Eating Like A Bird

December 25, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

It’s always a very big deal when I get a (good!) photograph of a wild bird or raptor eating something that it’s caught or gathered in its natural habitat.  It’s educational and informative. We can learn a lot about a species based on how and what they hunt. We not only learn what they eat and when, we also learn the behaviors used to gather and hunt food. The places they hunt and catch food also teach us about the habitats they need to find food and survive. Over the years, I’ve captured more than a few photographs of different wild bird species in the act of catching prey or gathering food. These photographs and moments always amaze me. They always lead me to new discoveries about wild birds and they also greatly test and improve wildlife photography skills, including the skills of being educated about wildlife behavior, and patient and quiet waiting! In this blog post, I’m excited to share my favorite photographs of wild birds in the act of “Eating Like a Bird.” 


Many of us have heard the expression “eating like a bird” to mean someone who eats very little. One thing rings true about this for birds. When birds are healthy, they eat only enough to survive. Odds are low you’ll ever see an obese or overweight bird in the wild. If they ate more calories than they burned, became obese, or just packed on a couple extra pounds, most birds would severely limit their survival chances by becoming an easy/slower catch for predators. With that said, birds may spend a lot of their time eating because many bird species have very high metabolism, they burn a lot of calories just going about their day, and therefore spend a lot of time foraging for food.


Eating like a bird is good for bird health and survival, but of course not all birds eat the same things. There are seed and nut eaters, insect eaters, fruit or nectar eaters, mammal eaters, fish, amphibian, and reptile eaters, crustacean eaters, and some birds will eat a little bit of everything and anything they can find. And, guess what? There are no bread-eating birds. Bread is a creation of humans, not food for birds. Don't feed birds bread or get them accustomed to eating bread.


Click on each link right below for the photograph and facts behind birds in this series “Eating Like A Bird.”  More links will be added, so check back!





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