Do Birds Eat Japanese Beetles? | What Birds Eat Japanese Beetles?

A lot of birds have been known to eat Japanese beetles. Starting from Sparrows to Crows, Cardinals, even Ducks like to have Japanese beetles.

Yes, just like other insects, Japanese beetles also act as food for a variety of species of birds. So, if you have seen these beetles around your house, you must know which birds eat them. 

Related Read: Which birds eat mealworms? | How do birds find worms?

What are Japanese Beetles? 

Japanese Beetles were first discovered around 1916 in the New Jersey area. Since then, they have spread to large parts of North America and have become a huge menace in that area. 

Japanese Beetles have been a destructive pest on a variety of fruit trees, ornamental & flowering plants, as well as vegetables. They feed on their foliage, mostly eating up the tender parts between the veins of the leaves. This whole process is known as skeletonization which leads to the decimation of the plants. 

Japanese Beetles have been known to prey on more than 200 different varieties of plants in North America, including trees like Birch, American Mountain Ash, Pin Oak, Maple, Walnut, etc. 

It has been really difficult to eradicate them as they mostly live underground and come out for a short period of time during summers.  

A wide variety of birds, insects and spiders prey on Japanese Beetles. 

Will Birds Eat Japanese Beetles? Which birds eat Japanese Beetles?

Many birds like Purple Martins and swallows eat Japanese beetles. One of the species that eat larvae and adult beetles is Grackles and Starlings. Besides, other birds that feed on grubs and adults include Robins, Sparrows, Crows, Cardinals, Ducks, Blue Jays, Meadowlarks, Wild Turkeys, etc. 

Related Read: Can Birds Eat Quinoa? | Shall I Feed Them Quinoa?

Now that you are aware of the fact that birds eat Japanese beetles let’s learn about what birds feed on them. Below is the list of few birds that target Japanese beetles as a food source: 


Also known as cardinal-grosbeaks, Cardinals are found in North and South America. They are mostly located in open woodlands, and both the sexes are quite distinctive from each other. The red Cardinal or redbird is the most common type of Cardinal found in different parts of the U.S. and Canada. 


This group of birds includes 7 species of grassland birds that are insectivorous. Mostly found in North and South America, the males can be distinguished through their black or brown back and red/yellow underparts. 

Purple Martins 

Purple Martins are the largest type of swallows, mostly found in parts of North America. They have dark blue feathers, which is why they mostly appear purple in color. These birds are well-known for their speedy and agile hunting style, along with their gliding flight pattern. Purple Martins are insectivorous, and besides feeding on Japanese Beetles, they eat a variety of ground insects. 


Starlings are gregarious and are native to Asia, Africa, and Europe. Myna is the most common type of Starling. These birds are usually dark in color with a metallic shine on them. The diet of these birds is fruits and a variety of insects, including Japanese beetles. 

Blue Jays

Blue Jays are found in eastern parts of North America and several parts of Canada. Mostly blue in color, these birds have a white chest with a black U-shaped collar on their neck. Male and females are almost similar in plumage and size. Besides Japanese Beetles, Blue Jays feed on seeds, nuts, and soft fruits. 


The common grackles mostly hail from North America. These birds have yellow eyes, a long & dark bill, and a long tail. The males can be easily identified through an iridescent appearance on the head. Grackles generally nest in colonies. Being omnivorous, they feed on insects, seeds, berries, grains, small birds, including Japanese Beetles. 


This red-breasted bird is found in various parts of the United States and Canada. With grey-brown upper and white-tipped feathers, Robins are about 25 cm long. These birds feed on a variety of insects, earthworms as well as berries. 

Wild Turkeys 

Wild turkeys are found in North America. The color of their legs varies from greyish-green to reddish yellow, and the feathers are usually black. Wild turkeys are swift fliers. These birds are omnivorous and forage on nuts, berries, insects, and roots, besides Japanese Beetles. 

We hope the above information quenches your query. Hence, now you know what birds feed on Japanese Beetles if you see this foliage around your house.

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