How often a bird eats

A bird requires a lot of food to produce enough energy to fly. Unfortunately they can't sit down and bulk up like squirrels (or me) because that would make them too heavy for flight. So birds just have to get enough calories by eating many small meals.

You'll notice smaller birds need to feed more frequently for their size than larger birds. A crow or hawk requires meals that total just 4-12% of their weight while the tiny chickadee, needs to eat 35% of its weight in a day. And hummingbirds drink about 100% of their body weight per day.

Birds of prey can eat just once a day. Birds eating seed, bugs, suet or nuts high in protein and fats may have to venture out from the roosting spots every couple hours. Frugivorous or fruit eaters will spend long periods of their day feeding because most fruits are not high in protein or calories. Nectar feeding birds have the highest metabolic rates of any bird, ingesting small meals roughly every 15–20 minutes.

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