1. Home

Discuss in my forum

Bird Diet Types

Bird Diets Based on Food Preference

By

Understanding what birds eat and the overall diet they prefer is essential to know what to feed birds to attract them to your backyard or where to look for foraging birds in the field. Every bird has different dietary preferences, and if you know what the different types of diets are, you can use those preferences to your advantage when birding.

Click on any type of bird diet for a more detailed definition.

Avivorous

Avivorous
Kevin Cole

An avivorous bird eats other birds. This is a popular diet for many of the smaller raptors, such as accipiters, which often prey on backyard birds. Several larger raptors will also prey on doves or pigeons.

Carnivorous

Carnivorous
Jason Bolonski

Carnivorous birds eat meat, including rodents, mammals, fish, amphibians and reptiles. All birds of prey are carnivorous, as are many other birds including different shorebirds, corvids and wading birds.

Frugivorous

Frugivorous
D. Sharon Pruitt

Frugivorous birds, or frugivores, are fruit-eating specialists. Orioles, waxwings and toucans are all frugivorous and will eat fruit, berries and fruit-flavored jelly in the backyard. Many other birds will also sample fruit.

Granivorous

Granivorous
Yi Chen

A granivore eats primarily grains or seeds, and many birds are granivorous, including many sparrows and finches. These are easy birds to attract to the backyard with different types of birdseed.

Insectivorous

Insectivorous
Ben Grantham

Insectivorous birds are specialized carnivores that feed on insects. Flycatchers and warblers are insectivorous, and most birds will eat insects to feed hatchlings sufficient protein for healthy growth.

Molluscivorous

Molluscivorous
pfly

A molluscivorous bird feeds on mollusks such as snails, slugs or oysters. Many shorebirds are molluscivores and will forage at low tide for clams and oysters, while other molluscivorous birds forage in tidal flats or swamps.

Mucivorous

Mucivorous
Graham Campbell

Mucivorous birds feed on the mucus of plants and trees, namely sap. Few birds are solely mucivorous, but woodpeckers, waxwings, kinglets and warblers all have a mucivorous component to their diets.

Nectivorous

Nectivorous
Putneypics

A nectivore feeds on flower nectar, and the most well known nectivorous birds are the hummingbirds. Other nectivores include honeycreepers and sunbirds, and nectivorous birds will visit both flowers and nectar feeders.

Ophiophagous

Ophiophagous
John

An ophiophagous bird is a snake-eater, a specialized type of carnivore. The snake eagle family of birds are ophiophagous, and the secretary bird is one of the most well-known snake-eating birds.

Palynivorous

Palynivorous
Robyn Jay

Few birds are strictly palynivorous, or pollen-eating, but many nectivorous or insectivorous birds will consume some pollen while foraging. This can be critical to help pollinate flowers to encourage additional blooms.

Piscivorous

Piscivorous
Ben Ferenchak

Piscivorous birds enjoy a diet of fish. The most well known piscivore is the osprey, but other raptors, mergansers and cormorants are piscivorous and may cause problems in sport fishing areas because they consume so many fish.

Omnivorous

Omnivorous
upturnedface

The term omnivorous describes the diet of many birds – eating everything. Ducks are well known omnivores, and many birds will at least sample other types of food even if they prefer one type of diet more exclusively.

  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Birding / Wild Birds
  4. Feeders and Feeding
  5. Bird Diets - What Birds Eat - Bird Eating Habits

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.