Do fish eat birds?

Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: January 5, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: stinkyfingers
Subject: Do Fish Eat Birds?

DolphinRider asked me a question today: “do fish eat birds?” Like when you see a little birdie just relaxing on the surface, is there ever a time when a big ol’ fish(like a striper) would just come up from underneath it and *WHACK*!-take that sucker down!

Name: Songslinger

Sure they do. But do they do it on purpose or by accident? Fish are as opportunistic as any feeding species, and if manna falls from the sky, cool. I'm unsure how many predator fish actually target birds, but you gotta figure the sharks do really well in the nesting and mating areas. In freshwater it seems to be the same deal: opportunity versus strategy. I've seen pike and bass go after ducklings in the Midwest on many occasions (and they won a few times, too), but were they hunting for duck or chasing the little webbed-feet motions? ***********All I Want Is A Fair Fight***********

Name: snakeman70

Yes, I saw a largemouth bass eat a duckling. The bass jumped out of the water and landed on it with open mouth, just as if it were hitting a top water lure. Traumatized all the little kids that were fishing with me, that day. I’ve heard of Sharks munching on seagulls and pelicans, but have never witnessed that.

Name: rock hopper

Tiger sharks target water birds Can’t remember where it is, but I watched on Discovery Channel that during summer around some island tiger sharks congregate and wait for hatchlings to fall in the water. There usually aren't tiger sharks in that area - they just come there for the hatchling feast!

Name: flatfish hunter

Largemouth bass eat baby ducks, sometimes.

Name: Ken Jones

One of my neighbors fenced off part of her lakefront area because the largemouth bass kept eating the cute little ducklings. A fish has got to do what a fish has got to do! However I've noticed lately that the small fish have left the shallows. Don't know if it is due to the change in weather or to the fact that hoards have ducks have been landing on the lake. Imagine the ducks are eating some of the smaller fish. Et tu Brutus.

Name: pescare

While fishing from a boat off of Santa Cruz about 15 years ago we watched a blue shark speed toward the surface and a sitting pelican. He made the mistake of coming from the front, and we actually saw the pelican look down at it quickly, then frantically lift off the water. The shark broke the surface and gave us quite a show. Ed

Name: r4616

Last year while fishing for carp, I watched as several carp started attacking a group of ducklings. Don’t know if they got any of the ducklings but they did try to eat them.

Name: montgomery burns

I remember reading an article about fly fishing for largemouth bass with red-wing blackbird flies. The fly would be cast near some overhanging branches to imitate a fledgling falling from its nest.
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Rave On!

Name: castlebravo

Birds also eat fish, touche.

Name: wizzy

Pelican swallowed a whole halibut - yammy? Years ago, I used to fish on Malibu pier to catch halibut. One day, I caught an undersized halibut 16” to 18” long. As usual I let it go by dropping it from the pier. But I didn’t realize that a pelican was lurking below. People yelled so I looked down and saw the pelican swallow a whole halibut. It took about quite some time for the pelican to swallow the halibut finally into her neck. All the people on the pier were saying ”Ah - Ah - Ah...”

Name: dolphinrider

The same thing happened to baitfish, when we were fishing at MDR. I think it was some sort of perch the bird got. Swallowed the whole damn thing in 4 seconds. The birds there are so aggressive there. I almost ran into a HUGE mess about 4 times! ~d

Name: baitfish

It was a Cormorant and he actually ate a 10” Calico Bass, for a second there I thought the bird was going to choke on it. His neck was bulging and you could see the fish squirming. I was pis... but that bird was fast, he caught the bass in the water after I tossed it back. Adam, Will work for fish!

Name: dolphinrider

Thanks for all the responses, guys.