26 Birds that Eat Ticks (A to Z List with Pictures)

Birds that Eat Ticks

Examples of birds that eat ticks include black guinea fowl, cattle egret, chicken, crested guinea fowl, and dabbling duck.

Birds may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about creatures that eat ticks, but they are certainly one of the natural predators of these blood-sucking parasites.

Birds that eat ticks are nature’s way of controlling the tick population. By eating ticks, birds reduce the numbers of these parasites, which can help protect people and their pets from tick-borne diseases.

Let us take a look at birds that eat ticks.

Examples of Birds that Eat Ticks

1. Black Guinea Fowl

Scientific NameAgelastes niger
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWest Central Africa south of the Sahara

These birds are native to Africa but have been introduced to other parts of the world, including the United States. They are known to eat ticks, as well as other insects and small animals.

Related Article: 6 Birds with Fur

2. Cattle Egret

Scientific NameBubulcus ibis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCalifornia east to the Great Lakes and Maine and south to the Gulf Coast. It is also found in the tropics, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa

The cattle egret is a bird of prey that feeds on small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. These birds are often seen near cattle grazing in open fields.

They will also perch on the backs of cows and other animals to eat the ticks that are crawling on them.

Related Article: 11 Birds with White Heads and Black Bodies

3. Chicken

Scientific NameGallus gallus domesticus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide

Chickens are known to eat ticks. In fact, they will even eat ticks that are attached to their own bodies. Chickens are thought to be helpful in controlling the tick population because they often roam around in areas where ticks live.

Related Article: 20 Birds that Mimic

4. Crested Guinea Fowl

Scientific NameGuttera pucherani
Type of AnimalBird
RangeOpen forest, woodland and forest-savanna mosaics in sub-Saharan Africa

The crested guinea fowl is a native of Africa and is related to the pheasant. These birds are about the size of a chicken and have a distinctive crest of feathers on their head. The crested guinea fowl is an omnivore and will eat just about anything, including ticks.

In fact, the crested guinea fowl is so effective at controlling the tick population that it is being considered a possible solution to the tick problem in the southeastern United States.

5. Dabbling Duck

Scientific NameAnatinae
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesmall ponds, rivers, and other shallow waterways, or else they may stay near the shallow, slower edges of larger waterways and swamps

The dabbling duck is a type of waterfowl that includes species such as the mallard, wood duck, and teal. These ducks feed on aquatic invertebrates, including a variety of ticks. Dabbling ducks may consume up to 50 percent of their body weight in invertebrates each day.

6. Diving Duck

Scientific NameAythyinae
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe vast majority nest in the western boreal forest of Canada and Alaska, north to the tree line

The diving duck is a type of diving duck that is known to eat ticks. These ducks are found in North America and Europe, and they typically feed on fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. However, they will also consume ticks when the opportunity arises.

7. Domestic Duck

Scientific NameAnas platyrhynchos domesticus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide

Ducks are often kept as backyard pets, and they will readily eat any ticks that they come across. In fact, ducks have been known to help control tick populations in areas where they are allowed to roam freely.

8. Eider

Scientific NameSomateria mollissima
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeacross Alaska and Canada south to Massachusetts

The eider is a type of duck that feeds on ticks. These ducks are found in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, where they breed. Eiders eat ticks by foraging for them in the feathers of other birds. When an eider finds a tick, it will swallow the tick whole.

9. Goldeneye

Scientific NameBucephala
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenest in tree cavities in the boreal forest of Canada and Alaska

The goldeneye is a type of duck that is known to eat ticks. These ducks are found in North America and Europe. In addition to eating ticks, goldeneyes also consume other insects, such as beetles, flies, and mosquito larvae.

10. Grouse

Scientific NameTetraonini
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeforests from southeastern to northwestern Minnesota

Grouse are ground-dwelling birds that are found in forests all over the world. In North America, there are several species of grouse, including the ptarmigan, ruffed grouse, and sharp-tailed grouse. Grouse eat a variety of foods, but their diet consists mostly of insects, berries, and seeds.

11. Helmeted Guinea Fowl

Scientific NameNumida meleagris
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAfrica, mainly south of the Sahara, has been widely introduced, as a domesticated species, into the West Indies, North America, Australia, and Europe

The Helmeted Guinea Fowl is a native of Africa but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including the United States. These birds are known to eat ticks, as well as many other types of insects.

12. Merganser

Scientific NameMergus merganser
Type of AnimalBird
RangeBritish Columbia

The merganser is a type of duck that is known to eat ticks. These ducks are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. They have long, thin bills that they use to catch fish. But, they will also eat small insects, including ticks.

