Eat like a Bird
March 2018 by V. R. Duin


"Ack, Ack! Ack! Don't be cheap.
Bring us goodies, bring us a treat.
We don't have to wait on you.
You must share the work load, too".

To “Eat Like a Bird” Relative to Size, One Cannot Merely “Peck at Food”.

Whoever came up with the saying, “eat like a bird”, did not do their research. To “eat like a bird” relative to size, you cannot eat just a little. Birds also do not just “peck at food”.

In captivity, parrots eat about 20% of their body weight per day, which can be 1/2 cups (118.3 milliliters) of dry pelleted feed, or more, plus plenty of fresh food. Follow the instructions on the bird food package. You might be surprised how much birds eat. An online article from Cornell Lab of Ornithology helps to answer the question: How Much Do Birds Eat Each Day? You may have trouble keeping up with a parrot. The average parrot weighs approximately one pound (0.453592 kilogram). Calculate how many pounds of food someone of your size must consume relative to size to eat like a bird. You will not be eating exactly like a bird. People chew their food. Parrots either swallow it whole or break it down with their beaks and claws. The gizzard completes the “chewing” process for birds and other creatures, including reptiles, earthworms, mollusks, insects and some fish.

To “eat like a bird” relative to size, you must eat a whole lot at daybreak, then again in the late afternoon. Prepare for a schedule change. Curiously, smaller birds eat more than larger ones. Parrots in the wild can spend up to 80 percent of their day foraging for food. Whenever you try to “eat like a bird” relative to size, you simply cannot “peck at food”. Eating food will become central to your life focus. You will live to eat, and eat to live. Like chickadees, blue jays, crows and some woodpeckers, you may collect food to store for later consumption. Gobble, gobble will take on new meaning for you. That is pretty much all you will do. Be sure to chew your food well. People do not have gizzards to finish this grinding process for digestion after swallowing food.

To eat like a bird, relative to size, make sure you have plenty of birdseed, pellets, grains, vegetables and fruits on hand for constant dining. When given a melon, dive into the seeds first. You will not have to eat the rind. A puree of foods may meet with a warm reception from your bird. Be ready for change in diet. Don't forget to keep a supply of eggs scrambled with the shells and unseasoned, cooked chicken turkey or fish. A parrot would never discard the shells and eat just the eggs. Other animals and people may not even want to peck at food of this type. You may cheat a bit, and hold your nose or brush your teeth. Bear in mind that most birds do not have teeth. The Goosander Tooth Duck, also called a “saw-bill”, is one of the few animals with beaks that also have teeth.

To “eat like a bird” relative to size, here are some other items for your shopping cart: almonds, apples, apricots, bananas, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, brown rice, cantaloupe, carrots, coconuts, cranberries, currants, grapes, green beans, greens (kale, mustard or turnip greens), guava, hazelnuts, kiwis, legumes, lemons, macadamia nuts, mangoes, melon without the rind, millet, okra, oranges, papayas, parsley, human grade peanuts, pears, persimmons, pine nuts, pineapples, pistachios, pomegranates, quinoa, uncooked oats, raisins, spinach, sprouts, squashes (pumpkin, butternut, spaghetti, plus roasted seeds), strawberries, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, walnuts, and more. Of course, you will have little time for shopping. To avoid pesticides, organic foods are best.

To maintain fowl rather than foul health and consume the complete and balanced diet of a parrot, you cannot merely “peck at food”. You will have to sacrifice some of your favorite, fast snack foods laden with grease and salt. Potatoes are fine, but not as French fries. Your life schedule will have revolve around your eating. To eat like a bird, you may need to take on gig work or nocturnal work assignments. To consume a lot of food relative to size, you will need to forage for food throughout much of the day. If you lead a nocturnal life, you may do your dining throughout the night. There are nocturnal parrots, so you will not be viewed as shirking your food duties, when you do your eating during the twilight hours. If you're too tired to prepare a big meal, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is likely to please your bird.

To “eat like a bird”, food cannot be selected solely relative to size. For instance, you cannot eat like a parrot if you include avocados in your diet. Even if you “peck at food”, you may not be able to eat some of your favorite foods. Some of the foods that would turn your stomach may not be good for your bird. Cooked porridge oats may stick to your bird's beak after they dry. It is important to know which foods are harmful to a parrot. The seeds or pits of apples, apricots, cherries, nectarines and peaches contain cyanide, which is toxic to parrots. Moldy bread also may be toxic to birds. Other fruits and vegetables that aren't good for a parrot include asparagus, cabbage, dried beans, eggplant, mushrooms, olives, raw onions, rhubarb, sugar-free candy and tomato leaves. Parrots also should avoid consuming chocolate, all dairy products, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks. Serve up a bowl of popcorn without butter. You will quickly discover why birds are not known as party animals.

Now, are you ready to “eat like a bird” relative to size? If so, you cannot merely “peck at food”, or you will spend more than an average time to meet your food requirements. Can you imagine the time it would take to forage for food one peck at a time? If birds with beaks, do not merely “peck at food”, animals without beaks should be less inclined to do so. This job might never get done. You can forget about most other work. However, you must take time to sleep? Parrots sleep upright with one eye open. During sleep, parrots are half-asleep and half-alert to danger. They can break up their periods of sleep. These sleep interruptions may not be healthy for people.

People have a tendency to apply their personal food regimes to their animals. For birds, dogs, cats or another species, human foods and dietary regimes can be harmful to animals. The result can be dietary deficiencies and chronic illness for these pets. Healthy foods help keep pets healthy. A variety in proteins is essential to dogs and cats. It may not be healthy for other animals to peck at food, or to eat like a bird and consume huge volumes of food relative to size. Vitamin and mineral requirements are likely to differ between animal classes. Supplementation with vitamin D3 is important for parrots that are kept indoors. It is important to use vitamins for birds. Their plumage has special needs.

Since more people have cats and dogs than birds, Dolly wants to make sure that well-intended owners do not allow their pets to “eat like a bird” relative to size or like a human as to types of food. Variety in foods is vital to your pet. Your pet cannot merely peck at the same pet food product daily and receive proper nutrition. You are welcome to try to eat like a bird. Be sure to quickly abandon this unhealthy challenge. It is not healthy for people to eat like their animals. It is equally unhealthy for pets to eat like their owners. Some foods enjoyed by the owners may not be pleasing to birds. Dates and figs are two such examples. Many birds reject these fruits and can suffer digestive tract problems after eating them.

Birds Do Not Peck at Food

  • Relative to Size Dolly says:

    Compared to a person, a bird may eat a lot relative to size, because birds generally burn food faster than people.

  • Peck at Food Dolly says:

    The smaller the bird, the larger the appetite, but none of us can survive if we just “peck at food” like a slow, slow sloth.

    • eat like a birdDolly says:

      Be sure to put out birdseed during the winter months, so that every bird can “eat like a bird” throughout the year.