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Do Baby Birds Drink Water? (+Safe Foods to Feed Them)

Have you ever wondered do baby birds drink water? It’s a weird thought, isn’t it? I mean, we have all seen adult birds drinking water. But what about baby birds? When do they drink water and how?

Read on for answers to all your questions.

READ MORE: Why Do Baby Birds Die in the Nest?

Do Baby Birds Drink Water?

baby bird opening her mouth

All living creatures need water to survive since all body processes in any living organism rely on water [1].

Baby birds, especially after hatching, lack skills and develop body structures that may be needed to ingest water.

For bird lovers, or for those who have adopted a bird, it makes you wonder if baby birds get to drink water? Where do they get the water they need to keep hydrated?

The Short Answer

Baby birds, when newly hatched, cannot drink water.

That said, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need to get hydrated. Baby birds still get the hydration [2] they need from the food that the parent birds bring them. 

After being hatched, baby birds cannot fly to nearby streams or ponds to get the water they need.

This is one of the reasons why they must rely heavily on the parent birds for both nutrition and hydration.

You may also be surprised by how they can eat. It is their parents that digest the food that they need to take. The parent bird initially “chews” on the food and vomits it to pass the “digested” food to the baby bird.

Here’s a quick answer for you.

CHECK: How Often to Change Bird Cage Liner?

How Should You Take Care of an Abandoned Bird?

baby birds being held

If you see a baby bird on the ground, there’s a good chance it has fallen out of its nest. Baby birds are actually pretty resilient and will do just fine if you put them back where they belong within 24 hours.

Trying to care for an abandoned bird on your own is a bad idea, often resulting in the bird’s death. You don’t have the supplies or experience needed to keep a young bird alive.

They need their parents to feed them special food and teach them how to hunt, as well as keep them warm and dry. If you find a baby bird that’s alone, here are some steps you should take:

#1 Keep The Baby Bird Fed

If you have recently rescued an abandoned baby bird, then chances are you’re wondering what to offer the baby.

Newborn baby birds (nestlings) [3] that have yet to open their eyes need to be fed every two to three hours.

After a week, you can lessen the frequency to every three to four hours. Once the birds open their eyes, you can feed and give water to them every five hours.

When feathers develop, you can further lessen feeding frequency to every six hours.

The best way to feed your bird is by using a syringe. You can look at pharmacies and check for syringe sizes to see which you can use for the birds.

Check out this video on how to feed a baby bird:

Suitable Foods for Baby Birds

  • Boiled Eggs
  • Raw Liver
  • Wet Cat Food
  • Wet Dog Food

What to Avoid Feeding Baby Birds

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Bread and Pastries

You might think that a baby bird is just like other mammals that need milk when they are young, especially when they’re nestlings. Birds, however, do not need milk when they are young – not even baby birds. Baby birds are not able to tolerate milk [4]. 

#2 Provide A Warm, Secure Place

To reduce stress find a place that is dark and quiet away from pets and kids. A box in a bathroom closet would be a perfect place.

baby bird sleeping

Baby birds usually get their warmth from their parents. Considering they have no feathers to keep them warm, you will need to provide a heat source.

Use a clean sock filled with dry rice, microwaved for a minute. Alternatively, fill a plastic bottle/ or a hot water bottle with warm water and place it in some part of the box where it will stay warm for baby birds.

Do not forget to keep changing the warm water when it gets cold.

FAQs

How Do Baby Birds Drink Water?

two baby birds being hungry

No, baby birds do not drink water. They get hydration from their food.

Do Baby Bird Drink Milk?

Birds do not drink milk and it can be fatal for them.

Key Takeaway

If you come across a lost baby bird, try as much to get it back to its nest. If it’s not possible, then do not offer baby birds water. Instead offer a warm secure place.

Following some of the advice above can help you nourish the baby bird you have in mind so that it can survive once it returns to its natural habitat.

Can You Feed Your Baby Birds With Water

Do baby birds drink water? Let us know your thoughts on this topic below!

Resources

  • 1. Why Is Water Important for Living Organisms? [Internet]. Sciencing. [cited 2021 Dec 23]. Available from: https://sciencing.com/water-important-living-organisms-6498727.html#:~:text=Living%20organisms%20need%20water%20to%20survive.&text=in%20their%20environments.-
  • 2. Ray CC. Survival in the Nest. The New York Times [Internet]. 2012 Jun 4 [cited 2021 Dec 23]; Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/science/how-do-birds-keep-their-chicks-hydrated.html
  • 3. Nestlings – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics [Internet]. www.sciencedirect.com. [cited 2021 Dec 23]. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/nestlings
  • 4. Do Baby Birds Drink Water? [Internet]. UntamedAnimals.com. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 23]. Available from: https://untamedanimals.com/do-baby-birds-drink-water/
Andreea Juganaru
Andreea Juganaru

Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own mom blog.
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