13. Oxpecker

Scientific NameBuphagus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSub-Saharan Africa

The red-billed oxpecker is a bird that is well-known for eating ticks. These birds are found in Africa and they feast on the blood of various animals, including zebras, and warthogs.

The oxpecker will land on an animal and search for ticks. Once it finds a tick, it will use its sharp beak to puncture the tick and then drink the blood that oozes out.

Red-billed oxpeckers play an important role in African ecosystems. By eating ticks, they help control the spread of disease. They also help keep animals clean by removing ticks and other parasites from their fur.

14. Partridge

Scientific NamePerdix perdix
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East

The partridge is a bird of the pheasant family. These birds are found in woodlands and often hunt for food on the ground. Partridges eat a variety of foods, including insects, berries, and seeds. In addition to ticks, partridges also eat other parasites, such as lice and fleas.

15. Perching Duck

Scientific NamePlectropterus gambensis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeThe United States and Canada

The perching duck is a common bird found in North America. This bird has a long neck and bill, which it uses to pluck ticks from the ground. The perching duck also eats other insects, making it a helpful bird to have around if you’re trying to control the tick population.

16. Pheasant

Scientific NamePhasianus colchicus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeFarms, fields, marsh edges, brush

The pheasant is a bird of prey that is native to Asia. This bird has a long, curved beak that is perfect for picking ticks off of its prey. Pheasants typically eat small mammals, such as rodents and hares, but they will also consume ticks.

17. Plumed Guinea Fowl

Scientific NameGuttera plumifera
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCentral Africa

These birds are native to Africa but have been introduced to other parts of the world, including the United States. Guinea fowl are known for their voracious appetite for ticks. In fact, these birds can eat up to 4000 ticks in a single day.

18. Quail

Scientific NameCoturnix coturnix
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa

The northern bobwhite quail is a North American bird that feeds on ticks. These birds forage for their food on the ground, and their diet consists of insects, seeds, and berries. The quail will eat ticks when they find them.

19. Roadrunners

Scientific NameGeococcyx
Type of AnimalBird
RangeTexas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California

These ground-dwelling birds are found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Roadrunners eat a variety of prey, including lizards, snakes, rodents, and, yes, ticks.

Roadrunners have been known to deliberately seek out ticks as a food source. A study published in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology found that roadrunners in Arizona removed an average of 5,000 ticks from the environment each year.

20. Scoter

Scientific NameMelanitta nigra
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesheltered waters from southeastern Alaska to Washington’s Puget Sound, and Quebec and New Brunswick

The scoter is a type of duck that feeds on ticks. These ducks are found in North America and Europe. In addition to eating ticks, the scoter also eats other insects, crustaceans, and mollusks.

21. Stifftail

Scientific NameOxyura jamaicensis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSouthern Hemisphere

The stifftail is a type of bird that is found in North and South America. This bird feeds on a variety of insects, including ticks. The stifftail has a long, skinny beak that it uses to pick ticks off of animals.

22. Teal

Scientific NameAnas crecca
Type of AnimalBird
RangeMexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean

The teal is a small freshwater duck that is found in many parts of the world. These ducks are excellent at controlling the tick population because they eat so many of them. In fact, a single teal can consume more than 100 ticks in a single day.

23. Turkey

Scientific NameMeleagris
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

The wild turkey is a bird of prey that will eat just about anything, including ticks. These large birds are known to hunt and eat small mammals, reptiles, and even other birds.

24. Vulturine Guinea Fowl

Scientific NameAcryllium vulturinum
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEthiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania

The vulturine guinea fowl is a bird of prey that is native to Africa. These birds are known for their striking appearance, with their blue-grey plumage and bare red head and neck. The vulturine guinea fowl is also the largest member of the guinea fowl family.

25. White-breasted Guinea Fowl

Scientific NameAgelastes meleagrides
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesubtropical West African forests of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone

These birds are native to Africa but have been introduced to other parts of the world, including the United States. Guinea fowl are known for their voracious appetite for ticks. In fact, these birds will eat just about anything, including lizards, snakes, and rodents.

26. Woodpecker

Scientific NamePicidae
Type of AnimalBird
Rangewoodlands, savannahs, scrublands, and bamboo forests

The woodpecker is one of the most effective birds at removing ticks. These birds use their long, sharp beaks to peck at trees, which causes the tree’s bark to loosen and fall off. As the woodpecker pecks, the loose bark exposes any ticks that are hiding beneath it. The woodpecker then eats the exposed ticks.

Conclusion

There are many different animals that eat ticks, including birds, ducks, and even chickens. These animals help to control the tick population by eating them. This is important because ticks can carry diseases that can be harmful to humans and other animals.

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