What Fruits Do Birds Eat


To understand the dietary needs of birds, one may wonder about the fruits they consume. Birds have diverse food preferences, but a major part of their diet is comprised of fruits and berries. These sweet treats provide birds with essential vitamins and minerals, and are also a good source of hydration.

Considering their varied taste buds, many species of birds eat different kinds of fruits. For instance, robins favour soft fruits like strawberries and raspberries while orioles like eating grapes. Orioles also relish citrus fruit such as oranges and grapefruits. Other birds prefer consuming small dried berries like blueberries, currants and elderberries.

It is interesting to know that some birds must have specific types of fruit varieties in order to survive because their diet primarily consists of these fruits. The Cedar Waxwings rely on an exclusively-fruit diet for a major portion of the year, and they particularly enjoy fruit from shrubs such as chokecherries, hackberries and junipers.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if your bird feeder didn’t contain any fruit? Well, birds would still be happy with the seeds provided as a substitute for some time as most seeds contain more than 50% carbohydrates which gives them energy; however being creatures that thrive on variety just like humans do – it’s great to put some fresh fruits out there!

Providing a variety of fresh fruits can attract different species of birds to your backyard or garden. By doing so, you not only offer them vital nutrients but also get the pleasure (and benefits) of observing their behaviour patterns up close. So don’t forget to add some sweetness for your feathered friends!

Flying high on vitamin C, birds flock to these fruity delights like it’s their own personal juice bar.

Fruits Commonly Eaten by Birds

Birds commonly consume a variety of fruit types. Fruit consumption provides birds with necessary vitamins and nutrients to maintain proper health. Here are three fruits often eaten by birds:

  • Berries – Particularly blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries provide birds with high levels of antioxidants and fiber. Birds will often consume berries during the warm summer months when they are abundant.
  • Apples – Although typically associated with humans as a common snack, apples are also consumed by many birds. Apples contain low levels of fat and high levels of vitamin C, making them a nutritious fruit for birds.
  • Oranges – High levels of vitamin C and carbohydrates make oranges an ideal fruit for birds, particularly during the winter months when other fruit types are scarce. Additionally, oranges can be hung in bird feeders to provide birds with a source of liquid in addition to solid food.

Interestingly, some birds have a specific preference for certain fruit types, which varies by species. For example, finches tend to prefer more tropical fruit types, such as papaya and mango.

A study conducted by the American Ornithologists’ Union found that birds will often choose fruit over insects in their diet, even if insects are more readily available. This highlights the importance of including fruit as a component of a bird’s diet.

Berries are like little fruity gold mines for birds, except they don’t have to worry about any greedy prospectors trying to steal their loot.


Birds and Their Love for Colorful Small Fleshy Fruit

Berries are a favorite food of birds, thanks to their vibrant colors and high nutritional value. Here are some interesting facts about the types of berries commonly eaten by our feathered friends:

  1. Blueberries: These tiny blue fruits contain high levels of antioxidants and fiber, making them a top choice for birds like robins and thrushes.
  2. Blackberries: With their thorny bushes, blackberries may not be the easiest fruit for humans to pick, but birds like thrushes and catbirds love them for their juicy pulp.
  3. Cranberries: These tangy red berries are beloved by waterfowl like ducks and geese, who eagerly dive into wetlands to feast on their tart flavor.
  4. Elderberries: Known for their healing properties, elderberries are often sought after by birds such as cedar waxwings and blue jays.

It’s worth noting that not all birds can digest these fruits equally well. For instance, while some species can break down the sugars in ripe berries with ease, others may struggle with unripe or spoiled fruit. Additionally, not all bird populations have equal access to berry-bearing plants due to habitat loss or climate changes.

Don’t miss out on the chance to marvel at our feathered friends’ incredible diets! Consider planting some berry bushes in your yard or taking a hike through a nearby forest to observe birds snacking on these tasty treats. You might just discover why avian enthusiasts call bird-watching “the world’s best hobby.”

Even birds know that an apple a day keeps the vet bills away.

Apples and Pears

Certain members of the avian community are often seen relishing in a fine feast of succulent, juicy produce such as various types of items including Sweet Juicy Apples, and Fresh Crisp Pears that can provide desirable nutritional benefits for these flying creatures. These two types of fruit are not only consumed by wild birds, but also by pet birds at home who have an adaptive palate. The high levels of vitamin C and fiber are beneficial to their health, helping them with digestion and overall well-being.

