Fight and Flight: 3 Insect-Eating Birds Found in Europe

Europe is home to about 700 wondrous species of birds, many of which do a fine job as natural termite control. Since there is a wide variety of birds, they also feed on various types of insects! Here are three examples of birds in Europe and the types of insects they love to munch on.

European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater

Known to breed in the southern part of Europe and in some parts of North Africa and Western Asia, European bee-eaters predominantly feed on bees as indicated in the name. They love to feed on wasps and hornets. This species of bird can be easily identified because of their richly-coloured feathers, often orange, yellow, and green, black beaks, and slender structure. They can grow to as much as 27 to 29 cm in length; this measurement includes their two elongated central tail feathers. Despite feeding on bees, they do not have a large impact on the bee populations. In fact, studies show that that they feed on less than 1% of the worker bees in areas where they live. They are also known to be strongly migratory which is why they winter in tropical Africa, India and Sri Lanka, although they breed in northwest Europe. Birds of this kind are gregarious and would normally nest colonially on sandy banks, preferably near river shores, and they lay at least 5 eggs. New studies show that European bee-eaters convert their food to body weight more efficiently if they are fed a mixture of bees and dragonflies.

European Nightjar

European Nightjar

European Nightjars are nocturnal birds that come from the nightjar family. Most of their breeding nests are in Europe, although they have a minor population in Asia. They are very migratory birds as well. European Nightjars have a very camouflaging exterior because of their patterned grey and brown plumage, which makes their hunting for prey so easy. They feed on a wide variety of flying insects which includes moths, beetles, mantises, dragonflies, cockroaches and flies. European nightjars hunt by sight because of their relatively large eyes that have tapetum lucidum or a reflective layer behind their retinas which improves their light detection at dusk and dawn. Usually nocturnal birds have this sort of feature in order to help them hunt at night.

Common Swift

Common Swift

Common Swift birds are found in many parts of Europe, as far as North including Norway, Finland and most of sub-arctic Russia. They are also known to spend most of their time flying about, and normally feed on insects caught in flight. One fun fact about them is that they drink, feed and even mate while flying! No other bird species spends as much of its life in flight. Common swifts are 16-17 cm long with a wingspan of 38-40 cm and are frequently blackish-brown except for a small white or pale grey patch on their chins which is not really that visible from a distance. They would often nest in a woodpecker tree and would couple with other swifts. They form pairs that’ll last for years and years, and they return to the same nesting place.

There are hundreds more of these majestic insect-eating birds in Europe. Each boasts of its beauty and grandeur, but perhaps one of the best part about them is that they feed on nosey pests and insects. Hurrah!

Fight and Flight: 5 Insect-eating Birds Found in North America

It’s official, the Ber months have officially started and Fall is here. Expect a rise in numbers for insects and creepy crawlies alike. You can sure they are celebrating right now and making plans to invade your homes to scout for some food and hidden territory. You should be fine if you have insect-eating birds living in the area.

With these flying beauties around, termite control won’t be that big of a problem anymore because they’ll be having those critters for lunch. Fly up into the sky and let us introduce you to five of North America’s insect-eating birds.



Chickadees are among the most common birds you can see across the United States. There are three types of this bird namely – the Black-capped, the Carolina, and the Mountain chickadees. These birds are universally considered to be cute due to its having a round sized head that is bigger than its body. As these birds are naturally curious to their surroundings, they are easily found near feeding stations and are attracted to small boxes with wood shavings and will make it as their own nesting area. The Chickadee’s favorite snacks are beetles and caterpillars, flies and wasps.


Rock Wren_FINAL

Wrens are common backyard birds you will find flying over shrubberies and tree branches. They often prey on vulnerable insects like ants, millipedes, beetles and grasshoppers. Like the chickadees, wrens are prone to stay in areas that they think are suitable for nesting. After coming back from their winter migration, they will return to the same nesting area if it was left untouched.

