What birds eat...a guide to help you attract birds to your garden!
Compiled from the Audubon Field Guide to Western Birds
Note: aquatic birds have been excluded from this list, although many feed on insects.
Kites, Owls, Shrikes, and Sparrow Hawks occasionally feed on insects.
Encourage raptors by planting tall trees.
Flycatcher, Kingbird, Nighthawk:
Feed exclusively on insects, in flight.
Swallows may also feed on berries.
Water gardens and fountains may encourage these birds, because of the flying insects that are attracted to the water.
Blackbirds, Magpies, Ravens, Starlings:
No need to encourage these birds! Noisy, messy! If you have what they want, they will show up!
Chukar, Pheasant, Quail:
Insects, seeds, buds, berries.
Encouraging these birds is only practical in rural areas, as they need brush cover and lots of room to roam.
- The following birds feed exclusively on insects. Attract them by providing cover, water, and nesting sites.
Gnatcatchers, Kinglets, Phoebes, Poor-Wills, Sapsuckers, Swifts, Vireos, Warblers, Wrens (also feed on spiders).
- The following birds feed primarily on insects, but also feed on berries or fruit:
Flickers, Mockingbirds, Tanagers, Thrashers, Waxwings, Wrentits.
Jays are omnivorous, and, like mockingbirds, are territorial.
- The following birds feed on insects and seeds, so they may be attracted by your feeding strategies:
Bluebirds, Bushtits, Cowbirds, Doves, Dowitchers, Dunlins, Finches, Godwits, Goldfinches, Grosbeaks, House sparrows, Juncos, Meadowlarks, Orioles, Pigeons, Rosy finches, Sparrows, Titmice, Towhees, Whimbrels.
Remember that birds feed at different levels:
- Ground feeders
- Table top feeders
- Tree trunks (mostly not seed feeders)
- Hanging feeders
feed on nectar, aphids, insects, and spiders.
© 2008 Don Shor, Redwood Barn Nursery, Inc., 1607 Fifth Street, Davis, Ca 95616
Feel free to copy and distribute this article with attribution to this author.