians.

Best Foods To Feed a Wild Baby Bird


Baby birds eat from humans, but before you give them food, understand first the natural process of baby bird feeding.

Since hatchlings and day-old passerines are not able to feed themselves, they rely on their parents. The parent birds break down the food first in their mouths. Then, they feed their baby birds with the soft food.

Food #1: Sunflower hearts


What kind of seeds do baby birds eat? The best type is sunflower, but ones without shells. Sunflower hearts are perfect for nestlings since they contain all the right nutrients for young passerines. But don’t forget to cut them into smaller pieces prior to feeding.

Food #2: Peanut granules


Whole peanuts are absolutely not recommended for chicks. They can choke on them and die. However, you can ground the peanuts since the granulated version is okay for baby birds to eat. You also have the option to buy ready-made products.

Food #3: Caterpillars


What do baby birds eat besides worms? Each baby bird typically eats 100 caterpillars daily. If you find abandoned or injured chicks, then a bunch of caterpillars would do the trick. But if you find these gross, get another food item.

Food #4: Mealworms


Chicks in the wild are fed by their parents with worms. But if you have pet birds to feed, you surely have no time to always dig on the ground and find food. Fortunately, it’s possible to purchase live mealworms from a store. But chop them into pieces to make them easier to digest.

Food #5: Nectar solution


If you want to know do baby birds drink milk, the answer is no. But you can create a nectar solution that is perfect for hummingbirds. The nectar solution is 4 parts clean water and 1 part sugar.

Food #6: Vegetables


When chopped thinly, vegetables can be fed to baby avians. So if you have peas and corn in your kitchen, cut them finely and feed those adorable young passerines.

Food #7: Cat kibble


Cat kibble is not a normal baby bird food, but this fusion of meat, veggies, cereals, and dough is safe for young avians. But before offering this feline food to chicks, make them supple and sponge-like first by using water.

Food #8: Hard-cooked eggs


Though it may feel wrong, boiling chicken or duck eggs to feed baby birds is actually a safe feeding process. You can even add a small amount of water and chop the eggs finely for easy ingestion.

Food #9: Dog food


If you’re looking for food to feed a nestling bird, you don’t have to search for long. If you have dogs at the house, then dog food will do. Just make sure to soak the dog food in drinking water to achieve super moistness.

Food #10: Dog biscuits


Dog biscuits are of course designed for canines, but you can use them to feed a fledgling bird. The biscuits are convenient, especially if finding a baby bird to care for is not in your to-do list. But take note that you must moisten them first with clean water prior to feeding.

Food #11: Raw liver


As surprising as it is, little birds eat raw liver, as well as raw kidney. Simply cut the raw meat in tiny strips, but don’t use any seasoning. An inch or half inch long will do, but not longer to avoid choking the baby birds.

Food #12: Fruits


All birds like fruits, especially berries. Even baby passerines love them. But of course, you can’t feed them the whole fruits. Soak them in water and slice them into tiny pieces.

If you’re wondering can baby birds eat bananas, then the answer is yes. This kind of fruit is rich in protein, which is perfect for newly hatched birds.

Tips For Feeding Baby Birds


If you plan to feed an injured baby bird or raise one as a pet, then you must learn how to do so properly.

  • Baby birds are voracious eaters. In fact, they require food every 10-20 minutes.
  • In feeding them, always remember that you must allow their bills to open on their own.
  • With a plastic syringe – Remove the needle and fill the syringe with baby bird food.
  • With plastic forceps – Instead of using your fingers, utilize plastic forceps to hold the food. You can do this to foods such as finely chopped fruits, vegetables, and mealworms.
  • With chopsticks – Using chopsticks can be tricky, but it could work. Simply use the end of the wood to pick up your chosen food.


Foods to Not Feed Baby Birds With

There are foods that must not be given to chicks. Here are some foods to avoid for hatchlings, fledglings, and juveniles:

  • Bread
  • Water
  • Honey
  • Pet bird meals
  • Junk food like chips

If you’re wondering why you must not give water to baby birds, the easy answer is safety. Chicks can drown in water, which is especially troublesome if you’re not a licensed rehabilitator.

That’s why it’s crucial to soak the dog food, biscuits, and kibble prior to feeding.


Now that you know what do baby birds eat, you’re better prepared to care for them when needed.

We hope you gained informative insights from this post. Kindly help us share this article to your social media. And if you have further suggestions or ideas, please let us know.

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