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.
Field crickets are large, robust insects that are adored by the burrowing owls.
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.
Waxworms, the caterpillars of the wax moth, a favourite of our axolotls.
Additionally, having plenty of plants in and around the enclosures attracts a lot of insects offering further hunting opportunities for the animals.