Cattle Egret

10 Birds That Eat Ticks (The Complete Guide)

If you’re looking to add a little feathered friend to your backyard that will also help keep the tick population down, you’re in luck! In this article, we will explore 10 birds that eat ticks, complete with photos, identification tips, and fun facts.

Some of these birds may already be common visitors to your yard, while others may be new to you. But all of them are helpful in the fight against ticks. So read on to learn more about these amazing creatures!

Birds That Eat Ticks


California Quail
Image by Nel Botha from Pixabay

Quails are small, flightless birds that make up the order Galliformes. Quails will feed on plants and insects. Some people have found that ticks will follow them if they are in an area with lots of vegetation or tall grass. So, what does this have to do with Quails?

Quails are one of the few birds that can eat ticks because they hunt for bugs in tall vegetation and need to stick their head through a lot of leaves or grass. The Quail is unique in its ability to consume these blood-sucking pests at an incredible rate.

Related: How to Attract Quail to your yard?

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret
Image by DEZALB from Pixabay

The Cattle Egret is a bird that can be found in open grasslands and cattle pastures in many regions of the world, including Europe and North America. Cattle egrets have been known to feed on ticks, but not just any type of tick will do for the cattle egret’s diet.

They typically feed off the Lone Star Tick, which is most commonly found in the southeastern United States and can be transmitted with a bite from an infected host. Cattle Egrets actually pick the ticks off of the cows, thus removing them from the animals and stopping their spread. ​​​​​​​


Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Farmers across the United States are finding that their chickens can help control the population of ticks. The blood-sucking insects pose a problem for farmers because they carry diseases and other pests that can harm animals and humans. Insecticides have proven to be less effective in controlling ticks, so some producers are turning to their chicken populations as an alternative method.

Chickens not only eat ticks but also produce eggs, meat, and fertilizer while providing free pest control services. Chickens have been shown to be able to eat up to 60% of ticks that try to feed on them or a chicken flock per day.

Guinea Fowl

Guinea Fowl
Image by Nel Botha from Pixabay

The Guineas, or Guinea Fowls, are a breed of bird that have been used for centuries to help keep down the population of ticks. Guinea Fowl love to eat ticks, and they will gobble up an astonishing amount of them during their lifetime – as many as 5400 ticks per year! This makes them one of the most effective methods for controlling tick populations and protecting livestock from being infested with these parasites.

The way they do this is by walking through grasses and fields in search of their next meal. Once they find a host, they’ll usually pick it up and swallow it whole. They will also eat lizards, insects, seeds and berries.


Mallard Ducks
Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Ducks are known for their webbed feet and feathers, but they’re also a natural solution to the tick problem. As a predator of these pests, ducks can control populations by eating them. They often pick up ticks while walking in tall grasses and bushes that may harbor these parasites.

Ticks feed on blood from mammals, including humans and pets, which can lead to infection with Lyme disease or other diseases carried by ticks. Ducks act as nature’s pest control by consuming both ticks and their hosts. Ducks consume about a thousand ticks each day, and their diet can help reduce tick populations by about 50%.

Related: 23 Interesting Fun Facts About Ducks

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkey
Image by Robbi Drake from Pixabay

Turkeys are large birds that often find themselves near fields, gardens, and other outdoor areas. As a result of this proximity to ticks, they eat the blood-sucking insects with some frequency.

While many people see turkeys as pests because they can gobble up vegetables from gardens if given the chance, it is also true that these birds are providing an important service by eating ticks. ​​​​​​​It is estimated that a single wild turkey can consume up to 100,000 ticks in its lifetime.​​​​​​​

Related: 6 Birds That Look Like Turkeys (Photos, ID & Stats)


Partridges are small, plump ground-dwelling gamebirds can be found throughout the United States and are most often seen near water sources or in moist meadows. These birds typically eat ticks and other insects that would otherwise infest the animals in the area.

They do this by having thick bristles on their tongues, which can be used as a brush-like tool for catching insects. This allows to allow them to catch all types of ticks in any type of environment; even under leaves or in tall grasses.​​​​​​​ These birds have an amazing ability to keep the population of ticks down while still getting their meal!​​​​​​​


The Roadrunner is a bird of the cuckoo family. These birds are native to North America and Mexico. Roadrunners may occasionally consume ticks, but not enough to eradicate them from their environment.

Roadrunners will eat ticks because they have evolved over time with this behavior as a natural response for when they pick up a tick on their feathers or skin while out in the wild hunting food sources such as lizards, mice, insects, snakes and other animals that carry these pesky parasites.

Related: 35 Fun Facts About Roadrunners (with Photos & Details)


Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

It is no secret that Woodpeckers love to peck at things. What may not be as well known, however, is the fact that woodpeckers also have a natural and strong affinity for eating ticks. This is because woodpeckers are capable of using their long, sticky tongues and feet to capture ticks as they climb up a tree trunk or onto branches.

It has also been found that woodpeckers will sometimes use their sharp beaks to puncture the tick’s body before consuming it. Woodpecker populations around the world may play an important role in controlling Lyme disease.



Image by Kiekie Kie from Pixabay

An Oxpecker bird is one of the few animals that are known to feed on ticks. These birds can be found in Africa, Asia and Australia. Oxpeckers eat ticks and lice off of larger animals like giraffes, zebras, buffalo and rhinos. These birds remove pests from an animal’s skin and coat by pecking at it with their sharp beaks while they perch on its back. 

They may also eat other parasites, such as lice or fleas, from an animal’s skin to help them keep healthy. These birds are mostly found living around woodlands or grasslands.

Frequently Asked Questions

What bird eats the most ticks?

The answer is Guinea fowl. They are a type of game bird and can eat over 100 ticks in one day. They have very good eyesight, which helps them find insects in grassy areas and trees.

What is the natural predator of ticks?

Birds, ants, and spiders have all been seen eating ticks. Birds can help by eating them in their nests as well as while they’re flying. Ants may also eat these parasites by taking over an animal’s nest. Spiders will usually kill and then eat the tick before laying eggs in its body cavity for their next meal.

What breed of chickens eat ticks?

Guinea hens are one of the few breeds of chickens that will eat ticks off your property. They can also be used as a form of pest control in gardens and farms, eating flies, beetles, spiders and other insects.

Do chickens really help with ticks?

Chickens are known to eat and destroy many pests in the garden, but they have been known to consume ticks as well. This is due to their natural instinct of pecking at bugs that crawl on the ground. Many people believe that if you have a chicken coop in your yard, then there will be fewer chances for a tick infestation.

Can ticks get on chickens?

The answer is yes. It’s especially common in chickens, because they are often confined to their coop or run and have little room for movement. Ticks need three things: a host, the right temperature, and blood. The best way to avoid ticks getting on your chickens is by providing them with enough space to roam around freely outside their coop.