Do Birds Eat Frogs?


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

do birds eat frogs

Do birds eat frogs? The answer is yes! There are many things to know about birds and frogs, and you’re about to learn all about them in this article.

Birds have a wide variety of diets, and some of them include frogs. We don’t mean to confuse you, so why don’t we proceed to the next section and learn more about birds that eat frogs?

Bird Species That Eat Frogs


What birds eat frogs? Whether birds consume frogs is heavily influenced by the habitat. Those living near bodies of freshwater where various frog species live tend to have frog-eating habits. Let’s get to know some of them.

1. Herons

These long-legged birds live in swaps, marshes, ponds, freshwater lakes, and streams. Herons are frequently seen gobbling up big bullfrogs.

2. American Bitterns

Find these solitary herons in reedy lakes, marshes, shallow wetlands, and open shallow waters. They sometimes feed on tree frogs and red-legged frogs.

3. Blackbirds

These black birds can be found in many habitats, from forests to meadows, bogs, swamps, and flooded fields. They enjoy hunting and consuming common frog tadpoles every now and then.

4. Kingfishers

Like blackbirds, kingfishers live in many habitats but are most commonly connected to lakes and rivers. That’s where they find food, such as baby frogs, specifically bullfrogs.

5. Hawks

These birds can live almost anywhere, from deserts and fields to rainforests, wetlands, and marshes. They are one of the well-known predators of tree frogs.

How Do Birds Catch and Eat Frogs


Different bird species use different techniques to catch their prey, depending on the frog type. Avians who occasionally hunt and feed on frogs have specialized adaptations like long and pointed beaks to help them catch their slippery and jumpy prey.

Large birds like raptors will swiftly pursue their prey even from mid-air, never stopping until they catch it. Egrets and herons will paddle and find a good spot to stand still, waiting patiently to ambush the frogs that move past them. Kingfishers, on the other hand, will plunge into the water and snag the frogs with their beaks.

Depending on the bird species, it may eat a frog whole or tear it into smaller pieces. Vultures and other avians with hardy digestive systems that can efficiently break down and digest skin and bones tend to gobble up frogs whole. Small birds like ravens and crows resort to opening up the frog to feast on its brains.

Nutritional Value of Frogs for Birds

Frogs are packed with protein and minerals that are good for birds. This amphibian is integral to birds’ diet, supplying avians with the vital nutrients they need but cannot find in other food they ingest.

When birds eat frogs, they get the micronutrients and amino acids in frogs, which are great for boosting development, supporting healthy growth, and repairing tissues. Other essential nutrients found in frogs are zinc, phosphorous, and calcium.

Birds also resort to frogs during breeding season, when they most need protein-rich food sources. Frogs also contain carotenoids, a pigment that birds turn into vitamin A when ingested. This vitamin aids in good vision, which is crucial for birds, especially at night.

Despite all the nutritional value, it is worth noting that too much consumption of frogs can have a detrimental effect on birds. A balanced diet and moderate intake are the keys to taking advantage of all the goodness frogs offer to birds as food.

How Do Frogs Defend Themselves Against Bird Predators?


Frogs, like most animals, have developed survival adaptations to defend themselves from predators. Their defense mechanism varies depending on the situation and the enemy they are dealing with.

The most common technique they use is not moving and blending with their environment, also known as camouflage. Hopping and swimming are other well-known abilities they utilize to escape bird predators quickly. Frogs also make weird and loud noises to make themselves seem bigger, scaring away any bird that thinks of hunting them.

Several frog species have poison that can be dangerous for birds. Poison dart frogs are one of the most poisonous frogs and can cause death in birds that eat them. They are infamous for secreting poison strong enough to paralyze and kill any predator.

Here are other frog species that are poisonous to birds and other predators of this amphibian:

  • American Bullfrog
  • Corroboree Frog
  • Marine Toad
  • Phantasmal Poison Frog
  • Spadefoot Toad
  • Surinam Toad
  • Goliath Frog
  • Red-Backed Poison Frog
  • Cane Toad

Birds eating poisonous frogs may experience difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis, and even death. Secondary poisoning is also possible when the avian feeds on an animal that ate a poisonous frog.


Do birds eat frogs? Yes, they do! But not all birds. Avians that live in the rainforest or bodies of water where frogs reside occasionally feed on these amphibians. Understanding the relationship between these two will give us an insight into how frogs can do good or harm to birds.

Have you seen a bird eat a frog? How was the experience? Please share your stories with us in the comment section!

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