Consuming apples and pears is highly recommended for pet or wild birds as they are among the few fruits low in sugar content which helps to maintain a balanced diet. Given that most bird species have a weakness for the sweet taste of fruits, moderation is key; too much fruit may cause digestive problems which could be detrimental to their health.

Given their love for fruit, many bird enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to grow apple trees or pear trees on their property that will not only benefit wildlife but also enhance the beauty of their yard. There are several variations of these trees available at plant nurseries or online stores; some even self-pollinate.

Many years ago, it was discovered that cedar waxwings grew drunk off eating overripe fermenting apples from an orchard near Portland, Oregon. The more they ate, the less capable they were at taking flight promptly and coordinating their movements in order to manoeuvre as usual.

Oranges may be a breakfast staple for us, but for birds, they’re just another thing to squeeze into their diets.

Oranges and other Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are commonly eaten by birds due to their high nutritional value. These fruits provide a rich source of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which aids in boosting the immune system and promoting healthy feather growth. Additionally, they contain flavonoids, fiber, potassium, and folic acid that contribute to overall avian well-being.

  • Oranges and tangerines are an excellent source of hydration for birds because of their high water content.
  • Lemon juice sprinkled on birdseed or mixed with water can help prevent bacterial growth and prolong the shelf life of the food.
  • Grapefruits have high levels of antioxidants that help protect against cell damage.
  • Kumquats are small citrus fruits that are highly beneficial for birds due to their high fiber content that aids in digestion.
  • Clementines are a good alternative to oranges as they’re smaller for smaller bird species while still providing the same benefits.

One unique detail about citrus fruits is that some aromatic oils found in their peels can also be used as a natural pest deterrent. Birds may naturally rub the peels against themselves or use them as part of their nest-building materials.

Pro Tip: While feeding your bird citrus fruits can be beneficial, it’s important not to overdo it as too much acid can negatively impact their digestive systems. Consult with a veterinarian on recommended fruit portions for your specific species of bird.

I always thought grapes were meant to be fermented and served in a glass, but apparently birds prefer them in their beaks.


Small, round fruit with a thin skin that can be green, red or purple – this juicy and flavorful fruit is commonly enjoyed by birds. Rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients like vitamin C and K, it makes for a nutritious snack. Birds often feed on grapes found growing wild or in home gardens. The sweetness of the fruit also attracts insects which are a source of protein for birds.

Birds prefer ripe and sweet grapes as they have high sugar content which provides instant energy. Grapes can be consumed directly by birds or turned into wine and vinegar by fermentation used as food sources for them during colder months. Grapevines also provide shelter to birds, covering vineyards in hilly regions. However, excessive consumption of fermented grapes may lead to alcohol poisoning for smaller birds.

Some species of birds have specific grape preferences. Pigeons favor red grapes while blue jays prefer green ones. Additionally, larger birds like crows tend to consume more grapes than smaller species like sparrows.

Don’t miss out on offering this delicious treat to your local bird population! Growing grape vines in your garden will not only provide a constant supply of fruits but also serve as a natural space for shelter and nesting sites. Providing different types of grapes can attract diverse bird species as well as create an inviting visual aesthetic in your yard.

Melons: the fruit equivalent of a surprise party, except instead of joyful shrieks, you’re hit with a mouthful of slimy seeds.


A variety of succulent and juicy fruits are relished by birds, among which is a particular category that quite stands out – the large, spherical-shaped fruit with sturdy outer rind and sweet fleshy pulp. These nutritious fruits attract various avian species, including parrots, hornbills, and doves. Rich in vitamins A and C, along with potassium and folate, these spheroid delights provide essential nutrients to birds for their healthy growth and sustenance. The fruit’s firm texture also helps birds keep their beaks sharp. Cleverly using their agility and natural tools, birds snip diagonally into the hard fruit shell to feast on the tasty interior.

Interestingly enough, this family of fruits seldom appears in birdfeeders or avian diets offered by humans. This is not necessarily due to lack of preference but more so because these fruits are naturally abundant in the wild – being found growing in fields and farm areas across many countries worldwide. Predominantly known as watermelons by humans, this delicious fruit also goes by other names such as citron melon or desert gourd depending on geographical location.

The watermelon is a fascinating plant – its origins traced back to West Africa before it spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages via trade routes. Some historians speculate that ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics have portrayals of this same lush vegetation dating back thousands of years ago; however, there remains some debate among researchers over whether these carvings depict true watermelons or another similar-looking gourd.

Looks like birds enjoy a good banana split too, just without the ice cream and hot fudge.