American Robin


The American Robin is mostly found in North America and is particularly attracted to over grown shrubberies and large trees. Their natural habitats are likely in parks and gardens even in golf courses and open fields. Robins eat a wide variety of insects and fruits are mostly seen tugging earthworms off grounds. Robins are known for their majestic orange breast with a white patch on the lower section and grayish-brown feathers.



You may have heard or read about them in the Hunger Games, but no, they are not associated with Katniss Everdeen. Mockingbirds acquired their name because of their ability to mimic the call of other birds. Northern Mockingbirds are gray in color with two white wing bars on their wings. They can be quite aggressive if there are other birds flying over their territory and prey mostly on grasshoppers, beetles and tree ants.

Purple Martin

purple martin_final

Purple Martins are your typical social birds and share breeding sites with other martins. These birds are larger than the average swallow and feed only on flying insects and fire ants. You’ll be seeing them zooming around the highest perch of trees but during the evening, they hunt in lower grounds or near their nesting area.

If you have these birds near you, they are sure to be of great help in lessening pests near your home. Maintaining your garden won’t be a chore anymore because of the perfect pest control you can ever have— insect eating birds.

Fight and Flight: 6 Insect-Eating Birds Found in Asia

We were taught in school that birds feed on worms, but did you know that some species actually snack on insects? Some of these birds can even help out with termite control. Indeed, they are truly useful in balancing out the food chain.

Asia is home to a number of insect-eating birds—some are even experts in eating in mid-air! Soar high with these flying creatures as we let you into the world of Asia’s insect-eating birds.


Termite control

The White-bellied Woodpecker (Drycopus javensis) is a bird found in the tropical forests of Asia, particularly in evergreen areas of the Southeast. It is known for the noticeable white area on its belly, hence the name. These birds are considered to be one of the largest of their kind and also one of the most dominant in terms of population. They breed on dead tree barks and feed mainly on insects such as ants and grubs that live under barks. During the breeding season and during meal time, they make drumming sounds. These birds make a distinct “kuk” sound before flying off.


Chinese Penduline Tit, Termite Control

The Chinese Penduline Tit (Remiz consobrinus) is a species of the Remizidae family. They can be found in Japan, North and South Korea, China (particularly in Hong Kong), and Russia. Among its favorite food are caterpillars and small invertebrates. They are relatively small in size and light brown in color.


Philippine Frogmouth, Termite Control

The Philippines is known for its diverse nature and wildlife. Among the wonders living in our country is the Philippine Frogmouth (Batrachostomus septimus). This nocturnal bird lives in lowland forests and survives by eating different insects such as beetles, cicadas, grasshoppers, and crickets. They have soft, downy feathers held together by moss and lichens.


 Velvet Fronted Nuthatch

The Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis) is a small bird belonging to the Sittidae family. It can be found in South Asia, particularly in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India; these can also be sighted in Indonesia and China. Evergreen forests are their primary habitat and they can actually climb down trees! They feed on spiders and other invertebrates, often feeding in flocks. Despite their small size, their beaks are strong and they can easily be identified by their lavender cheeks and red bills. The Velvet-fronted Nuthatch are noisy birds as they always sing loud songs.


 hodgson treecreeper

A certain type of passerine bird lives in the Himalayas: the Hodgson’s Treecreeper (Certhia hodgsoni). Aside from Nepal, this bird can also be found in China, Myanmar, Bhutan, India, and Pakistan. Like the Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, this bird also uses its voice but this time for calling out to its relatives and signal for flight. They typically feed on arthropods and live mostly in temperate climates in coniferous woodlands.


 blue tailed bee eater1

The Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) is a species belonging to the family Meropidae. They are migratory birds commonly seen in India. Their bodies are richly-colored, with the hues of their tails being their most prominent feature. They live in farmlands and rice fields. They munch on hornets, dragonflies and of course, bees. These birds prefer to be near large bodies of water and sandy banks.

There you have it, six of the most common insect eating birds in Asia. Stay tuned for the next installment of insect-eating bird adventures!