What Do Birds Eat?

Diets by Bird Species

There are many different species of birds in the world, and while common pests like pigeons, crows, and seagulls eat almost anything, some fowl have extremely specialized diets. Raptors such as owls, eagles, and hawks are carnivorous, eating small animals, fish, or other birds. Woodpeckers and swallows are primarily insectivorous and target pest insects as food. Waterfowl, like geese and ducks, eat small aquatic creatures, aquatic plants, and grasses. Songbirds, such as finches, sparrows, and blackbirds, mostly eat seeds and grains, which is why they're drawn to backyard feeders. Finally, some species are specially adapted to keeping particular diets. Hummingbirds, for example, have beaks designed for the consumption of nectar.

Seasonal Diets

Many species of birds change their diets throughout the year. When one food source becomes particularly abundant, they adjust their feeding activities to include more of that easily accessible food. Additionally, birds tend to favor protein-rich diets, such as that provided by insects, during mating season over carbohydrates like seeds.

Problems Caused by Bird Eating Habits

Birds become nuisances when their feeding activities lead them into residential neighborhoods. When they roost near houses, they foul areas with their droppings, create fire hazards with their nests, and damage gardens, crops, ornamental trees, and lawns. Avoiding bird problems usually involves removing the food sources bringing them near in the first place. By taking down birdfeeders, covering gardens with nets, and ridding lawns of grub infestations, residents can greatly reduce the possibility of birds searching for food in their lawns. When in doubt, contact the wildlife control experts at Critter Control who get rid of problematic birds in the most effective and humane way possible.

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