A praying mantis in a garden
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Why A Praying Mantis On Your Hummingbird Feeder Is A Bad Sign
Praying mantises are attracted to hummingbird feeders because they love sugar water, but their presence is concerning since they can also attack and eat unsuspecting hummingbirds.
Mantids usually hunt insects smaller than themselves. However, if they haven't eaten for a long time, they may target prey that’s their size, such as hummingbirds, frogs, and fish.
A study in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology recorded 147 incidents of mantids catching small birds, with over 70% occurring in the United States and often involving hummingbirds.
While these occurrences are rare, they can be quite gruesome. Mantises have been observed eating the brains of the birds they catch, making these attacks even more disturbing.