Eli5: how do birds drink water/hydrate?



Was just thinking before I’ve never seen a bird drink water and I believe they rely a lot on gravity to eat/get things down their throat so I am just curious?

In: Biology

Scoop water into beak, bring head up, water goes down throat.


You can see birds drink water sometimes if you keep a birdbath in your yard. Like you observed, they have to tip their heads back to swallow (it has to do with not having sealable lips, I think), so what they do looks kind of like they’re scooping water up with their beak, like a shovel, and then tossing it back. Probably lots of footage on youtube, if you want to see it yourself.

I know that some kinds of birds get all their needed moisture from their food, mostly ones from dry areas like deserts. Don’t know how common that is for birds in general.