What to Feed an Injured Bird? 6 Types of Suitable Foods List

What to Feed an Injured Bird

So, what to feed an injured bird? You can provide bird foods from the pet store. Usually, dog foods full of protein, raw kidney, liver, and hard-boiled eggs are preferable for birds like songbirds. Many professionals suggest feeding different seed mixtures containing flaked maize, sunflower seeds, and peanut granules. Again, some birds may eat vegetables, pellets, fruit, and fiber as their meal.

Birds are beautiful creatures whether it resides in our home or in the wild. They can get injuries and have broken legs, fallen feathers, wounded muscles, etc.

Hence, we may see injured birdies crying or seeking help. Once we see birds, we should help them by giving them food, treatment, and other care.

We should call the local wildlife rehabilitation center first before taking care of it. Meanwhile, you should identify the bird to know better what to feed it and how you will take care of it.

In this article, I discuss the feeds you should give an injured bird. I suggest you follow the steps below:

Identify the Injured Bird

It won’t be wise to grab the bird and feed it whatever you have immediately. So, you should identify the bird first.

When you learn about its species, you can determine the best course of action. After all, different bird species live on versatile dietary styles.

After identifying, put on a pair of hand gloves and slowly reach the birdie.

Then, you can arrange a small cage or box, some paper towels, a heating pad set on low, and respective bird seeds.

Arrange a Shelter for the Wounded Bird

Now, you need to prepare the cage. So, line the cage bottom with paper towels and place the heating pad inside.

Put on another layer of paper towels to cover the heating pad. It will help the birdie feel better. Place the bird inside the cage and start feeding it.

Usually, bird seeds available at the stores are enough to provide the birdie.

If you are unsure what to feed the bird, you can always ask a staff member at the rehabilitation center. One more thing, you should not force feed or give water to the bird.

In this step, I am talking about how to feed the bird if it is a baby.

Also, you will learn the types of food you should give the injured one.

How to Feed an Injured Baby Bird

If the bird is aged or elder, there are fewer redundancies to feed it.

But if it is a baby, you may face some consequences when you try to feed it. However, I suggest you do not try to open the baby birdie’s mouth forcefully.

Gaping is a natural behavior of baby birds. It means a hungry baby will keep its mouth open wide.

If you see it is not opening the mouth, you can tap the cage gently. If nothing happens, consider that the bird is not hungry or facing extreme illness.

Avoid using a tweezer to feed any baby or adult bird, as it can injure them more.

Instead, you can use something tender like a small paintbrush or a cotton swab stick without cotton. After using it to open the mouth, you can feed the bird gently.

I suggest you cut the food into tiny pieces. You may also make a paste of the food.

Then, drop the prepared feed into the open mouth. When the bird has its stomach full, it will stop eating or show less interest in having more food.

You may also check its stomach manually with your hand, but be gentle!

What to Feed an Injured Bird?

Primarily, you can feed several food items to an injured bird. Some are seeds, pellets, fresh fruits like bananas (mashed), and vegetables.

You may also use baby foods, oatmeal and pellets added to juice to feed the birdie.

An injured adult bird can eat most of the bird’s food.

But these foods may harm the babies. When the bird grows into an adult, its diet is adjusted with more raw meat to get more protein than its body needs.

In the case of babies, their food contains the necessary water. If you get birds like a hummingbird, the feeding style is different.

They need to have food frequently to stay well.

Read More: What To Feed Baby Birds 

feed a bird
Feeding Birds

The below foods are suitable for an injured bird:

1. If you have pet care stores nearby, you can get suggestions. Most possibly, they will suggest you feed birdseed mixtures.

But many veterinarians have said birdseed may contain too much fat that is not suitable as the main course for most injured birds.

So, you should maintain the quantity of these mixtures.

2. If you have sparrows, dunnocks, finches, reed buntings, and doves, you can feed tiny seeds to them. Again, birds like blackbirds love to eat flaked maize.

You may feed peanuts, sunflower seeds like tits, and greenfinches to others.

3. Many birds may eat pinhead oatmeal, wheat, and barley grains. But birds like pigeons and doves do not prefer grains.

Other seeds and nuts like black sunflower, Nyjer, and crushed or grated peanuts are also helpful to improve the health of the injured bird.

4. When you get injured robins, blue tits, and pied wagtails, you may feed them live foods like mealworms.

These worms are natural and healthy foods. Also, you can find them throughout the whole year. You may also feed waxworms, yet they are a bit costly.

5. If you don’t find the foods I have mentioned above, you can use alternatives. Some birdies like pigeons, doves, and pheasants can eat uncooked rice.

The cereals we have at breakfast are also preferable for the helpless bird. Consequently, robins, wrens, and dunnocks can taste mild grated cheese.

6. Fresh vegetables are good to go, including zucchini, broccoli, squash, lettuce, and cucumbers.

In the case of fruits, you may feed bananas, melons, mango, apples, etc., to keep the birds health.


It is not unusual to think about what to feed an injured bird. After all, our human instinct is always to be careful with birds and other animals naturally.

Likewise, you should be cautious while feeding an injured bird.

Seeds or seed mixtures are best for them. But you may try different food items like vegetables, peanuts, etc. Lastly, you should always be aware of the local wildlife rehabilitation center to avoid further injuries.

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