Insects as food

Insects are a vital food for many of Britain’s popular garden birds, especially when they are rearing young; a single blue tit chick needs to be fed around 100 caterpillars a day to survive.

Some of our birds can be almost as demanding when they are breeding, for example, the azure-winged magpies have chicks so we are scattering a wide range of insects around their aviary several times a day, this keeps the adult birds busy hunting for food as they would in the wild.

Here are some of the insects we feed to our animals.

Mealworms, the larvae of a beetle, are popular with many of of our birds and are often used to feed garden birds.

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Field crickets are large, robust insects that are adored by the burrowing owls.

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Brown or house crickets are smaller than field crickets and are devoured by a lot of our birds as well as reptiles, such as the Standing’s day geckos.

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Waxworms, the caterpillars of the wax moth, a favourite of our axolotls.

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Fruit flies are small and so are an important food for the dart frogs.Image

Locusts are quickly eaten by our rollers, hornbills and kookaburras.Image

Springtails are only a few millimetres long so prove to be a very useful food for the small species of dart frog.Image

Additionally, having plenty of plants in and around the enclosures attracts a lot of insects offering further hunting opportunities for the animals.

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