How Much Do Birds Eat?
We sometimes say that a person with a small appetite “eats like a bird.” But this is not really true. Birds eat more in relation to their size then most people do. The smaller the bird, the more it eats compared with its weight. Scientists estimate that some baby birds, in one day, eat nearly their own weight in food.
For example a 14 ounce pigeon eats food equal to 1/20 of its weight a day. To equal this appetite, a 180 pound man who “eats like a bird” would have to eat nine pounds of food a day! The average person eats only about three pounds of food each day.
The nutritional value of food is also another factor into how much birds eat. Birds that eat more insects commonly eat less per day. Other things that matter into how much a bird eats are temperature, body size and the bird’s activity level.
Some birds eat smaller amounts, and one example is the raven. This species of bird typically eats less than 5 percent of its body weight on a daily basis. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, eat nearly 100 percent of their body weight in the form of nectar and insects.