Do Birds Eat Other Birds?

Birds are animal species that have feathers around their bodies. They are the animal species that love to eat fruits, plants, worms, bugs, seeds, rodents, and other small animal species. But, have you come to think about if birds eat other birds too? Do birds make other birds as their lunch or dinner? Let us find out!

Do birds eat other birds? Yes. There are bird species that eat other birds, but they do not typically eat their own species. Larger birds will prey on small birds. Birds like eagles, hawks, crows, kites, falcons, and owls, will eat other birds, like gulls, pink robins, silvereye, skuas, and roadrunners.

You will learn lots of things from this topic. We are going to answer various questions related to our subject. Also, we are going to identify the different bird species that eat other birds. We are going to learn various facts from these birds. If you are ready, let us go! 

10 Bird Species That Eat Other Birds

Now that you know that it is true that there are birds that eat other birds, now you ask who are that bird species that slaughter other birds? Let me answer that.

What bird species kill and eat other birds? The bird species that kill and eat other birds are:

  • Eagles
  • Ospreys
  • Kites
  • Hawks
  • Buzzards
  • Harriers
  • Vultures
  • Falcons
  • Caracaras
  • Owls


eagles eat other birds

Eagles are large birds that have long and broad wings. They have massive feet and sharp claws. Eagles are powerful birds that have very large hooked beaks and they use them for getting the flesh out of their prey. Their beaks are heavier than any other bird species. 

All over the world, there are sixty species of eagles flying around. Most of the species of eagles can live in Asia and Africa. Bald Eagles live in America. All of these eagle species belong to the Accipitridae family. Accipitridae families are small and large birds that have strongly hooked bills. 

Like I have mentioned, eagles have sharp claws. The grip of eagles is ten times stronger than humans, and they use this for grabbing their prey below, like monkeys. Eagles can usually lift a prey that weighs five pounds. 

Eagles typically eat fish, crabs, reptiles, monkeys, amphibians, and small bird species. Yes, they eat other birds, but they don’t eat their own species. Because of their powerful beaks, strong grip, and robust bodies, it is easy for them to hunt and kill small birds. 


ospreys eat other birds

Ospreys can live worldwide. Their specialty is catching fish and building large stick nets. Because their specialty is catching fish, they are often called fish hawks. 

Ospreys are large birds. Their bodies are slender with long and narrow wings and long legs. They fly with a marked kink in their wings that looks like M-shape when you are below. Adult ospreys are dark brown with brownish-black marks on their wings and brown on the breast. 

Ospreys love to travel widely. These migratory birds can travel up to 160,000 miles. Researchers have found out that ospreys can migrate from Sweden to Africa. They found out that these ospreys can travel 4,200 miles over 45 days. 

Like I have mentioned, ospreys are adept fish hunters, which means they typically eat fish. But if fish are scarce, they sometimes eat squirrels, rats, bats, reptiles, and other birds smaller than them. 



Kites have long wings but weak legs. They spend much of their time flying up the air. The wingspan of kite birds can reach up to 170 cm. But even though they have such wingspan, kites are very light birds. Kites weigh no more than 0.9-1.3 kg. They only live around 4-5 years old, but they may live up to 26 years old!

Kite birds usually eat dead animals that they find below. That is the reason why they spend much of their time soaring. Kites may also feed on small mammals, insects, and small birds. Young kites are the ones who often eat insects. Their parents usually eat larger prey than insects. 

True Hawks


True hawks are medium-sized birds belonging to the genus Accipiter, and they are mainly woodland birds. True hawks hunt by sudden dashes. They have long tails and high visual acuity.

Hawks are robust, powerful birds with sharp, curved talons for getting their prey. They also have strong beaks like eagles for biting and tearing the flesh of their prey. 

Hawks typically eat ground, small mammals like mice, rats, squirrels, and rabbits. They also love eating fishes in the water. Brave hawks will sometimes fight and eat dangerous animals like snakes. If there are no foods like that, they will sometimes catch a bird smaller than them and tear it apart for a meal. 


buzzards eat other birds

Buzzards are medium-large raptors with strong muscular bodies. They have broad, rounded wings and a short neck and tail. When they glide or soar, they will often hold their wings in a shallow “V”. Buzzards vary in different colors. From all dark brown to much lighter variations. All of them have dark wingtips and striped tails. 

Buzzards have natural enemies, including eagles, foxes, and wildcats. These animals compete with buzzards in terms of territory and prey. Buzzards are monogamous birds like eagles, which means they only mate and love one buzzard at a time. 

