Do Birds Eat Cicadas? Is It Good For Them?

Do Birds Eat Cicadas

Cicadas are a type of insect. But do birds eat cicadas or not? The answer is yes! Birds enjoy all sorts of insects, including cicadas.

The cicada’s body is mostly water. So it is a good source of hydration for birds during the hot summer months. 

Cicadas also have a high protein content. Therefore, it helps birds build solid muscles and feathers. 

In addition to being a nutritious food source, cicadas are also fun for birds to catch and eat!

What Are Cicadas?

Cicadas are small, winged insects related to aphids and other plant-sucking pests. They vary in size and color. But most cicadas are about 1 to 2 inches long with black or dark brown bodies.

Cicadas live in temperate climates worldwide. They are active during warm-weather months.

Most cicadas spend their lives as nymphs, underground creatures. That feed on the roots of plants.

Every few years, cicadas undergo a metamorphosis into adults. 

Once above ground, adult cicadas mate and lay eggs before dying. Then, the eggs hatch, and the cycle begins anew.

While many think of cicadas as pests, they are essential to the ecosystem.

Do Birds Eat Cicadas?

Birds Eat

Cicadas are a type of insect that many birds enjoy eating. As a result, cicadas are a large part of the food of many species of birds.

For example, blue jays, crows, grackles, robins, and starlings eat cicadas. 

While most birds will eat cicadas, some specialize in them. For example, the common nighthawk consumes mostly cicadas and other insects.

How Do Birds Eat Cicadas?

Cicadas are one of the most common insects in North America. They’re a favorite food of many birds. So, how do birds eat cicadas?

Most birds will hold the cicadas at their feet and eat them whole. However, some more giant birds, including herons and egrets, impale and consume cicadas.

Birds that eat cicadas have to be careful, though. This is because the exoskeleton of the cicada is very hard. 

Suppose the bird bites down too hard. It can break its beak.

Birds Eating Cicadas Video

Credit: Bug of the Week

Why Do Birds Don’t Eat Cicadas?

Cicadas are a common summertime insect in North America. Cicadas are hard to miss with their large size and distinctive sound. 

But why don’t birds eat them?

There are a few reasons why birds might avoid eating cicadas. First, cicadas are covered in a rigid exoskeleton. That can be difficult for birds to digest. 

Additionally, cicadas contain toxins that can make them unpalatable or even poisonous to birds. Finally, cicadas are not a very nutritious food source, providing little protein or fat.

Cicadas are common throughout the summer. But most birds won’t even eat them.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cicadas?

Cicadas are a type of insect that many people worldwide enjoy eating. They are a good source of protein and have various other health benefits.

Cicadas are an excellent source of protein. They are also low in fat and calories.

Cicadas are an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. This is because cicadas contain all eight essential amino acids. 

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Therefore, cicadas are an excellent source of fiber. 

Fiber helps to regulate the digestive system and can reduce cholesterol levels. 

Cicadas also contain prebiotics. Prebiotics stimulate the formation of healthy gut bacteria.

Eating cicadas can help to boost the immune system. This is because cicadas contain selenium, an essential mineral for immune function.

Nutrition Value Of Cicadas For Birds?

As the warmer weather approaches, so do the cicadas. These insects are a food source for many animals and birds. 

Most people think of them as pests. But they can be pretty nutritious for birds.

Cicadas are high in protein and fat. Therefore, it is an excellent food source for birds. 

They are also a good source of iron and other minerals. In addition, cicadas contain more calories than other insects. 

So it makes them ideal for birds that need to maintain their energy levels.

They may not be the most delicious food for humans. But, cicadas can be a nutritious and tasty treat for birds. 

Suppose you see these insects around your home this spring. Don’t be afraid to let your feathered friends enjoy them.

Are Cicadas Good For Bird?

It’s not clear whether cicadas are healthy for birds. However, cicadas offer food for several bird species.

On the other side, cicadas may destroy trees and crops.

Cicadas are rich in protein and fat. Therefore, it is an important food source for many birds.

Some bird species rely almost exclusively on cicadas for food. Cicadas are also an important food source for other animals, like bats, snakes, and lizards.

