Do Birds Eat Slugs?

Slugs are one of the most frustrating pests in the garden. They’re slimy, move slowly throughout your garden at night and eat up anything and everything in their path. One way to get rid of slugs is to attract predators. So you have to ask yourself: Do birds eat slugs or not?

Yes, birds do eat slugs. In fact, many species of birds you find in the garden will eat both slugs and snails.

While slugs may appear slimy and unappetising to you, they’re a real treat for birds. Slugs are loaded with nutrients, good fats, carbs and proteins, which are beneficial to birds.

Of course, as a gardener, you need to take this knowledge and apply it as a way of getting rid of slugs in the garden. The simple solution is to attract birds to your garden.

You can do this by installing a birdhouse or by hanging feeders to trees, making sure the birds feel safe wherever you place the feeders. You can also make it easy for birds to find slugs by using slug bait (such as citrus peels) to force slugs to gather in one place.

Are Slugs Harmful to Birds?

In the wild, there are different varieties of slugs available which birds like to consume. But are slugs safe for birds? After all, you might be aware that slugs can be poisonous to cats, dogs and humans.

Fortunately, slugs are not harmful to birds, and by inviting them to your garden, you will soon enjoy a slug-free space.

Generally speaking, garden slugs are not harmful to birds, but some rare giant slugs can be poisonous. Since birds are small and have small mouthpieces, they find it difficult to eat giant slugs so will usually avoid them altogether. 

There is a caveat to this, however!

Slugs can be harmful to birds if those slugs have consumed slug pellets. This is the case for any animal that might consume a slug from chickens to foxes.

Unfortunately, many gardeners make the poor decision to use slug pellets to kill the slugs in their gardens. Ultimately, it will work. However, as a consequence, when birds and other mammals consume poisoned slugs, it also enters their system.

Slug pellets contain the ingredient metaldehyde, which is poisonous to wildlife. When trying to rid your garden of slugs, consider natural methods instead.

Do Robins Eat Slugs?

Robins are a gardener’s favourite. The good news is that robins prefer to eat on the ground, pulling worms and slugs from the soil. It’s safe to say that yes, robins do eat slugs.

Since robins are ground feeders, you can attract them by using ground feeding trays. You can mix mealworms and birdseed. By being attracted to these trays, robins will also consider eating slugs.

A little trick you can do is to place citrus peels in the ground close to where you have ground feeders. Slugs will become attracted to the citrus peels. Robins will become attracted to the ground feeders. Before you know it, the robins will begin to eat the slugs.

Do Crows Eat Slugs?

Crows are omnivores and follow quite a varied diet. Along with consuming seeds, nuts and grains, crows also consume meat and other birds. But, what about slugs? Do crows also include them as part of their diet?

Yes, they do! Crows do eat slugs.

You can attract crows by leaving out food as with other birds. It is, however, worth being aware that crows are brutes. If you attract crows to your garden alongside other birds (including robins) then the crows will bully and attack smaller birds.

You might no longer have a slug problem, but you may have a bird issue.

Summary 

Slugs are a real pain in the garden. They munch their way through the leaves, roots and flowers of pretty much every plant in the garden. Fortunately, one of the easiest natural ways to get rid of them is to attract predators.

One such predator is birds. By attracting birds to your garden through bird feeders and tables, you’ll instantly introduce a predator to the garden which will consume slugs.

It is natural to wonder if slugs are harmful to birds. Fortunately, birds consume different kinds of slugs without getting harmed.

Among birds, robins and crows are ferocious eaters of slugs, given they like consuming food on the ground.

As a note of caution, it’s vital that you avoid the use of slug pellets in the garden. Slug pellets will get into the slug which the birds may then consume. The infected slugs will then infect the bird and can lead to their death.

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