sparrows

16 Birds That Eat Mosquitoes (with Photos, ID, & Info)

Mosquitoes are the most annoying creatures on earth. The worst part is that they seem to be everywhere, and with summer just around the corner, there’s no way of escaping them.

Luckily for us, Mother Nature has blessed us with some natural enemies that keep these pests in check. These 16 birds can all consume mosquitoes as their main food source, so you might want to hang a bird feeder outside your window this summer! 

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole
Image by diapicard from Pixabay

The Baltimore Oriole species is a migratory bird that travels north in spring and south in fall, but what do they eat during these long journeys? It turns out that not only do Baltimore Orioles have a diverse diet, but their food preferences change depending on where they are currently located.

They feed mainly on fruits, and berries during the summer months when they migrate north to places like Canada or Michigan, but then turn to insects such as mosquitoes for sustenance when the weather starts getting colder.

Related Post: Baltimore Orioles Facts

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal
Image by Eleanor McDonie from Pixabay

Northern Cardinals are one of the most common birds in North America. These redbirds are known for their beautiful plumage and melodic song.

They live throughout much of the United States, and Canada and can be found in both rural, and urban areas. Northern Cardinals usually eat fruit, seeds, berries, nuts, nectar from flowers, and will eat any types of insects, including mosquitoes.

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Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird
Image by Ray Miller from Pixabay

Eastern Kingbirds are beautiful birds with large, colorful heads and chests. They live in the eastern United States and will eat anything from insects to small lizards. One of their favorite foods is mosquitoes.

Eastern Kingbirds have a preference for these pesky bugs because they are an easy meal for them to catch. The Eastern Kingbird catches its prey using this technique called sallying where it flies up high then drops down quickly when it spots one of its favorites. 

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadees are a type of bird that lives in North America. They can be found mostly in the eastern half of the United States and all throughout Canada. These birds love to eat mosquitoes, which is their favorite food.

In fact, they will actually consume three times as many mosquitoes as other types of birds. When mosquitoes come near, they fly down to take them out with their sharp beaks. Chickadees will often use other methods for hunting food as well. 

Related Post: How Do I Attract Chickadees To My Yard?

Blackpoll Warbler

Mosquitoes can be a pesky problem for people, but one bird species has found an ingenious way to keep the mosquitoes away. The Blackpoll Warbler is a type of migratory songbird that breeds in North America and winters in South America.

Unlike other birds who eat mosquitoes for sustenance, this species prefers them as their main food source. In fact, they will even travel back to where they had nested in the previous year just so they can get more mosquitoes!

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrows are small birds found in North America, most commonly living in trees near water sources such as lakes or streams. Chipping Sparrows are known to eat mosquitoes.

This is beneficial because the bird will be eating the mosquito larvae, which would otherwise grow into a dangerous adult mosquito that could carry deadly diseases like malaria and the West Nile virus. 

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe
Image by Anita Lynn from Pixabay

Eastern Phoebes are small, drab-colored birds that live in the eastern United States. They eat insects and can be seen hawking for mosquitoes over fields, ponds, and marshes. Eastern Phoebes are voracious mosquito eaters.

In fact, they will fly through dense swarms of mosquitoes to find a few easy meals. When there is little or no food available, Eastern Phoebes may consume as much as 20% of their body weight​​​​​​​ in mosquitoes.

Tree Swallow

tree swallow
Image by simardfrancois from Pixabay

Tree Swallows are migratory birds that reside in North America during the summer. In the fall, they migrate to South America for the winter. They are insectivores and feed on many types of insects, including mosquitoes. ​​​​​​​

Tree swallows will often take their meals in flight and dive down into grassy areas for mosquitoes who have come out of hiding to escape the sun’s heat. The swallows can consume as many as 2000 mosquitoes per day! This is just one example of how nature helps keep our environment clean and healthy.​​​​​​​

Related Post: How to Attract Tree Swallows to my yard?

