You might feel the urgency to take care of a baby bird if you ever come across a homeless one.
Being a bird owner can also raise your concern if you got newborn birds in your hatch. Whatever the case is baby birds always need proper care to grow up healthy.
Being concerned for their little feathery animal people often question if baby birds drink water or not. We’ve cleared this query here while providing more information you might want to know!
Do baby birds drink water?
Baby birds living in nests don’t drink water as there is no means to get water there neither they can fly to water sources. They stay hydrated through the food given by their parents. Baby birds indirectly consume water via insects or plants. But hatched baby birds are fed water by their raiser.
Birds that are born and brought up in the nest entirely depend on their parents for food and nutrition.
While staying in the nest, baby birds don’t drink water. Because there is no method to have water on the top of trees. Neither the water can be carried.
Moreover, baby birds’ stomachs are weaker than grown ones so even if they drink water directly they would inhale it. But birds don’t skip water at all. They stay hydrated but through their meal.
Adult birds bring food for their kids in the nest with their beaks. They vomit the half absorbed food to their baby birds’ mouths thus the babies swallow them.
As food, parent birds feed seeds, different plants, and insects. Among these items, plants and insects contain water. And by consuming those baby birds stay hydrated.
But hatched birds get to drink water directly as their raiser feeds them water drops.
So basically baby birds living in the wild don’t drink water directly but through the food.
When do baby birds start to drink water?
Baby birds in the wild usually begin to drink water once they are capable of flying around. Besides, the age and species of a bird also decide the timing of their water intake.
Usually, it takes around 3 weeks for a baby bird to learn to fly properly. Before that in their 2nd-week birds can leave their nest and hop around while trying to fly a bit.
Birds’ growth develops as they begin to fly. Therefore, their body gets prepared in this phase for having water directly without inhaling it.
So when a baby bird starts flying it can find water sources and drink from there on its own.
But if the birds are hatched and growing up under human care, they are fed water from their 14 days, maintaining some rules such as adding little water within their foods.
How often do baby birds drink water?
Since baby birds in nests get water from their food, their water intake is frequent just like their meals. Every time their parents feed them, they consume a bit of water in the form of different liquids.
And when you are raising birds in your place then you should give them water every two to three hours when they are less than one week old.
The gaps can be extended after they reach the second week. Birds that are growing feathers drink water every six hours approximately.
How much water do baby birds drink?
The amount of water a baby bird drinks depends on its body weight and variant mostly. A baby bird of around 1 week age takes water through their food. Birds older than 2 weeks drink water twice a day in a very little amount.
Baby birds actually don’t need as much water as other baby animals. They try to drink water in minimal quantities while balancing their body weight with their meal. It’s usually equivalent to 5% of their body weight.
The quantity of water a bird takes depends on its species too.
Below you can get an idea of which species of bird drinks how much water.
Parrots at their primary age drink water like most of the baby birds through the food. From the second week, they increase the water intake up to a mini bowl, which is more than 3 to 5% of their body weight.
Parakeet drinks less water than any other bird. Drinking 3 to 5% of their body weight in water is their basic need.
Cockatiel drinks a little amount of water as per their body needs. It can be half to one teaspoon of water daily.
Each day Finches demand water that’s similar to 20 percent of their body weight. It can be ¾ to 1 oz.
Lovebirds have a lot of water a day to keep themselves hydrated. The daily water intake of Lovebirds can vary from 5 to 10 ounces.
Doves require water 2.8 percent of their body weight. But this percentage may swing depending on the classes of doves.
They drink water twice or thrice per day and the amount ranges from 3% to 5% of their physical heaviness.
Like all the parrots Cockatoo too needs water multiple times each day. But the amount is minimal as they get most of the moisture from food.
Coming from the Parrot family, this bird drinks water equivalent to the other variants of Parrot.
These small parrots drink water indirectly with food more than in the pure form. The amount is similar to its other species, 3% to 5% of their weight.
African Grey Parrots drink water after every meal. Since their food consumption is frequent, they drink about 6 oz of water each day.
Robins drink more water than any other birds that sing. They love to take baths and while doing so they swallow much water.
Why do baby birds drink water?
Just like humans birds also need water to function their body properly. Baby birds also demand water in a certain amount.
Though baby birds get moisture mostly from their food mainly, drinking water separately is essential for them after an age.
Baby birds face difficulty digesting food even if it’s partially chewed by their parents or raiser. So if you give them water with the food they can absorb it smoothly.
Moreover, they fly and hop around much which causes them to lose water from the body. Thus they get tired and if the amount of water lost is major they can suffer from various health issues.
So baby birds must drink water in the proper portion to regain their body fluid. If not, then water insufficiency can lead them to illness.
How to get baby birds to drink water?
You might need to know how to get baby birds to drink water whether you own birds or find one accidentally. There are a few steps that can make a baby bird consume water and stay hydrated.
But before that, you must learn that baby birds can’t drink water at an early age. As they can take it in the lungs and face suffocation. Also dropping a huge amount at once to their mouth can be life-taking for the babies.
Here are a few ways to get a baby bird to drink water you can follow:
Start with a little amount:
You have to put only a drop or a maximum of two to your baby bird that’s 1 week old. Using a syringe or dropper can make the job easier. Don’t forget to maintain a gap in between.
Enhance the taste:
As they are not familiar with water, you can make the water taste interesting by putting a bit of honey in it. Oral electrolyte solution or a diluted sports drink attracts baby birds as well.
Maintain the perfect temperature:
Baby birds might reject drinking if they find the water too old or warm. You have to keep the water less warm than an egg yolk.
Let them drink:
After they reach their second seek and can fly a bit or roam around, place mini bowls and trays with a little water in the yard or near their meals. They might love to take a bath while tasting the water on their own.
Never force baby birds:
You should never force a baby bird to drink water even if they are aged enough to drink. Take the process slow and let them get familiar with their drinking habit.
Baby birds don’t drink water especially when they are growing up in the nests. Neither they can fetch it nor are they prepared to consume it. They get the required hydration from their meals. Though hatched birds are fed water carefully but naturally they don’t drink water separately.