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Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying pests to live in your backyard or garden. There is nothing worse than coming in from the outside and finding yourself eaten alive by mosquitoes. Besides their annoying bites can make you very itchy, some can also carry deadly viruses. While there are steps you can take to limit their numbers, sometimes these strategies feel like a losing battle. Thankfully, nature can lend a helping hand and provide some reinforcements to stop the mosquitoes in their tracks. These reinforcements came in the form of several insectivorous birds. There are many birds that eat mosquitoes, and some eat them in large quantities. They’re a natural mosquito repellent, and best of all, you don’t even have to pay for them! That said, how do you know the birds in or near your backyard eat mosquitos?
In this article, we’ll help you find out if birds in your area eat mosquitoes. Specifically, we’ll discuss 6 different species of mosquito-eating birds, along with their habitats and ways to identify them. That way, you’ll know if you need to spray any additional pesticides before you enter the yard. Here are 6 species of birds that eat mosquitoes.
#6: Barn Swallow
Barn swallows are members of the swallow, marten, and sawwing family Hirundinidae. It is the most widely distributed swallow species in the world, found on every continent except Antarctica. Because of its abundance, it is often referred to simply as “swallow”. They breed in the northern hemisphere and overwinter in the southern hemisphere. Barn swallows nest in diverse environments such as grasslands, woodlands and urban areas. Their name comes from their tendency to nest in human structures such as barns. Most barn swallows are about 6.7 to 7.5 inches long with a wingspan of 12.6 to 13.6 inches. They have distinctive blue-and-white underparts, blue backs and tails, and reddish-brown foreheads, jaws, and throats. Besides mosquitoes, they also eat other winged insects. Common prey include flies and ants, which they catch in mid-air or on the ground.
#5: Oriental Phoebe
The eastern phoebe is a small songbird of the tyrannidae tyrant family. part of its name, phoebe, referring to Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon, but also sounds similar in sound to her. The eastern phoebe spends the summer in Canada and the eastern half of the United States. They migrate south to the southern states and Mexico for the winter as the weather changes. On average, eastern phoebes are 5.5 to 6.7 inches long and have a wingspan of between 10.2 and 11 inches. Typically, they have a taupe underside of their plumage, a white throat, and a gray breast. They build cup-shaped nests in woodlands, urban areas, and open areas, especially near water sources. Besides mosquitoes, they also eat a wide variety of other insects. They may also eat fruit and berries if insects are not readily available, especially in winter.
#4: Purple Martin
The largest swallow in North America, the purple swallow belongs to the same family as the barn swallow. It gets its name from its deep black-blue color, which appears purple in certain lights. During the summer, they live in the eastern and southwestern United States, as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. In winter, they will travel to South America. Purple martins are usually about 7.5 to 7.9 inches long and have a wingspan of 15.3 to 16.1 inches. They build their nests in cavities such as birdhouses, gourds, or hollowed out trees. Purple martins are known for their hoarse, full-bodied voices, which sound loud, but rarely actively defend their territories from invasive birds. Their diet consists of mosquitoes as well as other insects, especially bees. A highly acrobatic bird, the purple martin delights birders with aerial displays as it swoops and swoops to catch its prey.
#3: Blackpool Warbler
The blackpoll warbler is a small songbird of the New World warbler family or warbler family. In summer, their breeding colonies can be found throughout Alaska and most of Canada. In winter, they migrate to South America and set records for one of the longest non-stop water flights of any songbird. Their name comes from their black and white foreheads and crowns, as well as their high-pitched voices. The plumage of the Blackpoll warbler is black and white with white wing bars and a striped underparts. They tend to live in mountain woodlands or thickets at higher elevations. That said, some also live near coastal areas, tundra, and taiga. They are primarily insectivores and their diet includes mosquitoes as well as web worms, ants, gnats, aphids, spiders and sawflies. When hunting, they fly from branch to branch and hover above the ground until they spot their prey.
#2: Muscovy Duck
The Muscovy duck is a species of wild and domestic duck found throughout North and South America. Originally bred in South America by Native Americans, there are now wild populations in Hawaii, Louisiana, Florida, and a few other states.In Spanish they are also called Pato Caseiro, or “Backyard Duck”, and Patomudo, Means “dumb”. The name “Muscovy” is an old word used to describe the area around Moscow. According to some accounts, the name came from a trading company that transported ducks between the Old and New Worlds. Muscovy ducks are a large species, reaching lengths of up to 30 inches and weighing close to 15 pounds. Their plumage usually consists of black and white feathers with pink or red wattles around the beak. Muscovy ducks eat a variety of foods besides mosquitoes, including grasses, fish, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, and insects.
The term bluebird refers to one of three songbirds in the thrush family Turdidae. This species includes mountain bluejays, western bluejays, and eastern bluejays. They are found throughout North America, including the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Central America. Bluebirds feature prominently in popular media and cultural traditions, and remain popular with enthusiasts and the public alike. All species are of medium size and have blue or blue and beige plumage. Most bluebirds prefer to live in grassy areas with few trees. They are known to be very territorial and they build their nests in tree hollows or artificial nest boxes. That said, populations have declined in recent years due to competition from invasive house sparrows and starlings. In addition to mosquitoes, they also eat a variety of insects, especially larvae such as mealworms. They also eat fruit and berries when insects are in short supply.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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