If you just saved a baby mockingbird from being lost on the street and you don’t know what to feed it properly, then this article on what to feed a baby mockingbird is for you.
Imagine: You’re wandering in parks and forests, or even in your neighborhood, and suddenly you see a tiny mockingbird lying on the street or out of nowhere, falling down from the sky.
You wouldn’t have the heart to ignore it, would you? So, you bring the poor and lovely baby bird home with a desire to take the best baby mocking bird care and a huge question in your head:
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What Food I Can Feed the Baby Mockingbird
Well, in short, moist cat food and mealworms are what baby mockingbirds commonly eat. However, you should know that, there are three stages of development of a baby mockingbird:
Stages 1: Hatchling: eyes closed and fuzzy.
Stages 2: Nestling: eyes open, fuzzy and feathers beginning to grow.
Stages 3: Fledgling: feathered and starting to explore outside the nest.
What you feed a baby bird depends on its stage of development.
Feed the Baby Mockingbird Based on Stages of Development
1. Cat food
Cat food is popularly used to feed mockingbirds. For babies, you need to soak the cat food in water overnight to soften them.
Apart from feeding them with plain cat food, you can mix in banana, cereal and fruit-based baby food. Each should be softened and everything should blend well together. The quantity of which you can add to the original cat food is up to you.
Since a baby mockingbird has an extremely tiny mouth, feeding it with a syringe is absolutely necessary. Cat food can be fed to baby birds from the very first stage of development: hatchling.
I recommend buying cat food from Purina, Whiska, Applaws, etc. Remember to choose cat food from prestigious brands so the baby mockingbird can absorb valuable fat, protein and vitamins, which they need all year round. You also need to be aware of the risk of leaving cat food near the baby mockingbirds, as it might attract cats nearby and leave the baby bird in danger.
Insects, such as mealworms, are suitable for baby mockingbirds because they are very nutritious. These worms contain more than 50 percent of protein.
You need to find mini worms, which are smaller than average sized worms by one-third, so the baby birds can easily eat them. If you can not find any, then you should crush the worms and mix them with some water so it is easier for the baby mockingbirds to swallow.
A tweezer or a small pair of scissors can be used to feed the baby birds. However, you need to be careful because their mouths are very small and metal tools can easily hurt them. Don’t forget to be slow and gentle during the feeding process.
Either alive or dry worms are fine but alive worms attract baby mockingbirds slightly more than dry ones do. However, you can soak dry worms in water and it will attract the baby bird as usual.
You can easily purchase dry worms from any store. Popular brands like Kaytee, Brown’s, and Pennington are highly recommended. Furthermore, it is not suggested to feed baby birds in the hatchling stage with worms. It is best to feed worms from the nestling stage and onwards.
As baby mockingbirds grow really fast, specifically in the fledgling stage and older, they will soon want to discover the world outside. So, you need to feed them something that they can find in nature.
Start introducing leaves, crushed seeds, and chopped vegetables, such as peas,corn and even other insects like crickets. As long as the baby bird is in the fledgling stage or older, it can eat these kinds of food. Therefore, you need to observe the baby mockingbird carefully to see if it’s the right time.
Tips to Feed Baby Mockingbirds Properly
- Make sure the food is spongy, small enough to fit the baby bird’s mouth, and at room temperature.
- Do not give them too much water because the food I mentioned is already soaked in water. They will gain enough moisture from the food.
- Remember to feed them every hour.
- Do not feed them: milk, kitchen waste, pet bird food, whole dry birdseed, and bread.
- Keep in mind that feeding a baby mockingbird too much is worse than skipping the meal. It is best to stop feeding when the baby bird no longer opens its mouth for food.
- After 4 weeks, the baby birds can eat on their own. You can leave the food on a tray near them.
To sum up, the baby mocking bird food depends on the stage of development that they’re in. It varies from moist cat food, optional mixture of cat food to small insects like mealworms and crickets. Don’t forget to feed the baby mockingbirds moderately and stay away from things they cannot eat, which I mentioned above.
If you’re not sure whether you can or have time to feed them properly, you can call a wildlife rehabilitator or a local animal shelter. They have the best skills and training to offer the best baby mockingbird care.
Hopefully, this article on what to feed a baby mockingbird is helpful to you, and good luck on your experience.