7 Backyard Birds that Eat Wasps

If you hate wasps, you’ll love the following birds that make it their mission to hunt down many insects, including wasps.

You may think of wasps as a food source for birds because of the danger their stinging may pose.

Turns out the birds that eat wasps are actually smart enough to avoid getting stung. They do that by whacking the wasp against a hard surface until it’s subdued and no longer able to sting.

So, if your property is often overrun by wasps, it’s actually a good idea to attract the following birds to your backyard and let them take care of the wasp problem for you.

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay can be found in most of southern Canada, central and eastern United States. So, if you live anywhere within its range, you can easily attract Blue jays to your yard by setting up bird feeders.

Hopper feeders and tray feeders are best for attracting blue jays, especially if stocked with peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet.

If you have oak trees on your properties, Blue jays may visit for acorns, which are another staple of their diet.

As an omnivorous species, Blue jays feed on a variety of foods including nuts, fruits, insects, grains, small fish, and sometimes even eggs and nestlings of other bird species.

Blue jays keep mostly to forest edges, especially forests with lots of oak trees. They forage on the ground but also glean insects from trees, and will feed even on wasps, when available.

They’re easy to identify because of their azure blue plumage, blue crest on their heads, and long tail.

If their plumage isn’t enough to make you notice them, you’ll notice their loud, noisy calls. When migrating, they also gather in large flocks.

Common Blackbird

With breeding grounds in Europe, North Africa, India, and southern China, the Common Blackbird is another omnivore that will help itself to insects including wasps.

Because of their all-black plumage, they’re mistaken for a lot of similar looking birds including crows.

However, you can easily tell a blackbird from a crow by simply looking at the color of their bill – crows have a black bill, while the common blackbird has a yellow bill and a yellow ring around the eyes.

An endearing aspect about the Common Blackbird is the fact that pairs form monogamous relationships for life.

Because of the vast geographical range they cover, they’ve adapted to various different habitats including mountainous regions, open forest and forest edges, woodlands, and other areas with a dense enough cover.

Depending on the region they inhabit, they can be non-migratory, fully or partially migratory.

These blackbirds are known to become extremely territorial during the breeding season, especially in urban areas where they don’t have as much space.

Because they form lasting bonds, they’re able to start the breeding season early and can raise as many as 3 clutches per year.

Northern Mockingbird

A bird found throughout the United States, the Northern Mockingbird lives up to its telling name.

These birds will easily mimic the sounds and calls of other birds, giving you the impression that you’re hearing multiple birds sing at once, when in fact, it’s just the mockingbird showing off its repertoire.

Interestingly, these birds are lifelong learners, constantly adding new songs to their repertoire. A male mockingbird can learn as many as 200 songs throughout its lifetime.

We’ve established that this bird is an avid singer, but it’s also an avid hunter of insects, including wasps. They eat a variety of flying and terrestrial insects. They might even hunt for small lizards.

Northern Mockingbirds spend their summer mostly eating insects. In fall and winter, they switch to fruits, especially berries.

Although these birds are common in backyards, they don’t visit feeders. They are attracted by fruiting trees and bushes, however.

They’re not difficult to identify either. They’re pale gray overall with a white patch on each wing. The tail is long, the wings are short and rounded.

The Northern Mockingbird has a short, black bill with a slight downward curve. The legs are long and also black.

Black-Capped Chickadee

Present in the northern parts of Northern America, the Black-capped Chickadee is another insectivore bird that will also eat wasps, along with a wide variety of other insects.

The black cap, black bib, and white cheeks make this small bird easily recognizable. Its relatively large, rounded head and small body give this chickadee a cute appearance.

Because of their inquisitive nature, these birds are quick to discover birdfeeders. They’re also not afraid of humans and quite enjoy town habitats.

When stocking your bird feeders, you can use suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts to attract black-capped chickadees.

But feeders aren’t the only way to attract them to your backyard. Putting up nest boxes can also attract breeding pairs. Just make sure to fill the nest boxes with sawdust or wood shavings.

When they don’t use nest boxes they use nesting cavities by either excavating them on their own, or by using abandoned Downy Woodpecker cavities.

The female builds a cup-shaped nest within the cavity using materials like moss and coarse materials for the foundation, then rabbit fur or other soft animal fur for the lining.

When insects are not available, Black-capped chickadees feed on seeds and berries.

Common Starling

Found all throughout North America, the Common Starling will eat nearly anything, yet insects have a special place in their diets. They feed on a variety of aerial and terrestrial insects.

Just like the mockingbird, the Common Starling can also learn to imitate the calls of other birds, however, they’re less proficient than mockingbirds because they can only learn the calls of up to 20 species of birds. Still, this is no small feat.

They have black iridescent feathers that are white spotted in winter, then turn dark and glossy in the summer.

Besides insects, starlings feed on fruits including cherries, mulberries, holly berries, hackberries, sumac, blackberries, Virginia creeper, and many more.

They also feed on grains, seeds, and even livestock feed. They’re not above feeding on garbage either.

A special phenomenon related to starling is the ‘murmuration’. This happens when large groups of starlings gather together and move across the sky in one large mass, creating elaborate movements that dazzle onlookers.

This behavior, however, is prompted by the threat of predators. Starlings gather in a murmuration to escape or fend off predators.


Swallows are small birds with black, rusty red and brown plumage that are excellent aerial foragers, feeding on a variety of flying insects including those pesky wasps that everyone seems to hate.

Multiple species of swallows are dispersed throughout Northern America including the Cave Swallow, the Barn Swallow, the Cliff Swallow, and the Northern Rough-winged swallow.

Grasslands, rivers and streams, lakes and ponds make up their habitats, which makes sense given their voracious appetite for insects.

Some of these swallows nest in burrows or crevices, others use mud and guano to build nests vertically on walls and other structures including under bridges.

Because they feed mostly on insects, they don’t visit feeders. They may take eggshells and grit, however, which is said to aid their digestion and provide them with a source of calcium.

If you have an appropriate structure on your property and mud, swallows will not hesitate to build their nests.


I conclude my list of birds that eat wasps with another bird species that’s partial to feeding on wasps, bees, and several other flying insects.

Tanagers can be found throughout the Americas and enjoy forest habitats and open woodlands.

They’re colorful birds, featuring shades of red, orange, yellow contrasted with black, gray, or pale brown wings.

As foliage gleaners, they spend most of their time in the canopy of trees, making them often difficult to spot.

There are four species of tanagers in the U.S. and Canada – Hepatic, Western, Summer, and the Scarlet tanager. These tanagers migrate southward to warmer regions.

Tanagers are even more abundant in Central and South America, where there are over 300 tanager species, unrelated to those found in North America.

Tanagers are skilled hunters of flying insects and they’re specialized in hunting wasps and bees. All this without getting stung.

Their secret? Tanagers catch the wasps and bees and rub them to a branch until they can remove the stinger, rendering them harmless.

Once these insects are subdued, they become a delicious meal for tanagers.

Besides insects, tanagers will also feed on berries and tender buds.


Whether you love wasps or not, you have to admit that birds have an important role in insect control. And controlling insects like wasps can be important in many areas especially when it comes to cultivating fruits.

Because wasps will sting indiscriminately, and because they can sting multiple times because they don’t lose their sting like bees do, it’s important for these birds to be smarter than their prey and avoid getting stung.

Luckily, birds that eat wasps will be careful to subdue their prey and remove the sting before feeding, thus, disarming these insects.

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