Do Birds Eat Carpenter Bees?

You’ll often see birds swooping down and picking up insects on the ground or in your lawn, and birds typically do have a pretty wide variety in terms of food sources. But when you have carpenter bees hanging around your home you might start to wonder if the birds around your property will help you get rid of them and eat them. Well the answer might surprise you.

Do Birds Actually Eat Carpenter Bees?

Do birds eat carpenter bees? The answer is it depends on the species. Birds such as woodpeckers will occasionally eat carpenter bees, but it isn’t their main source of food. Most other birds will simply ignore carpenter bees, and large birds of prey like hawks and falcons are simply looking for rodents and other small mammals to eat.

Carpenter bees are most vulnerable when they just emerge from their nest and haven’t yet built up a powerful enough defense system to fend off or escape from predators. So usually when you do see birds eating carpenter bees, it’s within the first few weeks of a carpenter bees lifespan, where they are smaller and weaker.

Types Of Birds That Eat Carpenter Bees:

As mentioned above, most birds won’t eat carpenter bees, but there are a few that will if given the chance:

  • Bee-Eater: Not located in North America, but these eat prodominately bees as the name suggests.
  • Woodpeckers: Woodpeckers eat a large variety of insects, so they will occassionally eat carpenter bees as well.
  • Shrikes: These carnivorous birds will eat anything they can physically get their beaks on including carpenter bees.

Birds generally will stick to other small insects to eat that are less mobile and don’t have the ability to sting as their main food source. It’s easier for them to catch, and is less dangerous than bees. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen from time to time.

Overall you might occasionally see a bird eating a carpenter bee, but you shouldn’t rely on your flying friends to help keep carpenter bees away because they aren’t part of their main food source. If you have a problem with carpenter bees you should read our guide on if carpenter bee traps really work and how to use them effectively!