At the slenderest touch of the nest of baby birds, they helplessly open up their mouth expecting something to eat, and this is often a disturbing sight for most birders. A kind-hearted individual will always have the desire to feed and take care of a baby bird when they are lost or abandoned by their parents.
While that is a very good thought, it is always crucial that you know what to feed the young one. Knowing the best and most important nutrition diet that a baby bird needs is very necessary for bird lovers that want to achieve better results and see the little bird grow and become independent.
Most people that come across these young ones are often confused and don’t know what to feed a baby bird. What do baby birds eat? How do I take care of them? What should I do when I find a baby bird? All these and more are some of the questions we are going to answer in this article.
We have put together a couple of tips on what to do if you find a baby bird, what to feed a baby mockingbird, and what you need to know when feeding a baby bird. This article will also guide you through the process of feeding a baby bird.
What to Do If You Find a Baby Bird
Summer and spring are a nesting period for a lot of birds, it’s a period when birders often find baby birds out on their own. Knowing what to do when you find a baby bird is very important, as it would increase the survival chance of the bird and help you take care of it properly. Here are some of the things you should do when you find a baby bird.
- Pay Close Attention to the Bird: Before you touch or stress the bird in any way, make sure you pay close attention to the bird to see if it can take care of itself of if the parent of the baby bird is taking care of it. Most times, when a person sees a baby bird, they usually don’t see the nearby parents of the bird that are willing and ready to protect and feed their young one.It might take up to thirty minutes or more for the parents to return to their offspring. So when you find a baby bird, be patient a little to know if the bird is still under the care of its parents.
- Keep the Baby Bird Safe: If the baby bird is at immediate serious risk of predators, damaged nest, or other hazardous conditions, or if the bird is ill or clearly injured, it will require help immediately. Carry the bird gently and put it in a small box that is lined with paper towels, tissues, or a very soft material and use a towel or newspaper to loosely cover the top of the box.
You can as well keep it indoors in a safe, quiet location until the weather condition outside is better. Make sure you put on hand gloves when carrying the bird, and carry it gently so you don’t stress it.
What to Feed a Baby Bird
Despite the different feeding of adult birds, all baby birds need nutrients to survive and grow. Birds that usually feed on insects (contains high protein), feed insects to their offspring. But birds that feed on berries, fruits, and seeds also feed insects to their offspring until they are strong enough to leave the nest.
This is because berries, fruits, and seeds don’t contain sufficient protein to sustain the massive growth rate of a baby bird. This is why you need to feed a baby bird with a high-protein, nutritional diet.
If you have a baby bird under your care, you can feed it with a diet that consists of about 60 percent Purina Kitten Chow (soaked), 20 percent mealworms (if available), and 20 percent hardboiled egg (diced).
- Kitten Chow: Purina Chow contains about 34 percent protein, 12.5 percent fat, less than 4 percent fiber, and 1 percent calcium. Kitten Chow contains all the necessary vitamins and nutrients that baby bird needs to grow and thrive. You can also go for other puppy or kitten kibbles that are very rich in nutrient. Kitten and puppy kibbles have higher vitamin, calcium, and protein content than adult pet products.
- Mealworms: You can get mealworm larva online. You will need to cut them up for baby birds. Mealworms contain approximately 20 percent protein, 13 percent fat, 2 percent fiber, and a very low amount of calcium. This is a great option when looking for what to feed a baby bird with, as it has enough nutrition to help the bird grow.
- Eggs: Any size of egg will do just fine. The color of the shell is also not important. Boil the egg until the shell is easy to peel. A whole egg without shell contains approximately 26 percent protein, 9 percent fat, 1 percent carbohydrate, 0.5 percent calcium, 180ppm iron, and zero fiber.
Some other things you can feed the baby bird with include:
- Dog biscuits
- Moist dog food
- Uncooked liver.
There are also some things you should avoid giving to a baby bird, including:
- Pet bird food
- Kitchen scraps
- Whole birdseed
How to Feed a Baby Bird
- Make sure the food you want to give to the baby bird is at room temperature. Baby birds need something warm, if you give them a cold food, it can cause harm to their digestive system.
- You should do the feeding through hand or with the help of a syringe (safely remove and dispose of the needle)
- Place one hand on the back and wings of the bird and signal that it’s time for feeding by tapping the bill base carelessly.
- As the baby bird opens its mouth, carefully drop some food down the throat.
With the tips and information provided in this article, you should know what to do when you find a baby bird. If you are to take care of the bird, you should also know what baby birds eat and how to feed them. With this information, whenever you find a baby bird, taking care of it shouldn’t be a problem.