Do birds eat yellow jackets?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Birds do indeed eat yellow jackets and other wasps. In fact, tanagers, especially summer tanagers, are known to be particularly fond of feeding on wasps and yellow jackets. These birds have a keen eye for spotting these flying insects and are skilled at catching them mid-air.

Creating a habitat that attracts tanagers can be an exciting endeavor for bird enthusiasts. Not only will it provide a haven for these beautiful birds, but it will also help control the population of wasps and yellow jackets in your area. Here are some tips on how to create such a habitat:

1. Plant fruit-bearing trees and shrubs: Tanagers are attracted to fruit, so planting trees and shrubs that bear fruits such as berries, cherries, or mulberries will help draw them to your yard. These fruits will also attract insects, including wasps and yellow jackets, which serve as a food source for tanagers.

2. Provide water sources: Like all birds, tanagers need a source of water for drinking and bathing. Install a bird bath or a small pond in your yard to attract not only tanagers but also other bird species. Having a water source will make your yard more appealing to these birds.

3. Offer a variety of feeders: In addition to fruit, tanagers also enjoy nectar, insects, and suet. Invest in a nectar feeder and fill it with a sugar-water solution to entice tanagers. You can also hang suet feeders that contain insects, as these birds will readily feed on them. By providing a diverse range of feeders, you increase the chances of attracting tanagers.

4. Create shrubby areas and dense vegetation: Tanagers prefer areas with dense vegetation and shrubs where they can find shelter and build their nests. Planting native shrubs and creating thickets will provide the ideal habitat for these birds. Additionally, these shrubby areas will attract insects, including wasps and yellow jackets, which will, in turn, draw tanagers to your yard.

5. Avoid pesticides: Using pesticides in your yard can be detrimental to birds and their food sources. Pesticides not only kill the insects that tanagers feed on but can also harm the birds themselves. Opt for natural pest control methods or tolerate a certain level of insect activity to maintain a healthy ecosystem for tanagers and their prey.

6. Provide nesting sites: Tanagers build cup-shaped nests in trees or shrubs. Planting trees with dense foliage and providing nest boxes can encourage tanagers to breed in your yard. Ensure that the nest boxes have appropriate dimensions for tanagers and are placed at a suitable height to attract them.

By implementing these tips, you can create an inviting habitat that will attract tanagers and their preferred food source, including wasps and yellow jackets. Observing these beautiful birds in your yard as they feed on these pests can be a rewarding experience for any bird lover.