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Do Birds Drink A Lot Of Water?

Some parrots drink more water than others, but they should be provided water at all times. Find out how to provide water safely to birds.

Margaret A. Wissman, DVM

Q) I never see my bird drink from its water bowl. Do birds drink much water?

A) Some birds are from very dry, arid regions of the world and have evolved over time to be very good at conserving water. Budgies and cockatiels are birds that traditionally don’t drink as much water as those psittacines from tropical rain forests, where water is plentiful. Some birds get most of their daily water needs met by ingesting moist vegetables, fruits and other foods. But that doesn’t mean that a bird should not have fresh water accessible at all times, even if you hardly ever see your bird drinking.

Budgie taking a bath

If you offer your bird water in a water bottle, also provide a bowl of water she can bathe in.

I recommend using a water bottle for most birds, as a bottle is cleaner and safer for many birds, especially those that tend to dunk their food in the water or pass droppings into the water, which contaminate it and allow bacterial levels to rise exponentially. Most birds are so smart that they figure out how to get water from a sipper tube almost immediately. If you use a water bottle, it still must be cleaned and disinfected frequently and the water level must be checked periodically during the day to ensure that the sipper tube hasn’t become clogged. Whenever you walk by tap the tip of the tube to ensure that water comes out freely, or mark a line on the bottle to watch that the water level drops during the day.

Birds that are offered drinking water through a water bottle should also be given an appropriately sized dish of water for bathing periodically, as many birds do like to splash around in a bath. 

Want to learn more about birds and water?

Train Your Pet Bird To Use A Water Bottle
Water & Your Pet Bird


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Posted: April 24, 2014, 1:00 a.m. PDT

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Do Birds Drink A Lot Of Water?

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Reader Comments
great article
n, n, TN
Posted: 4/27/2014 4:21:39 AM
My tiel has a tube bottle in her cage that she uses frequently, but when she is out she gets under the kitchen faucet and wants you to turn it on. Some times she will stay under the faucet and take a bath.
Garold, Covington, KY
Posted: 4/26/2014 11:55:49 AM
I wish I could offer a water bottle to my cockatoo, but she is on milk thistle and it will not work in the bottle :-(
Lynnette, Newport News, VA
Posted: 4/26/2014 7:02:29 AM
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