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What To Feed an Injured Bird: Essential Food Guide

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What To Feed an Injured Bird? To feed an injured bird, offer a diet of insects, seeds, and fruit. Provide water in a shallow dish for drinking and bathing.

In caring for an injured bird, it is crucial to provide proper nutrition through a carefully selected diet. Depending on the species, feeding should consist of a blend of insects, seeds, and fruit. Offering water in a shallow dish for drinking and bathing is also essential.

As with any animal, it is important to consider the bird’s individual needs. Besides, consulting with a veterinarian or licensed wildlife rehabilitator is important. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the best diet for injured birds, including specific recommendations for commonly found species in North America.

What Is The Nutritional Needs Of Injured Birds?

The nutritional needs of injured birds vary depending on the species, the severity of the injury, and the bird’s overall health. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow:


Dehydration is a common problem for injured birds, so it is important to offer them fluids as soon as possible. You can offer a shallow dish of water or use a syringe to give them small amounts of Pedialyte or a 5% sugar water solution.


Injured birds need more energy than healthy birds to heal. You can offer them a variety of high-energy foods, such as mealworms, crickets, or commercial insectivore diets. If the bird is not eating on its own, you may need to hand-feed it.


Protein is important for tissue repair, so you should offer the bird a variety of protein-rich foods, such as cooked chicken, eggs, or tofu.

Vitamins and minerals:

Birds need a variety of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. You can offer them a commercial vitamin and mineral supplement or include a variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet.

Commercial vitamin and mineral supplements for birds

Important things to remember:

  • Never feed an injured bird wild-caught insects, as they may carry parasites or diseases.
  • Do not feed an injured bird dairy products, chocolate, or avocado, as these foods can be toxic to birds.
  • It is always best to consult with a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian to determine the best nutritional needs for an injured bird.

What to Feed an Injured Baby Bird?

Preparing Food For Injured Birds

Proper nutrition is crucial when nursing an injured bird back to health. So, how do you prepare food for an injured bird? Depending on the bird, a combination of seeds, fruits, and insects can be used to create a balanced meal.

For example, songbirds often prefer insects, but some may enjoy fruit as well. When creating the mixture, be sure to avoid using common allergens like peanuts, which can be lethal for some birds. Achieving a balanced nutrient profile is essential, and supplements may be necessary to meet all of the bird’s daily requirements.

With patience and care, an injured bird can be nursed back to full health with a proper diet.

The Ways Of Feeding Injured Birds

The safest and most responsible course of action is to immediately contact a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian. They have the expertise and resources to properly assess the bird’s needs and provide the most appropriate care, including nutrition.

However, if you’re in a situation where professional help is unavailable and you absolutely must attempt to feed the bird yourself, here’s a general overview of the process:

Remembering Things Before Feeding:

  • Identifying the bird species helps determine its natural diet.
  • Assessing the bird’s condition is important. Otherwise, it might be conscious or Alert.
  • Consult online resources and look for reliable sources specific to the bird species, but remember, online information isn’t a substitute for professional advice.

Feeding Methods:

Do not force-feed:

This can cause stress and aspiration (inhaling food into the lungs).

Offer appropriate food in small amounts:

Consider the bird’s natural diet and any limitations from its injuries.

Use appropriate tools:

Tweezers, eyedroppers, or shallow dishes may be suitable depending on the bird and food type.

Maintain hygiene:

Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling the bird or food.

Frequently Asked Questions Of What To Feed An Injured Bird

What Type Of Food Should I Feed An Injured Baby Bird?

Injured birds need high-protein diets. You can feed them canned cat food, boiled eggs, mealworms, or cricket. Avoid bread, dairy, and sugar.

How Often Should I Feed An Injured Bird?

Feed the bird every 20 minutes for the first day or two. Then gradually reduce to every hour for the next day or two. When the bird starts showing signs of recovery, you can feed it every two hours.

Can I Give Water To An Injured Bird?

Yes, you can give water to an injured bird, but be careful not to force the bird to drink. You can use a dropper or a syringe to provide water. Keep the bird hydrated.

Can I Keep An Injured Bird As A Pet?

It is illegal to keep a wild bird as a pet without the necessary permits. Moreover, wild birds have specialized nutritional and behavioral needs that are challenging to meet. Hence it’s advisable to release the bird after it recovers.

When Should I Release The Injured Bird?

You can release the bird when it starts flying and exhibiting normal behavior. Choose a safe location away from hazards such as predators and traffic. It’s also good to release the bird in an area with a natural food source.


Based on all the research and information we have gathered, proper nutrition plays a vital role in the recovery and rehabilitation of an injured bird. It’s crucial to provide a balanced diet that meets the bird’s specific needs to help it regain its strength and health.

By offering a combination of fresh water, high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals, you help the bird heal faster and gain its energy back. It’s essential to monitor the bird’s appetite and condition regularly and make adjustments if needed. Avoid feeding a bird human foods, and never offer alcohol or caffeine.

Always consult with a licensed wildlife rehabilitation professional when handling injured birds. By following these tips, you are doing your part to help injured birds recover and return to their natural habitat, where they belong.

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Angela K. Stone

Angela K. Stone, a devoted bird lover, has worked with the Bird Welfare Organization for years.

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