Do Dolphins Eat Birds? 5 Facts You Should Know


Do Dolphins Eat Birds? 5 Facts You Should Know

Dolphins are carnivores who eat a variety of sea animals. But, do they eat birds? Allow us to tell you all about it. 

Dolphins do eat birds, but this is not as common as one would think. In fact, most dolphin species prefer feeding on fishes, squid, crabs, octopuses, and other dolphins. However, in case these animals are not available, dolphins turn to hunt birds and other aquatic species such as penguins, seagulls, and so on. 

There are a lot of questions and facts surrounding dolphins and their bird-eating habits. Allow us to tell you all about it and also take you through some key facts that you should definitely know. 

Image Credits: “Dolphins” by Nico Kaiser is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

What birds do dolphins eat?

Curious to know what birds dolphins prefer consuming? Let us together delve into all the details.

Dolphins, particularly large dolphins, eat a variety of seabirds, depending on their availability and the absence of other food options like fishes, squid, octopuses, and so on. Some popular sea bird varieties include gulls, pelicans, albatrosses, puffins, razorbills, and so on. When looking for prey, dolphins can get quite aggressive and do not make any distinction between aquatic animals. 

Although most dolphins primarily feed on fish and squid, they can also consume birds. One of the top predators of sea birds is the killer whale which employs various strategies to hunt them down. Dolphins have no such preference when it comes to eating sea birds – they hunt down whatever comes their way.

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Do dolphins eat baby birds?

Image Credits: “Sea Birds, Ucluelet, BC, Canada.” by atomtetsuwan2002 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Wondering whether dolphins feed on baby birds? Let us find out all about it together.

Dolphins will definitely eat baby birds if they happen to come across them. Most mother birds usually protect their babies with the utmost care, but dolphins are massive bullies who can get quite aggressive if they do not get their way. They eat babies of all species- be it sharks, birds, sea turtles, whales, or even themselves. 

Not only do dolphins fend for themselves, but they also actively hunt to feed their young ones. Although baby dolphins usually drink their mother’s milk up to three years of age, they are slowly trained to fend for themselves, but you will seldom see them hunting on their own. Baby dolphins are always accompanied by their mothers when they are hunting. 

Do dolphins eat seabirds?

Are you curious to know whether dolphins consume seabirds as meals? Let us tell you all about it.

Dolphins do eat sea birds, but it strictly depends on their availability and the absence of other options. Most dolphin species prefer consuming fishes like mackerel, salmon, herring, as well as squid and octopuses. Therefore, seabirds are not a top favorite among dolphins, but they are carnivores with a fierce appetite and can easily go after these animals when hungry.

Two of the most prominent predators of marine birds are seagulls and penguins. They frequently move around nesting colonies where newborn sea birds are quite vulnerable. Even dolphins attack these birds when they have no other food source available, but in the presence of fish and squid, they might leave seabirds alone. 

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Do dolphins eat seagulls?

Image Credits: “Sea Gull” by cobaltfish is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Wondering whether dolphins feed on seagulls? Allow us to delve further into this discussion. 

Dolphins (especially orcas) eat seagulls and other marine creatures like fishes, squids, octopuses, crabs, and other smaller dolphins. When hunting seagulls, they usually sneak up on them and catch them unawares. Dolphins also lure seagulls by tossing fish in front of them, and as the seagulls move forward to catch the fish, dolphins hunt and kill them. 

We must add here that seagulls themselves are quite ferocious animals who prey on mice, seabird chicks, land hares, and so on. Naturally, they view fishes as possible prey and move forward to catch them. 

Do bottlenose dolphins eat birds?

Bottlenose dolphins have a voracious appetite and unique diet requirements. But do they eat birds? Let us find out. 

Bottlenose dolphins may eat birds, but they prefer eating squids and octopuses as well as crabs and shrimps. They may occasionally consume fish and birds, but these animals don’t form the primary part of their diet. 

Mullet fish, hake, and eels form the primary part of a bottlenose dolphin’s diet. It is very rare for bottlenose dolphins to look for birds and they are likely to only turn to them if there are no other options available. 

How do dolphins get their food?

Image Credits: “File:Amazon dolphin eating fish.jpg” by frank wouters is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

A common question is how dolphins manage to get their food. Let us learn all about it.

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Dolphins are active hunters who can hunt all alone or in groups to get their food. They have various hunting techniques and are extremely intelligent, which makes it easier for them to hunt efficiently as they can quickly gauge how to go about hunting their prey. Often, a group of dolphins may circle around a fish group and eat them in turns. 

Most dolphin species feed on squid and fish. When it comes to hunting, dolphins prefer moving around in groups as it becomes easier to surround their prey. Different varieties of dolphins use different hunting techniques to catch different animals. 


Dolphins are very intriguing animals with curious diet patterns and are ferocious hunters. It is interesting to observe their behavioral patterns and how they respond to different prey. Most dolphins consume a variety of fish and crabs, but seabirds are not on top of their priority list. 

Due to their aggressive nature and voracious appetite, dolphins may take to consuming sea birds, penguins, seagulls, seals, and even sharks and other dolphin species if they do not get sufficient quantities of fish, squid, and crabs. 

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