Deer are known for being friendly, peaceful herbivores, which means they only eat vegetation and never meat. While this is accurate for the most part, they have been known to eat meat from time to time. But do deer eat birds?
Let’s find out the answer to this question. Deer eating any kind of animal probably sounds strange.
So, Do Deer Eat Birds? (Answered)
Yes, deer sometimes eat birds. Birds certainly aren’t part of a deer’s regular diet, but there has been video evidence of deer eating birds or feeding from a bird’s nest.
Here you’ll learn why and when deer eat birds, as well as some other things that deer eat.
Why Would Deer Eat Birds?
Birds are extremely high in protein, and an unprotected bird’s nest is a great source of nutrients that requires little effort from the deer.
A deer may eat from an unprotected bird nest, or it may nibble on already-dead birds. They will normally only consume birds if they cannot find enough nutrients from their usual plant-based food sources.
Possible causes of inadequate food sources include disruption to the habitat caused by human intervention or an invasive species.
Deer are also seasonal eaters, meaning they eat more in the summer and fall to save up energy for the winter, when they have more difficulty finding food.
Deer might turn to birds or bird nests during seasons when they cannot find enough food because of weather or other factors.
Can You Feed Deer Birds?
No, you shouldn’t feed deer birds.
In fact, unless you are a hunter planting a food plot for deer, or operating a deer farm or ranch of some kind, you shouldn’t be feeding wild deer at all, even with their usual diet. Feeding deer disrupts their usual eating patterns and can be dangerous.
If for some reason you decide to feed deer, offer them fruit or other plants that are more natural to their diets. Never give deer pet food.
What Do Deer Mostly Eat?
Deer are primarily herbivores. In fact, a bird eating a deer is a rather rare phenomenon and doesn’t usually occur in ordinary circumstances.
A deer’s diet depends on where the deer is located and the season. It’s harder for deer to find food in the winter, so they tend to eat large amounts of food in the fall so store energy.
Deer weight changes dramatically throughout the year to reflect this.
These are mostly grazing animals, meaning they will eat whatever they can find. This can range from wild fruits and berries to tree bark, grass, and leaves.
Deer adjust their diets according to season. In the summer, they eat more fruit and grass, while they consume more leaves in the spring and fall.
Why Deer Sometimes Eat Meat
Animals have a stronger survival instinct than humans, and most often they will eat what is available to them.
When a deer is lacking other sources of energy, it will turn to meat if it is an easily available nutrient source. As small animals, birds and their nests are an ideal option if the deer has limited resources.
What Types of Meat Do Deer Eat?
The deer’s teeth and ruminant digestive system cannot handle meat consumption and digestion. That’s why they’ll probably only nibble on the outside of the animal, and they will never try to eat bones.
While dead birds are the kind of meat deer are most likely to eat, they might also try to eat mice and other rodents, and maybe even squirrels.
Deer antlers are extremely high in protein and nutrient-rich, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t let them go to waste.
What Types of Birds Eat Deer?
Vultures eat meat from dead deer. This meat is carrion, as the animal has already died. The deer may have died of natural causes or been killed by another animal – one of their natural predators. The vulture will then eat what remains of the deer.
Eagles will prey on small or injured deer if they look like an easy kill. Birds are not, however, a deer’s main predators.
Big cats, wolves, coyotes, and other large predators hunt deer.
Yes, Deer Occasionally Eat Birds
Deer have been known to eat birds, but it’s rare. These animals are herbivores, which means their diet consists of plant matter.
If deer have an inadequate food supply, they might turn to eating birds and eggs from unprotected nests, or even the nests themselves. But they don’t hunt down birds like predators do.
Deer may sometimes also eat meat from other small animals, such as dead mice or squirrels.