Top 26 Beneficial Birds for Pests: Attract them to the Garden

Pest control is one thing that every home gardener takes seriously. After all, it is frustrating for your plants to die, especially after a long time of providing it with tender loving care. To keep the pesky pests away, there are various solutions that are available. Some opt to use chemicals, but they can actually do more harm than good.

To get rid of pests in a manner that is safe and effective, one of the things that you can do is to attract beneficial birds. Alter the external environment in such a way that birds will be attracted. In this article, we will list down some of the best birds that will be effective in tackling devastating garden pests.

Quick Navigation: American Robins, American Woodcock, Barn Swallow, Bobolinks, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Chickadees, Crows, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Phoebe, European Starlings, Hummingbird, Killdeers, Orioles, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Red-winged Blackbirds, Saw-whet Owl, Scarlet Tanagers, Towhees, Tree Swallow, Tufted Titmice, Warblers, White-throated Sparrow, Wood Thrush, Wrens, Yellow-bellied Sap Suckers.

American Robins

One of the most popular birds in North America, it has a round body and orange breast. They are common in berry farms and orchards. They are known for eating worms. In their search for worms in the garden, they also tend to feed on insects.

American Robins

American Robins are Known for Eating Worms

American Woodcock

Commonly found in wet meadows and shrubby fields, this bird is nocturnal. They have a heavy diet, which consists mainly of earthworms, which is one of the reasons why they are good for the garden. They also eat other invertebrates, such as beetles, spiders, and snails.

American Woodcook

American Woodcooks Eat Earthworms and Other Invertebrates

Barn Swallow

If insects are being a problem in the garden, barn swallow can offer the ideal solution. As an insectivore, it has a diet that consists mainly of insects. To be specific, they eat crickets, moths, beetles, dragonflies, flies, and grasshoppers, among others. They have a metallic blue-black upper body and the lower body is pale beige.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallows Eat Crickets, Moths, Beetles etc.,

These birds are commonly found in open grass. While they can also eat weed seeds in the season of breeding, they are also effective for pest control, especially when they are in the larva stage. Their foods are mainly on weeds and grass, consisting mostly of insects.

Bobolinks

Bobolinks Eat Weed Seeds and are also Effective for Pest Control

Blue Jays

Among others, one of their distinct characteristics is the strong beak, which can crack even nuts. They are one of the most intelligent birds, which they use to figure out where they can find their food. They feed mostly on bugs, but they can also eat different parts of host plants. Having an oak tree is one thing that could encourage their presence.

Blue Jays

Blue Jays Feed Mostly on Bugs and Eat Different Parts of Host Plants

Cardinals

The bright red color of this bird makes it one of the most recognizable in the backyard. Having fruit or sunflower seeds in the garden is one of the best ways to attract cardinals. Some of the pests that they will control include snails, stinkbugs, crickets, beetles, grasshoppers, and leafhoppers.

Cardinals

Cardinals Eat Snails, Stinkbugs, Crickets etc.,

Chickadees

This is one of the best birds to have in the garden if the infestation is caused by aphids, earwigs, scale caterpillars, whiteflies, and ants. They like to feed on crawling insects that you can find in weeds or even bark of their host tree. Having seed-bearing flowers in the garden is one of the best ways to attract this bird.

Chickadees

Chickadees Like to Feed on Crawling Insects

Crows

While they are often found in lakes and rivers, crows can also feed on land. They prefer aquatic animals, but their foods can also include ground insects. Some of their most common targets include beetles, grubs, and caterpillars, which are their main sources of protein. Installing horizontal roosting poles and having plenty of sunflower seeds will attract crows.

Crows

Crows Prefer Aquatic Animals and also Eat Ground Insects

Eastern Bluebird

This bird is known as a notorious insect-eater. They like to eat mealworms. They find insects on the ground that will serve as their food, which includes crickets, spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars. The Eastern Bluebird is also said to feed on lizards, snakes, shrew, and salamanders.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebirds Eat Crickets, Spiders, Grasshoppers etc.,

Eastern Phoebe

Most of the foods of Eastern phoebe are flying insects. They are common in the yard during spring and summer, which can be easily recognized by the sound that they make. Some of their most common preys include butterflies, cicadas, dragonflies, beetles, spiders, ticks, and wasps.

Eastern Phoebe

Most of the Foods of Eastern Phoebe are Flying Insects

European Starlings

These birds are known as ground walkers. They use their beak to poke on the ground and to catch their food. When they open their beak, they create a larger hole, which makes it easy to find pests that are hidden on the ground. They love invertebrates and insects, which include earthworms, spiders, and millipedes.

European Starlings

European Starlings Love Invertebrates and Insects

Hummingbird

To have their protein intake, hummingbirds feed on aphids and gnats, among others. They also eat mosquitoes, flies, true bugs, parasitic wasps, and flying ants. One of the good things about this bird is its long tongue, which allows it to catch insects even if they are midair. To attract hummingbirds, plant flowers with bright colors. They also love lots of water.

