Insect Pursuers

Insects are available virtually everywhere in the world and most birds eat them as a part of their diet. The birds I discuss here mainly eat insects which they pursue usually in the air and occasionally on the ground. They don't usually glean insects from foliage - this is the province of the Warblers. I group them according to the feeding technique they use:-

Aerial insectivores.

These birds catch flying insects whilst they are themselves on the wing; some are diurnal (Swifts and Swallows) and others are nocturnal (Nightjars).

Fly out and catch feeders.

These birds watch, usually from a prominent perch. They fly out to catch a flying insect and then return usually to same perch. They are rarely seen on ground, eg. NW and OW Flycatchers. Some specialise in taking bee, wasps, dragonflies etc. Some birds fan and flick their tails to disturb insects on the foliage so that they can then catch them on the wing eg. Fantails.

Fly down and snatch.

These birds flydown and take insects from the ground but remain ready to fly back up to safety if disturbed, eg. Robins and Chats.

Open areas, montane feeders.

These birds don't seem concerned to have cover readily available and are found in open, sometimes rocky often hilly even mountainous areas. eg. Bluethroat, Stonechats, Whinchat, Redstarts and Whitestarts.