All birds have different preferences and adaptations regarding diet. Bird food ranges from fruits to meats, grain, and seeds. Birding requires one to have a vast knowledge of the different types of bird diets. The following are the common bird types by dietary classification.
Carnivorous are birds of prey that feed on meat from fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and rodents. Examples of these birds include wading birds, corvids, and shorebirds. Carnivorous birds hunt to catch their meals and preying on carrion.
These feed on other birds. Their diet is mainly small raptor-like accipiters. Their main targets are backyard birds like chicken and ducks. They also prey on doves and pigeons. Examples in this category are the red-tailed hawks and the peregrine falcons.
These are the specialised carnivorous type that feeds on insects like mosquitos and dragonflies. Examples of insectivorous are warblers and flycatchers. Studies show that these birds mostly feed the insects to their hatchlings to provide them with protein.
Birds in this category feed on molluscs, the likes of slugs, snails, and oysters. Almost all shorebirds are molluscivorous, which forage on low tides, swamps, and tidal flats to catch oysters and clams. Many wading birds and corvids feed primarily on molluscs.
Ophiophagous birds are snake eaters. The snake eagle family and secretary birds are ophiophagous, which is a specialised category of carnivores. Some other birds, for example, owls, egrets, hawks, and herons sometimes feed on snakes.
They are carnivorous birds whose primary diet is fish. The most common bird in this category is the osprey. Puffins, penguins, mergansers, and other aquatic birds fall under this category.
Omnivorous birds can eat practically anything. Ducks fall under this category. For a bird to fall under this category, it has to show a preference for feeding on a wide variety of food and not strongly indicate a preference for one.
These birds strictly feed on pollen. An example is a lorikeet. Also, a few insectivorous and nectivorous birds feed on pollen but only as an alternative.
A well-known nectivore is the hummingbird which feeds purely on flower nectar. Honeycreepers and sunbirds are known bird species that feed on nectar.
These are birds that feed on mucus from plants and trees called sap. A few birds like woodpeckers, kinglets, and waxwings feed purely on the tree sap. They mostly have very sharp beaks that enable them to drill trees to get the mucus.
The main food for birds in this category is grains and seeds. Sparrows and finches are birds that fall under this classification. They are easy to attract in a backyard by just planting seed-bearing flowers.
Birds in this category include toucans, orioles, and waxwings. They mainly feed on fruits. They can also feed on fruit-flavoured jellies and berries.