7 Birds That Eat Fish

Birds exhibit a wide range of dietary preferences, and some of them have developed specialized adaptations for catching and consuming fish. These birds are not only skilled hunters but are also essential components of aquatic ecosystems.

In this exploration, we will introduce you to seven birds that have a penchant for fish in the English-speaking world.

Bald Eagle

The bald eagle, often associated with strength and freedom, is a formidable fisher.

These raptors primarily feed on fish and are often seen near bodies of water, where they swoop down to snatch fish from the surface with their powerful talons.


The osprey, also known as the fish hawk, is a bird of prey specialized in hunting fish.

Ospreys have unique adaptations, including reversible outer toes and sharp spicules on the soles of their feet, which help them grip slippery fish. They plunge feet-first into the water to catch their prey.


Kingfishers are a diverse group of birds found in various parts of the world.

They earned their name for their exceptional fishing skills. With sharp beaks, keen eyesight, and swift dives, kingfishers catch fish with remarkable precision.


Cormorants are excellent underwater swimmers and divers.

They have a unique way of catching fish by diving beneath the water’s surface and using their webbed feet to propel themselves. Cormorants often surface with a fish in their beaks.

Great Blue Heron

Great blue herons are known for their towering stature and elegant hunting techniques.

They wade in shallow waters and patiently wait for fish to come within striking distance. With a swift strike of their sharp bills, they catch their prey.


Pelicans are large, heavy-set birds with specialized pouches beneath their bills.

They use these pouches as fishing nets. Pelicans plunge into the water, scoop up fish in their pouches, and then drain the water out before swallowing their catch.

Common Tern

Common terns are agile fliers and skilled divers. They hunt fish by hovering over the water and then diving headfirst to catch their prey.

Terns have sharp bills that allow them to snatch fish from the water’s surface.

These seven birds that eat fish play vital roles in the ecosystems they inhabit. By controlling fish populations, they help maintain the balance of aquatic ecosystems.

Additionally, their unique hunting techniques and adaptations are a testament to the remarkable diversity of bird species and their ability to thrive in various environments.

In conclusion, these fish-eating birds are a testament to the incredible adaptability and diversity of avian life. From the powerful and iconic bald eagle to the agile and graceful common tern, each of these birds has evolved unique strategies and adaptations to successfully catch and consume fish, demonstrating the wonders of the natural world.

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