Robins

American Robin
Image by lorifbutler from Pixabay

Many people enjoy feeding the birds, but are not aware that robins eat mosquitoes. Robins are a great addition to any backyard as they will help keep mosquito populations low.  They live in many places in North America, Europe, and Asia.

They are most commonly found in suburban yards, parks, near wetlands, or areas with water nearby such as ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams. The best time to spot them is during migration periods when they stop at different locations along their journey for food and rest. ​​​​​​​

Related Post: Interesting American Robin Fun Facts

Nashville Warbler

The Nashville Warbler is a small songbird that migrates from North America to Central and South America in the winter.  They live in woodlands and swampy areas throughout the United States. The Nashville Warbler is typically found near bodies of water or wetlands because they like to feed on mosquito larvae that have hatched from eggs laid by adult female mosquitoes.

Their diet consists mainly of large numbers of insects, with some fruits and berries to supplement their diet during winter months when bugs aren’t available.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Bluebirds

Bluebirds
Image by Naturelady from Pixabay

Bluebirds are one of the most beautiful birds to watch, and they help control mosquito populations. Bluebirds eat mosquitoes because they are attracted to their sweet smell. They often hunt by watching where insects congregate such as in tree branches or grasses.

When bluebirds find a large number of mosquitoes together, they can be seen attacking them from all sides, even eating some on the ground if necessary. This type of behavior is known as cooperative hunting.

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Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers
Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Woodpeckers are known for their pecking, drilling, and drumming. Woodpeckers spend most of their time feeding on grubs and larvae that live under tree bark. It is possible that some species may eat adult insects like ants and wasps. What is not so well-known is that they also feed on mosquitoes!

Woodpeckers have long tongues which can catch insects in the air. Woodpeckers also use these tongues to probe into mosquito larvae breeding grounds and extract the young bugs from within their nests. ​​​​​​​

Related Posts: How to Attract Downy Woodpeckers: Expert Tips!

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow
Image by Elsemargriet from Pixabay

Barn swallows are one of the most common birds in North America. They typically migrate to Canada and Mexico during the winter months, but stay near water sources when it is warmer. The barn swallow’s diet consists mainly of insects and other small invertebrates such as flies, mosquitoes, moths, spiders, and earthworms.

Their primary hunting method is catching them on the wing; they also sometimes pick them off surfaces like leaves or from below ground level, where they burrow for prey.​​​​​

Related Post: How to Attract Swallows to my yard?

Purple Martin

Purple Martin
Image by jnelson from Pixabay

Purple Martins are birds in the swallow family. They eat mostly insects and other small invertebrates like spiders, flies, moths, beetles, dragonflies, and many others.

One of their favorite foods is mosquitoes! They hunt for mosquitoes in the sky and pluck them out of the air to eat. They also have a strong beak that can penetrate mosquito larvae hiding on water surfaces or just below the surface. 

Related Post: How to Attract Purple Martins to your yard?

Wrens

Carolina Wren
Image by GeorgiaLens from Pixabay

Wrens are common brown songbirds in North America. They eat mostly insects and are known to hunt mosquitoes. The wren is the world’s champion mosquito eater. They are so efficient at catching and eating them that a single wren can consume up to 10,000 mosquitoes in one day!

Wrens mostly hunt for their prey in vegetation like bushes and grasses. If they see any insects buzzing around nearby, they will fly over to catch it with their beak or claw before swallowing it whole​​​​​​​.

Related Post: How to Attract Wrens to your backyard?

Nuthatches

Nuthatches
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The nuthatch is a bird that can be found in the Northern Hemisphere.​​​​​​​ Nuthatches are birds that have adapted to living in trees and shrubs. They have a long, thin beak which they use to get food out of crevices or bark.

The nuthatch has also evolved wings that allow it to fly short distances from tree to tree. This makes them an excellent mosquito predator as mosquitoes swarm at the tops of plants looking for prey.​​​​​​​

Related Post: How to Attract Nuthatches to your yard?