do birds eat house flies

Whether you’re a backyard birdwatcher or would-be exterminator (or a bit of both), there are many reasons to attract bug-eating birds to your yard or garden. Not only is there a variety of beautiful bug eaters out there, but these birds eat the pests that bother you while relaxing outdoors, and those that eat up your plants in the spring and summer. Here’s how, and why, to attract bug-eating birds to your outdoor space.

The Benefits of Bug-Eating Birds

do birds eat house flies

As previously mentioned, insect-eating birds are tiny pest control specialists that will eradicate undesirable insects from your yard, including beetles, earwigs, slugs, mosquitoes, and white flies. That instantly beautifies your garden! No more damaged plants, shriveled or dying foliage, or drilled holes in your leaves! Additionally, your yard will be home to an amazing array of colorful birds due to the variety of bug-eating birds in the area—ideal for bird watching!

The greatest kind of birds to consume flies and mosquitoes are those that have the ability to catch insects midair. Some birds only feed on insects. While other birds use berries, seeds, and other plant materials to supplement their diets The proper kind of bird can help lower fly and mosquito populations around your house, improving the enjoyment of your outdoor spaces.

As an insectivore, barn swallows only consume insects for food. Moths, beetles, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, and other flying insects are among the insects that barn swallows consume. Barn swallows will pursue and zigzag through the air in order to capture flying prey. Throughout North America, barn swallows are frequently observed near or in suburban areas, farmland, marshes, and lakeshores.

The diet of chickadees consists of insects, berries, and seeds. All year long, wasps, mosquitoes, flies, other insects, and caterpillars are among the foods that a chickadee consumes. The majority of the chickadees’ diet during the summer is insects—between 80 and 90 percent. Almost half of their diet will consist of plant matter and seeds during the winter. Chickadees are common throughout the United States.

The main food source for tree swallows is flying insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles, horseflies, and mosquitoes. When these insects aren’t available for food during the winter, tree swallows will eat berries. This species of bird is found throughout North America, from Alaska to Maryland in the east and south to California and Nebraska. They do, however, favor moist environments, such as flooded fields, marshes, lakeshores, streams, and open spaces close to forests.

Being a fly-catching bird, eastern kingbirds obtain food by catching flying insects. When insects are abundant in the spring and summer, this species will primarily consume them. Eastern Kingbirds consume more than 200 different kinds of insects, such as various flies and mosquitoes. With the exception of California and Arizona, they are found throughout the majority of the continental United States; however, they are less common in the West Coast and Southeast.

Which Birds Eat Which Bugs?

do birds eat house flies

*This is not an exhaustive list of insect-eating birds or the insects they eat.

Birds* Insects
Bluebirds Mealworms, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, moths, grubs, caterpillars, snails, ants, spiders, moths, termites, and mosquitoes
Cardinals Beetles, grasshoppers, snails, crickets, leafhoppers, cicadas, katydids, flies, centipedes, spiders, and butterflies
Chickadees Aphids, whitefly, mealworms, caterpillars, snails, earwigs, and spiders
European Starlings Grasshoppers, crickets, bees, wasps, locusts, beetles, moths, and butterflies
Flycatchers Flies, wasps, ants, caterpillars, spiders, grasshoppers, midges, and beetles
Nuthatches Caterpillars, ants, beetles, treehoppers, mealworms, and earwigs
Orioles Caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, mealworms, spiders, and wasps
Purple Martins Mosquitoes, gnats, moths, and flies
Sparrows Beetles, crickets, caterpillars, ants, bees, and spiders
Swallows Moths, mosquitoes, beetles, grasshoppers, mayflies, dragonflies, and caddisflies
Titmice Aphids, caterpillars, beetles, spiders, snails, wasps, stinkbugs, ants, wasps, and treehoppers
Towhees Mealworms, caterpillars, beetles, moths, snails, spiders, millipedes, moths, and ants
Warblers Caterpillars, aphids, whiteflies, grasshoppers, ants, bees, walking sticks, beetles, and spiders
Woodpeckers Beetles, ants, caterpillars, flies, mosquitoes, bees, weevils, and mealworms
Wrens Moths, flies, spiders, caterpillars, crickets, grasshoppers, mealworms, and beetles

FAQ

What animals eat the most flies?

One of the most common predators of flies, including fruit flies, is the frog. Although frogs eat a diverse diet, they feed on flies as often as they can. The spider is also a common predator of the fruit fly. These arachnids spin their webs as traps for flies.

How do you attract birds that eat flies?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to reason that the best way to attract insect-eating birds is to offer them insects! Fill your feeders with dried or live mealworms (a famous favorite of bluebirds, though other birds also love these protein-packed morsels).

What kind of bird eats flies?

Swallows, swifts, nighthawks, flycatchers, some warblers, and Cedar Waxwings snap up insects flying in the air. Swallows, swifts, and nighthawks fly for hours at a time, snapping up insects on the wing.

Do birds eat black flies?

Black flies are important food items for many critters further up the chain, like dragonflies and some species of birds. Fish eat them, too – at least the larvae.