First, baby birds do not need water until they’ve hatched. After which, the mother regurgitates food that she hunts out and gives them, which she sloshed down with some water.
Some birds have been known to hunt worms for their kids, because worms are FULL OF WATER, since they absorb it from the ground they live in, so the baby birds enjoy liquid from the diet their mother provides.
Other birds are known for soaking water in their feathers so their babies can drink.
The Sand Grouse is known for soaking water in its feathers and carrying it back to its chicks. The chicks then squeeze water from their parent birds feather with their bills.
The Israel grouse immerse their breast feathers in pools of water and flying off into the desert to feed their young water too.
READ MORE: Can Baby Birds eat Bread Crumbs or Milk?
What Do Baby Birds Drink?
Birds that feed primarily on seeds are known to produce water internally. However, they feed their chicks with water from other sources.
Kevin J. McGowan, the instructor for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s home study course in bird biology once said:
“Most birds, even those that eat primarily seeds as adults, feed their chicks insects, which contain water,” Dr. McGowan said. Some species, like crows, dunk food in water before feeding it to the chicks.
When they become adults, they use primarily metabolic water, which is produced by cellular respiration. Water is a byproduct of the breakdown of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and some birds can exist completely on that source alone – although a bigger share do not.
Chicks can handle the heat in the birdhouse or nest better than you can, especially if they aren’t yet started growing feathers, which trap heat.
The regular body temperature for most small birds sits around 105 degrees Fahrenheit, Dr. McGowan said. Below that, the bird needs to create or conserve heat, and above that, it needs to dump heat.
Young nestlings cannot regulate the temperature of their body, so parents try to keep them at the most favorable temperature by brooding the chicks or by shading open-cup nests.
What Do Baby Birds Drink? Insects, worms and water soaked up in their mother’s feathers!