Updated at: 26-07-2022 - By: Jane Brody

It’s common knowledge that birds eat a wide variety of items, including plants, bugs, and even other animals. However, not all bird species eat the same things. The obvious next question is then whether or not birds eat worms.

Yes, birds do eat worms, and many bird species find worms to be a particularly tasty treat.

We shall go into detail about the species of birds that are the exception to the rule of worm-eating birds.

Do Birds Like Worms?

In fact, worms are a favorite food of birds. All birds enjoy eating worms, and they are a popular choice. Worms are a bird’s favorite food because of the high protein content.

For proper growth and development, birds require a diet high in protein, which they crave.

Mealworms are the most popular type of worm consumed by birds.

Backyards and gardens are rich with these worms. You can also buy dried mealworms at the store to use as bird food. In addition to providing vital nutrients for the birds’ development, both are incredibly tasty to them.

Mealworms are the preferred worms of many birds that otherwise eat fruit and vegetables.

Why Do Birds Eat Worms?

What Birds Eat Worms

Earlier, we established that worms are an excellent source of protein for birds. Some avian species primarily subsist on invertebrates like insects.

Although this is true, the fact that worms are abundant natural sources of vitamins and minerals is likely the primary motivation for bird’s diet. There are plenty of these, and they’re not hard to catch either.

Birds really do like it when they catch prey while worm hunting. Pet worms aren’t as common a victim of predatory birds as wild ones.

How Do Birds Find Worms?

To find worms, birds use nearly all of their senses.

However, different species of birds, and even individual birds within the same species, rely on a single sense more than others. Each species of bird has its own unique strategy for locating worms.

Science has found that all bird species rely heavily on their various senses of direction when searching for worms. Every bird has its own strategy for finding worms.

The environmental context has a significant impact on it. Here are some of the most important senses birds employ to search for worms.

Sense of Touch

Birds utilize their feet as sensory devices when searching for worms.

Birds are able to detect the tiniest of worm movements in the grass and dirt.

However, birds can’t get their worm fix relying solely on their sense of touch. There is a reciprocal relationship between touch and the other senses. Many species of birds have evolved specialized hunting strategies, each tailored to its specific habitat.


Birds rely heavily on their vision as one of their primary senses when on the prowl for worms.

All birds have excellent vision and can detect even the tiniest details, such as the tip of a worm’s tail emerging from the ground.

There are avian species that only rely on one eye for sight. This allows them to concentrate intently on the ground while keeping an eye out for any potential threats before swiping at the worm.

Birds use monocular eyesight and a cocked head to great effect when foraging for worms.


Birds rely on their hearing as a supplementary sense when on the quest for worms. As was already noted, birds have keen eyesight and a heightened sense of touch.

Listening for the low-frequency sounds generated by worms’ movement allows them to pinpoint their exact location while keeping a close eye on even the tiniest of tremors.

However, it has not been established that birds’ other inferior senses of smell and taste aid in worm hunting.

Therefore, vision is the most prominent primary sense that is integrated with other senses.

Benefits Of Feeding Worms To Birds?

What Birds Eat Worms-3

Omnivorous birds benefit greatly from a diet rich in worms and would gladly consume any worm offered to them.

They are rich in proteins, important vitamins and minerals, and are therefore one of the best diets for birds (Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Copper, and Phosphorus).

Birds, especially young birds, need these vitamins to produce strong muscles and beautiful feathers.

Birds may find worms just about anyplace in nature, and the critters apparently find them to be rather tasty. Is there anything else to learn about the merits of worms as a bird food source?

It’s not always safe to let pet birds forage for their own worm food. The immunity levels of domesticated birds are typically lower than those of their wild counterparts.

Worms seen in the soil of a garden or backyard may have been contaminated by chemicals. Thus, worms purchased from a pet store are highly recommended as a food source.

Maybe you’re wondering what makes worms sold in pet stores so much safer. The market has flourished since worms are a staple food for many reptiles. Worms purchased from a pet store are completely safe to feed to your birds.

What Birds Eat Worms?

The following bird families are classified as omnivores and all of them consume worms.

  • American Robin
  • Black-bellied 
  • Plovererican Woodcock
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Clapper Rail
  • Common Blackbird
  • Eastern Screech-Owl
  • Eurasian Blackbird
  • Killdeer
  • Malayan Night Heron
  • Marbled Godwit
  • Rufous-breasted Antthrush
  • Sora
  • Semipalmated Plover
  • Short-billed Dowitcher
  • Song Thrush
  • Thrush
  • Tit
  • Wrens

These avians have a varied diet that includes worms.

What Birds Don’t Eat Worms?

All birds are shown in art, animation, and media as having an insatiable appetite for worms. Not all birds, however, consume them.

Sure, there’s a select few bird species who indulge in this delicacy. Across the globe, there is a wide range in the diversity of bird species. Thus, the idea that all birds consume them is a fabrication.

Aside from the aforementioned species, no other birds are known to consume worms.

Doves, Eagles, Hawks, and Owls are typical examples.

In addition to not eating the worm, they also don’t give their young “worms.” We’ve made it clear that no birds other than omnivores eat them.

Although most bird species feed their young fruit and seed year-round, a few species only do so in the spring.

Probably one of your first thoughts is, “Why spring?” Mealworms, sometimes mistaken for ordinary worms, are the only food source for these birds. The larva of the mealworm beetle is commonly known as mealworms.

They rely only on them as a source of sustenance for themselves and their offspring, and consume them or feed them exclusively. Mealworms are most widely available in the spring.

Do Birds eat Putrid Worms?

Except for a select few species, most birds don’t eat corpses.

Dead worms are not a food source for birds.

Do Birds Eat Dead Worms?

Birds are not as motivated to hunt if they see dead worms, as this process is largely dependent on the worms’ ability to move. This explains why they pay no attention to the worms that have already died.

Birds typically avoid eating dead worms because they collect bacteria quickly and begin to decompose, giving off an unpleasant odor. Due to the high levels of poisons that can be found in worms after they die, birds avoid feeding on their carrion.

Final Words

Birds will eat just about everything.

Birds will readily consume anything from mosquitoes and insects to fruits, vegetables, and even human-prepared meals.

Conversely, birds need worms because they contain the beneficial nutrients that birds need. Therefore, birds do consume worms and reap the nutritional benefits of said insect. Birds typically rely on their senses to locate worms in order to capture and consume them.

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