What Animals Eat Worms? 10 Examples with Pictures

Last updated on October 8th, 2022

Did you know that worms are an excellent source of several nutrients?

Sounds horrible, right? But it is accurate, and research shows that worms, especially earthworms, are an excellent source of amino acids, copper, manganese, and many more minerals.

To us, consuming worms might seem appalling or repulsive, but many creatures of the animal kingdom find worms to be an excellent source of necessary nutrients.

You will often find birds and even animals like hedgehogs and armadillos consuming worms.

We usually associate birds with consuming worms, but you will find that there are several animals, especially scavengers and omnivores, that love to snack on worms. Some of the birds and animals that eat worms are as follows:

Animals that eat worms:

  • Hedgehogs
  • Pigeons
  • Chickens
  • Ducks
  • Possums
  • Frogs
  • Armadillos
  • Moles
  • Turtles
  • Hawks

List of animals that eat worms:

1. Hedgehogs

hedgehogs eating worms 20032022

Hedgehogs consume different types of food, and worms along with other invertebrates often make it to the top of the list of food items they consume.

Being opportunistic feeders, hedgehogs will eat almost anything they find in the wild.

These creatures eat almost all worms, such as earthworms, silkworms, hookworms, and caterpillars.

But usually, worms form a part of the diet of hedgehogs in the wild.

Hedgehogs typically prefer to eat insects and usually plant-based food in the wild.

However, if you have a pet hedgehog, it is best to give it proper hedgehog food and not experiment with worms and insects.

This can cause your pet digestive distress if they are not accustomed to this type of food.

2. Pigeons

pigeons searching for worms 20032022

Pigeons are primarily herbivorous birds, and they usually survive on sunflower seeds, berries, fruits, and vegetables.

Domesticated pigeons are usually given a regular feed of bird seed. But in the wild, you will find that pigeons have a varied diet.

Here pigeons can survive on a plant and an insect-based diet.

Pigeons often consume worms, especially smaller ones that can easily fit in their beak.

Pigeons are opportunistic feeders. This means they will consume insects and worms if they can access these creatures.

But city-dwelling pigeons do not have access to green spaces, which usually is the place where you will find worms.

Hence, in cities, pigeons usually have a plant-based diet.

Rural-dwelling pigeons often consume worms as they have more access to green spaces, which means more worms. 

3. Chickens

black hen searching for worms 20032022

Chickens love to eat worms, and earthworms are one of the favorite foods of chickens.

If you have ever visited a farm or a ranch where poultry farming is done, you must have seen hens with earthworms hanging from their beaks.

Free-range poultry is released into the fields where the hens will peck into the dirt looking for earthworms.

Worms are an excellent source of minerals, and you will find that poultry farmers often give their chickens a steady supply of earthworms.

Earthworms contain most of the necessary nutrients for the chickens to become healthy and develop robust immune systems.

Along with that, you can breed earthworms quite quickly. However, chickens and ducks are also known for eating rice whenever they come across it.

4. Ducks

ducks and worms 20032022

Ducks are omnivorous, which means you can give them food from almost all types of food groups.

Poultry farmers raising ducks often mix vegetables, seafood, mealworms, and insects in the regular food of ducks.

The digestive system of ducks is quite strong, which means they can digest different types of worms.

When ducks are bred as a part of poultry farming, they are often regularly given mealworms, slugs, and earthworms.

In the wild, you will often find ducks feasting on different types of worms as these animals provide ducks with all the necessary nutrients to help them build robust immune systems.

Ducklings can also be given worms as a regular part of their diet, but you will have to wait till they are sixteen weeks old before you can give them the occasional mealworm.

Ducks are also known for eating bread every now and then.

5. Possums

possum 19032022

Possums are opportunistic feeders which means they will eat almost anything. Therefore, you will find possums consuming plant-based and animal-based food.

Possums will eat bird eggs, snails, slugs, worms, insects, and similar animal-based food.

This is why possums are often considered a natural pest control method.

But if you have a possum infestation in your garden, you will need to control it as the creature can destroy the plants, fruits, and vegetables in your garden.