On the other hand, cicadas can cause significant damage to trees and crops. 

First, they emerge from the ground in huge numbers. Then they may strip a tree of its leaves in a few days.

This can weaken the tree and make it more susceptible to disease.

Are Cicadas Poisonous To Birds?

Cicadas are insects that typically only come out every few years. However, humans do not always welcome these insects.

They can be pretty noisy and destructive to plants. But what about birds? Are cicadas poisonous to them?

No, cicadas are not poisonous to birds. On the contrary, many birds enjoy eating them.

Cicadas are an excellent source of protein for birds. In addition, they help the birds stay healthy during the breeding season. 

Some bird species even depend on cicadas for food.

Suppose you’re concerned about cicadas surrounding your bird feeders. In that case, the answer is no. However, they’re suitable for birds.

What Is The Risk Of Eating Cicadas?

As the summer heat begins to pick up, so do the cicadas. These enormous insects may appear tempting. But you must recognize the hazards before consuming one.

Cicadas are generally harmless to humans. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily safe to eat. 

If you have allergies, it’s best to avoid eating cicadas altogether. As a result, they could trigger a reaction.

If you don’t cook cicadas appropriately can be a risk of food poisoning. So perhaps you decide to try one of these crispy animals. 

But, first, make sure you cook them thoroughly.

Which Birds Loves To Eat Cicadas?

Many birds love to eat cicadas. But some of the most common ones are listed below. 

These birds typically hunt for cicadas when the insects are most active during the day.

The American Robin is one of the most common birds that love to eat cicadas. This bird is found in nearly every state in America. 

It has a diet that consists primarily of insects. Robins typically eat about half their body weight in insects daily. 

So they can consume a lot of cicadas.

Another common bird that eats cicadas is the European Starling. However, these birds are not as widespread as Robins.

But they can be found in parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Like Robins, Starlings also have a diet that consists mainly of insects.

Are Birds Afraid Of Cicadas?

As the weather warms and cicadas emerge. So you may wonder whether birds fear them.

It turns out that birds have a variety of reactions to cicadas. Some species seem unfazed by their presence. Others avoid them altogether.

There are a few theories as to why this is. 

First, birds that consume insects may not fear cicadas. The main reason is they’re habituated to them. Larger birds may be less scared by cicadas.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that not all birds are afraid of cicadas. So if you see a bird eating one of these insects, don’t be too surprised!

Are Birds Dying Because Of Cicadas?

Some bird lovers worry that this year’s giant cicadas might reduce the bird population.

Cicadas can be deadly to birds if they mistake the insects for food and eat them.

 In addition, the cicadas’ hard shells can damage a bird’s digestive system. As a result, their bodies are full of toxins that can harm birds.

Suppose birds consume enough cicadas. It might hurt the local bird population.


In conclusion, birds do eat cicadas. This is evident from the many videos and articles written on the subject. 

While some may think cicadas are too big for birds to eat, this is not the case. Instead, birds can eat cicadas by swallowing them whole.


Q. Which countries eat cicadas?

A. Cicadas are eaten in many countries, including China, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines. 

In China, they are often stir-fried with vegetables. They are sometimes tempura-fried in Japan.

In Thailand, people may serve them in curry. And in the Philippines, they may be grilled or roasted.

Q. Do cicadas keep the birds away?

A. There is no scientific evidence that cicadas keep birds away. However, some people believe that the loud noise made by cicadas may scare birds away.

Q. What do cicadas look like?

A. Cicadas are insects with large eyes, two pairs of wings, and long bodies. They range from green to brown to red and can be up to 2 inches long.

Cicadas are often seen in trees. They are using their long bodies to cling to branches.

Q. What do cicadas taste like?

A. Cicadas taste like a cross between shrimp and almonds. They have a slightly nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness. Cicadas are also high in protein and low in fat. Making them a healthy snack option.

About Shamik

Hi, I'm Shamik, a serious animal lover, dog behaviorist, and trainer. I have an integrated farm with more than 20 species! So, I love writing about them and creating awareness about all animals' health and wellness.

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