Buzzards are carnivorous birds that love to eat small mammals, like mice, voles, rats, rabbits, and squirrels. They also eat fish, insects, and worms. Buzzards will also eat other birds, such as pheasants and puffins.


harriers eat other birds

Harriers are large and slender birds, and they look like hawks. Harriers have long tails and long thin legs. They have sharp eyesight and hearing, which they use for hunting small vertebrates. Male harriers are colored gray above and white below. They have black wingtips and black-banded tails. 

Harriers can be found in wetlands, wet meadows, pastures, old fields, grasslands, agricultural fields, riparian corridors, and shrublands. They will usually nest in either dry or wetland sites. 

Harriers usually eat small mammals, like rats, mice, squirrels, and rabbits. Sometimes they also hunt small birds if they can’t find small mammals. Usually, the males are the ones who love to hunt smaller birds. 


vultures eat other birds

Vultures are birds that have featherless necks and heads. Their claws are small, but their strong feet are great for walking on the ground. Vultures belong to two families: the Accipitridae and the Cathartidae. They live in open habitats, like grasslands, deserts, and savannas. Most of them live in Africa. 

Vultures usually do not hunt. Instead, they will find the remains of dead animals on the ground called carrion. Sometimes they also hunt if they are craving live prey.

They often love to hunt small mammals, like rats, squirrels, and rabbits. Sometimes they also hunt the cubs of the lions and tigers. If there are no foods like that, they will hunt birds smaller than them. 


falcons eat other birds

Falcons are medium-sized raptor birds that have long pointed wings and short tails. Some falcons have the same size as crows. Their long pointed wings are typically slate gray on the upper and back sides of their wings.

Falcons have blue eyes and feet that can be colored yellow or green. They are territorial and will attack anyone that will exceed their territory.

Falcons usually eat small mammals like bats, mice, rats, squirrels, and sometimes house cats. They also love eating fish. Falcons sometimes steal prey from other raptors.

If there are no small mammals or fish around them, they will try to hunt small or vulnerable birds, like shorebirds, ducks, gulls, pigeons, and songbirds. 


caracaras eat other birds

Caracaras are a subgroup of the Falconidae. They have broad wings, naked faces, long yellow legs, and large, hooked, bluish bills. Their tails are banded that have an alternate color of black and white. Caracaras are fine at flying, and they can be often found walking on the ground. Because of their long legs, they are also considered strong runners.

Like vultures, crested caracaras eat lots of carrion. But sometimes, they also hunt live prey, like insects, fishes, reptiles, and amphibians. They also love to eat small mammals, like rats, mice, kittens, and bats. Caracaras will also eat other birds that are smaller than them. 


owls eat other birds

There are 200 plus species of owls around the world. These birds come in many sizes, colors, and shapes. The faces of owls have a shape-like disk structure. They can use their facial muscles to alter the disk and pass sound more efficiently to their ears. 

Owls are well-known because of their eyes. They have forward-facing eyes that give them binocular vision. They use their eyes to hunt and see if threats are coming. Most owls have feathered feet that help them in insulation and protect their feet from bites of the prey they have captured. 

Owls eat other animals. They eat small mammals, like rats and mice. Owls also eat insects, such as moths or beetles. They also eat birds smaller than them, but sometimes they kill and eat large birds like ospreys. 

What Do Birds Usually Eat?

Birds usually eat fruits, seeds, grasses, nectar, berries, small insects, and fishes. Larger birds like what I have listed above eat small mammals, such as rats, cats, monkeys, bats, and mice. Sometimes they also eat larger mammals and dangerous animals like snakes. They will also hunt smaller bird species if they have no choice.

Do Other Animal Species Eat Birds?

Yes! Aside from the birds I have listed above, other animal species love to eat birds, and they also eat the birds included in the list. Animals like serpents, reptiles, and four-legged predators, like bobcats and wolves are bird eaters. They will either eat small or carnivorous birds. Whatever is available is good for them.

Do Birds Eat Other Birds’ Eggs?

Yes! There are birds that eat other birds’ eggs. Birds like crows, magpies, rooks, ravens, and jays are probably the common predators of other birds’ eggs. They will invade other birds’ nests and eat the egg there if the mother bird is not around.

Final Thoughts

Some birds will prey on other birds. Large birds are the ones who will do this kind of act. They will prey on other bird species, not on birds that have the same species as them. Some of these birds are eagles, hawks, and owls.


Jake Willhoite
Jake runs and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
Photo of author