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What to Feed Fledgling Birds

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what to feed fledgling birds

For experienced bird watchers, the summer and spring season is the time when they usually see fledgling birds alone and left by their parents. They may look abandoned, but they are just being taught to look for food alone as the parents distance themselves from afar. However, when a baby bird is alone for an extended period, they are probably abandoned and need your help, especially with its feeding.

So, what to feed fledgling birds? Learning what to feed a baby bird is simple as the food you can give is very accessible, such as pet food, raw liver, hard-boiled eggs, and many more. But feeding fledgeling birds yourself should be the last option as a bird rehabilitator is still the best man to do the job. However, if feeding is necessary, please check some food below that you can give to a fledgling bird.


Dog Food

feed fledgling birds dogs cats food

According to Louisiana SPCA, a pet adoption, shelter, rescue, and veterinary center, pet food such as dog food can be an excellent temporary diet for birds. The content of the dog food is a perfect substitution for what fledgling birds usually eat together with their parents.

But what is inside the dog food that makes it perfect as a diet substitute for fledglings? Most dog foods are high in protein, an essential nutrient for baby birds. And the best thing about it is that you can actually prepare the dog food in several varieties.

You can try soaking dry dog food to make it moist. This step will make the food moistened and easy for the baby bird to swallow. It is normal for the fledgling bird to open its beak when they attempt to look for food.

Cat Food

Cat food is also highly recommended by the Louisiana SPCA as an excellent temporary food for fledgling birds. In fact, a baby bird can also thrive by eating the same food that we give to our cats in the house.

Moreover, cat food can also provide nutritional boosts to fledgling birds if given in moderate quantities. Cat food also contains plenty of fat and protein, which is needed for baby birds for their growth.

Always remember that feeding a baby bird may find overwhelming because it is a fact that no one can copy the mother’s ability to give the right food for them. But rest assured that giving a cat food is the best thing you can do when feeding a baby bird.

Boiled Eggs

feed fledgling birds boiled eggs

If you’re wondering what food mother birds give to their babies in the wild, there are many varieties of food. But the common denominator of all these foods is that all are soft and high in protein which is a nutritional requirement for fledglings.

Hard-boiled eggs have the same softness and texture that natural food has, which means it’s also perfect for baby birds. Furthermore, hard-boiled eggs are also protein-rich, which is a primary dietary requirement for fledgling birds.

In terms of preparation, you can cut the egg white into small strips to make it perfect for the baby birds. As far as the boiled egg yolk is concerned, it can also be given to the baby bird as long it is smashed into a paste.

In addition, the egg yolk contains less water and is rich in protein. It also has some fat and contains all the vitamins and minerals that an egg can give. These vitamins and minerals include vitamin D, vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and many more. All of these vitamins and minerals make the hard-boiled egg an excellent temporary diet for fledgling birds.

Raw Liver

feed fledgling birds raw liver

Raw liver is also an excellent temporary diet for fledgling birds. This food is very soft, which a baby bird loves to eat and contains protein which is also very important in the nutritional diet of fledglings. But raw liver should be served to the baby bird without seasoning to make it safer.

Apart from being an excellent source of protein, the raw liver also provides fat which fledgling birds will need in their dietary requirements, especially in their growth development. You can include raw liver as part of the baby bird’s diet from time to time.

In terms of preparation, the unseasoned raw liver must also be cut into small strips to make it suitable for the baby birds. The amount of protein that a raw liver can provide in the bird’s digestive system can eventually help the birds in their growth.

Dog Biscuits

Another alternative for temporary food for fledgling birds is dog biscuits. Dog biscuits are also an excellent source of protein and calcium, making them ideal when feeding baby birds. But this food should be moistened to make it perfect for baby birds.

Preparing the dog biscuits for the fledglings will only require you to soak them in water to make a mushy consistency. This step will make the dog biscuit easy to eat and digest for the baby bird. This preparation will also copy the softness and the texture of the usual baby food that their mother will give them in the wild.

Helpful Tips

It is better to offer food to the little birds at room temperature when feeding fledgling birds. The bird food should not be warm or heated. It should not be refrigerated or chilled because it is not healthy for baby birds.

You will only need to give the fledglings a small proportion of food that fits the small bird’s size. Small birds come with very tiny bites, so it is essential to allocate a proportion of the food they can chew or eat comfortably.

When feeding the birds, wait for them to open their beak before giving them the food. Never force the birds to eat or force them to open their beak just to eat. It will just create unnecessary stress and injury.


What to feed fledgling birds? There are a few bird foods that you can use to give temporary food to fledgling birds. But please be reminded that feeding the baby birds yourself should be the last option because a professional bird rehabilitator is still the best man for feeding fledgling birds when their parents abandon them.

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