However, if you find that suddenly there are worms and slugs in your garden, especially ones that destroy the leaves, then a nighttime visit by a possum can prove to be helpful.

This is because possums are excellent at identifying worms that hide beneath the leaves of plants, and they love to eat these creatures.

6. Frogs

bullfrog eating worm 20032022

Frogs are one of those creatures that regularly feed on worms.

If you have pet frogs, you can give them a regular supply of different types of worms like earthworms, mealworms, hornworms, red wigglers, nightcrawlers, and bloodworms.

In the wild, frogs are known to be excellent hunters, and they can easily catch hold of the worms, especially when the circumference of these worms is smaller than the distance between the eyes of the frog.

But if you have a pet frog and you plan to feed it worms, it is essential to be careful about the species and the size of the worms that you are feeding it.

It would help if you never fed your frog wild worms as these might have parasites that could harm your pet.

Along with that, wild worms might not be of the ideal size to be fed to pet frogs.

7. Armadillos

armadillo searching for worm 20032022

Armadillos are one of those few creatures that love to eat worms.

You will find that armadillos can easily dig up the dirt in your garden or backyard to find a fat worm or slug and eat these creatures with relish.

These tiny critters can have poor eyesight, but they make up for it with their excellent sense of smell.

If an armadillo wanders into your garden, the creature will undoubtedly head for the areas that have the maximum number of slugs, worms, and earthworms.

If you find unusual-looking holes in your garden, these must have been done by an armadillo looking for worms.

Armadillos can easily dig through dirt with the help of their claws and grab hold of earthworms that are even eight inches below the top layer of dirt.

8. Moles

mole eating worm 20032022

Moles love to eat worms, and these creatures can thrive on earthworms, grubs, beetle larvae, and many more such worms.

Moles are voracious eaters, and they will eat about their weight every day.

If you have earthworms in your garden and have a mole attack, you can be assured that the earthworms will disappear in days.

This can prove to be quite harmful to your garden as earthworms are beneficial for the soil and especially for the grass in the lawn of your garden.

Therefore, if you want to protect your garden, you need to stop the mole infestation.

Some homeowners mistake removing the earthworms because the lack of a suitable food supply will discourage the mole and leave the garden.

But in the long run, it can prove to be quite harmful to your garden as the earthworms are necessary for healthy soil for the plants to survive.

9. Turtles

turtle searching for worms 20032022

Turtles eat worms primarily because these creatures form a significant part of the food items found in the ecosystem where they live.

In other words, whether you think of freshwater turtles or turtles found in seas and oceans, both water bodies have large concentrations of different types of worms.

For creatures like turtles, worms form a natural source of all the necessary nutrients like minerals, iron, and protein.

All of these are necessary for turtles to build healthy immune systems.

Also, worms provide a steady source of protein that turtles need at all stages of their lives to grow and develop.

Unlike other creatures, turtles begin to consume worms from quite an early stage as the protein is necessary for the turtle to grow and repair body tissue.

Thus, you will find turtles feeding on different worms like mealworms, bloodworms, waxworms, and grubs.

10. Hawks

hawk eating worm 20032022

Hawks are considered to be excellent hunters, and they have excellent eyesight.

You must have seen hawks circling in the sky in search of suitable prey.

Hawks can do this even when they see an earthworm from their perch, a branch high on a tree.

Worms often feature in the diet of hawks in the wild, especially when it is readily available.

You might have seen a hawk with an earthworm hanging from its beak. This is usually the result of a hunt, and the hawk has managed to catch an earthworm.

Hawks are opportunistic feeders and hunters. They will identify suitable prey and swoop down to catch it.

If it is a slightly larger prey, the hawk will grab it between its claws. But if the prey is small, like an earthworm, it can swoop down and grab it with its claws or beak.

What Animals Eat Worms?

Hedgehogs, pigeons, chickens, ducks, possums, frogs, armadillos, moles, turtles, and hawks will eat worms whenever they come across any but worms aren’t in the regular diet of these creatures.

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