Hummingbird

Hummingbirds Eat Mosquitoes, Flies, True Bugs etc.,

Killdeers

These plovers are often seen in golf courses, sports fields, and garden lawns, among other places. Most of their diet consists of invertebrates, such as grasshoppers, larvae, beetles, and earthworms. Also, they can eat even aquatic crustaceans.

Killdeers

Killdeers are Great at Noticing Insects and Worms in Grassy Fields

Orioles

If you are looking for the best way to control grasshoppers, caterpillars, and beetles, among others, orioles are some of the birds that you should attract to the garden. It will help to note that they are attracted to the color orange. They also like drinking ports.

Orioles

Orioles Can Glean for Insects in Leaves and Snatch Insects in Mid-air

Red-headed Woodpeckers

This bird has an average length of 7 to 9 inches and a wingspan of 14 to 17 inches. It is easily recognized by its red head while the lower chest is white. As an omnivore, some of its most common preys include spiders, earthworms, and insects, as well as berries and nuts.

Red-headed Woodpeckers

Red-headed Woodpeckers Eat Spiders, Earthworms, Insects etc.,

Red-winged Blackbirds

The foods of these birds will depend on the season. For the breeding season, they commonly feed on invertebrates and insects. Some of their common foods include spiders, frogs, worms, snails, and carrion. They commonly scour through weeds to look for insects.

Red-winged Blackbirds

Red-winged Blackbirds Commonly Feed on Invertebrates and Insects

Saw-whet Owl

Whether it is in the garden at home or in the wild, saw-whet owl will be helpful in controlling the infestation that is caused by pests. Some of their most common preys include deer mice, small birds, chipmunks, beetles, and grasshoppers, among others.

Saw-whet Owl

Saw-whet Owl’s Preys are Deer Mice, Small Birds, Chipmunks etc.,

Scarlet Tanagers

This American songbird has a diet that is dominated by insects. With this, it is an excellent bird to attract to the garden if you want to deal with infestation caused by leafhoppers, cicadas, beetles, moths, sawflies, snails, spiders, and grasshoppers, among others.

Scarlet Tanagers

Scarlet Tanagers Eat Leafhoppers, Cicadas, Beetles etc.,

Towhees

The striking color of this bird makes it easy to notice. They are usually found in leaf litter and feed on pests that can be found on the ground. Because they are shy birds, they are not as aggressive as others when looking for their prey. Their food consists mostly of insects, including those that you do not want in the garden, such as beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars.

Towhees

Towhees Eat Beetles, Grasshoppers, Caterpillars etc.,

Tree Swallow

This acrobatic, colorful, and beautiful bird is known as an insect-eater, which makes it another excellent choice for controlling infestation in the garden. They are known for eating flying insects. They can travel more than 20 miles in search of their prey. They like butterflies, moths, mollusks, true bugs, sawflies, and beetles, among others.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows are Known for Eating Flying Insects

Tufted Titmice

This bird has an average length of 6 to 6.5 inches and has gray wings. They are not as aggressive as other birds, but can still be excellent when it comes to natural pest control. In the summer, they like eating insects, such as stinkbugs, treehoppers, and caterpillars.

Tufted Titmice

Tufted Titmice Eat Stinkbugs, Treehoppers, Caterpillars etc.,

Warblers

There are different types of warblers that can prove to be beneficial in the garden. Generally, they will feed on whiteflies, aphids, and caterpillars. Cape May warblers are known for feeding on budworms. Connecticut warblers, on the other hand, love to search for insects in low branches or dense vegetation.

Warblers

Warblers Feed on Whiteflies, Aphids, Caterpillars etc.,

White-throated Sparrow

Some of the most noticeable characteristics of this natural predator include pink legs, yellow blotches, and black stripes on the top. They are omnivores, and hence, they eat both plants and insects. In the garden, they can be effective in the control of the population of beetles, caterpillars, centipedes, snails, and spiders, among others.

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrows Eat Beetles, Caterpillars, Centipedes etc.,

Wood Thrush

This bird has an omnivorous diet. Most of the time, they eat fruits of various host plants. Occasionally, they will also eat snails, salamanders, and insects. Although they are not popular backyard birds, you can still attract them, such as through providing a wooden habitat, which is what they prefer. It is more likely that they will be present if you have mature trees.

Wood Thrush

Wood Thrushes Eat Snails, Salamanders, Insects etc.,

Wrens

Charismatic and hyperactive – these are two of the most common characteristics of wrens. It has more than 80 species and many of them are excellent predators for common garden pests, such as caterpillars and beetles. As ground foragers, they love to feed in places with leaf litter. You will also easily attract them if there are multiple water sources in the garden.

Wrens

Wrens are Excellent Predators for Common Garden Pests

Yellow-bellied Sap Suckers

This bird leaves shallow holes in the bark of their host trees. Nonetheless, they can also be great in controlling the population of common pests in the garden. They love to feed on insects and spiders.

Yellow-Bellied Sap

Yellow-Bellied Sap Suckers Love to Feed on Insects and Spiders

Conclusion

In sum, birds can do a lot to keep the garden free from pests. Rather than manually removing the pests that are causing an infestation, birds can extend a helping hand. They will feed on the insects in different stages, making sure that they won’t wreak havoc.

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