Updated at: 26-07-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Young woodpeckers can’t eat as much as their parents do. Baby woodpeckers require special attention, including the provision of food. It’s for this reason that so many people have wondered what do baby woodpeckers eat?

Dog food, insects, wet cat food, worms, moistened cat kibble, and other items are all consumed by baby woodpeckers. In order to properly nourish them, you must resort to hand-feeding. Learn what to feed them and how to do it right.

What Do Woodpeckers Feed Their Babies?

What Do Baby Woodpeckers Eat-2

In order to get fed, young birds must constantly rely on their parents. When their young are hungry, mothers will bring food to them in their beaks.

When hungry, baby birds will spread their beaks wide and make a horrible screeching noise. Mother woodpeckers feed their young primarily insect larvae, worms, and other insects that are high in protein.

All parents adore their young woodpeckers equally. Because of this, parents of young woodpeckers treat all of their offspring equally when feeding them.

These aid in the proper development of young birds. If young birds aren’t fed properly, they won’t develop properly. As the young woodpeckers require feedings every few minutes, the mother must make multiple trips to the nest in search of food.

What To Feed Newborn Woodpeckers?

Babies woodpeckers require multiple feedings every day. Until they can eat on their own, they will need to be fed. After that, you can feed them bugs.

Due to their small size and age, infants require hand-feeding. In addition to this method, you can also use dog food to hand-feed a baby woodpecker.

Feed them by hand with a tweezer or a toothpick using the hand-feeding technique. Water shouldn’t be served with every meal, as doing so can be unhealthy.

Dry materials, like dry cat kibble or dry dog kibble, can be rehydrated by soaking in water. Wet them down so the baby woodpeckers may eat them.

Be careful not to injure them while you are feeding them by hand. It is not necessary to provide water for baby woodpeckers because they will get all the water they need from their diet.

Woodpecker chicks require frequent feedings over several days to reach maturity. Baby woodpeckers can be fed baby food, too. Water must be boiled in order to kill any bacteria in it.

The next step is to progressively combine baby food and water. The finished product should have the consistency of a smooth pudding with no clumps.

Feeding newborn woodpeckers is as simple as squeezing some of this meal into their beaks with an eyedropper. A newborn woodpecker’s delicate digestive system could be damaged if the food is served too hot.

The food should be warm, but not hot, so the baby bird may readily consume it. Put it to the test with a thermometer just before serving.

What To Feed Fledgling Woodpeckers?

What Do Baby Woodpeckers Eat-3

Fledged woodpeckers require a diet rich in fat and protein to develop properly and quickly. If there are no adult woodpeckers around to provide food for their young, you will need to do so.

After a few days of maturity, they are able to feed themselves.

What is available to feed the young woodpeckers varies with the seasons. Nestling woodpeckers can benefit from a diet of various invertebrates, such as ants, spiders, grubs, and mealworms.

In addition, you can provide them some nuts, however you’ll want to make sure they are of a manageable size. Woodpeckers that are on the move can get their nutrition from seeds, fruit, and berries.

Always offer a variety of foods, never just one. Always give them a wide selection of foods to choose from. Combined dishes are fine as well. They can adapt their diet to the readily available foods.

Young woodpeckers get their fill of nuts and seeds and a variety of fruits during the winter months.

Woodpecker chicks can find protein-rich bug food in the spring and winter, but in the spring the sap is ready for them to feast on. As a result, they adapt their diets seasonally.

How To Feed Baby Woodpeckers?

Young woodpeckers will make a loud, shrill shrieking noise whenever they are hungry. Then you can bring the food and stuff it into their beaks, as it is when they will be most hungry.

In most cases, the baby bird with the loudest squawking will be the one to receive a larger share of the food supply. Be careful not to injure them when using tweezers or a toothpick to feed them.

When you’re done feeding them, wipe their beaks as though there’s still food in there. A young woodpecker will have a hard time opening its beak after being exposed to the dry wood for just a few minutes.

You can safely wash their beak with warm water and a damp towel. After each time you provide food to baby woodpeckers, wash the dishes in warm water.

Make sure the meal is not too hot and is devoid of any potential dangers before serving it to the young woodpeckers.

The first step in feeding young woodpeckers is introducing them to the food. If they seem to be enjoying the food, give it to them regularly.

If they seem to be resisting the food, cease giving it to them. Overfeeding a baby bird is harmful, therefore don’t do it. For each age group of birds, there is a predetermined amount and schedule.

You should always use feed that has been freshly blended. However, if you must mix ahead of time, you can make enough formula to last no more than three days by storing it in the refrigerator.

The conserved mixture can then be re-used for heating and feeding. It’s possible that you’ll need to add water, but doing so may dilute the mix and reduce its nutritional value.

How Often & How Much Do Baby Woodpeckers Eat?

Young woodpeckers need to be fed roughly every 15 minutes. As babies get older, the timing of their meals will shift. Babies woodpeckers are quite delicate, so care must be taken when feeding them.

From morning to night, every 15 minutes or so, you should be feeding the baby birds. Babies of many species of birds have very specific feeding schedules. If you want the baby woodpeckers to develop healthily, you need to follow to the plan.

You’ll need to be disciplined to keep up with the demanding schedule of feeding the baby birds every 15 to 20 minutes from sunrise to night. When the birds are mature enough to open their eyes and develop feathers, the duration can be extended from 15 to 20 minutes to 30 to 45 minutes.

After that, progressively raise both the duration between feedings and the total amount of food you provide for your birds.

Feeding the young every hour for the first hour after they leave the nest, and thereafter every two to three hours, is appropriate. After that, they can help themselves to the bits of food you’ve scattered throughout their box.

Young woodpeckers consume various amounts of food according on their developmental stage. An infant woodpecker can consume more food at 1 week of age than at 2 weeks of age.

What Do Baby Pileated & Baby Downy Woodpeckers Eat?

What Do Baby Woodpeckers Eat

Baby pileated woodpeckers rely primarily on ants for nutrition. But they can also eat termite or beetle larvae that are hidden within the wood.

Young downy woodpeckers also like snacking on ants, larvae, and other insects. Up to five insect larvae can be consumed at once by these creatures.

Do Baby Woodpeckers Need Water?

The food that parents provide for their young woodpeckers contains enough moisture that they won’t need any additional water. Mealworms and cat and dog food that has been soaked in water are also good sources of water. Baby woodpeckers are vulnerable to severe injury if you force-feed them water.

Do Baby Woodpeckers Feed Each Other?

If a young woodpecker loses a sibling, it will eat from the beak of any other young bird that is also hungry. It is a common practice among them, and they will even share food if they have to.


Infant woodpecker nutrition and diet are two topics that cause much consternation among pet owners. The preceding page will help you care for baby woodpeckers by providing a brief guidance on the appropriate foods and ways to feed them.

They require less food and less frequent feedings as they age. The mother woodpecker feeds her young every few minutes when they are very small, but by the time they are adults, they only need to eat twice or three times a day.

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