Bananas and other Soft Fruits

Soft and mushy fruits are a favorite amongst birds, who are known to relish these pulpy sweets. These fruits include not only bananas but also papayas, melons, and kiwis. Their juicy consistency provides both a water source and easy-to-digest energy for birds as they embark on their daily routine.

Birds often seek out ripe bananas or other soft fruits as an alternative to the more rigid options available. The sweetness of these soft fruits comes from natural sugars that are easy on the avian digestive system. Fruits like papayas and melons are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, making them an ideal food choice for the health-conscious bird.

It’s essential to note that not all soft fruits are created equal when it comes to bird feeding. Any fruit with seeds too large to swallow should be avoided, such as apples or oranges. Too many seeds can accumulate in a bird’s digestive tract leading to blockages or obstructions.

Providing bananas and other soft fruits is an excellent way to supplement a bird’s diet and promote their health while indulging their sweet tooth cravings.

Ensure your feathered friends have access to bananas and other mushy delights by placing fresh slices in designated feeding stations. Don’t let them miss out on this deliciously nutritious snack!

Do not feed birds avocado, unless you want them to have a really bad day.

Fruits to Avoid Feeding Birds

When it comes to offering fruits to birds, it is important to be aware of the types of fruits that should not be fed to them. This is because some fruits can be harmful to birds and may cause health problems. Hence, it is crucial to know about the fruits that should be avoided.

Fruits that should be avoided when feeding birds include avocado, cherry pits, citrus fruits, and apple seeds. Avocado contains persin, which is toxic to many birds, and cherry pits and apple seeds contain cyanide, which can be lethal to birds if consumed in large amounts. Citrus fruits, on the other hand, can upset a bird’s digestive system and cause discomfort.

The following fruits should be avoided:

  • Avocado
  • Cherry pits
  • Citrus fruits
  • Apple seeds

It is important to note that some fruits can be safe for birds when fed in moderation and with caution. For instance, grapes should be cut into small pieces or mashed before feeding to birds as they can pose a choking hazard if not prepared correctly. Also, excessive feeding of fruits can lead to obesity and other health problems in birds, so it is essential to offer a balanced diet that includes other food options like seeds and insects.

The use of toxic pesticides on fruits has been a significant concern for birds’ health and safety. In 1962, a massive bird die-off was reported in the US due to the use of DDT on fruits and crops, causing a decline in the population of several bird species like the Bald eagle and the Peregrine falcon. This incident led to the banning of DDT in the US and other countries, highlighting the importance of taking measures to protect birds from harmful pesticides and chemicals.

Who needs a guard dog when you have a cherry tree full of toxic fruits to deter intruders?

Toxic Fruits

Birds are sensitive creatures, and their diet plays a significant role in maintaining their health. However, not all fruits are safe for birds to consume. Ingestion of toxic fruits can cause severe damage to their internal organs and even lead to death.

  • Citrus fruits – Oranges, lemons, limes
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Rhubarb
  • Grapes and raisins

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes have high acidity levels that can cause digestive problems in birds. The skin of an avocado contains persin that is highly toxic to many animals, including birds. Tomatoes contain solanine which can lead to cardiac arrest in birds. Rhubarb has high concentrations of oxalic acid that can affect the kidneys negatively. Grapes and raisins contain substances that can cause kidney failure in birds.

It is crucial to keep these toxic fruits away from your feathered pets at all costs. Additionally, washing all fruits before giving them to your bird can help eliminate any potential toxins on the surface.

Ensuring that your bird’s diet is healthy is essential for its overall well-being. Providing a balanced diet inclusive of all necessary vitamins and minerals will maintain optimal health conditions.

Protecting your pet bird by avoiding toxic fruits in its diet should be a priority for every responsible pet owner. Failure to do so could result in severe consequences, which would otherwise be avoidable with careful attention to what you feed them.

Feeding birds high sugar fruits is like giving a child a bag of candy before bed – it may be a sweet treat, but it won’t end well for anyone involved.

Fruits with High Sugar Content

Fruits with a High Concentration of Natural Sugar

Birds can benefit from eating fruits that contain natural sugar, but some fruits have an excessive amount that could be harmful to them. As a responsible bird feeder, it’s essential to know which fruits to avoid feeding them and limit their sugar intake.

The following are examples of high-sugar-content fruits that we ought not to feed birds:

  • Grapes: Although it may seem like a healthy pet snack, grapes can lead to kidney failure in birds. Additionally, it contains high amounts of glucose and fructose, making it one of the high-sugar-content fruits that we must avoid feeding birds.
  • Cherries: Although cherries growing in the wild are safe for birds to consume, commercially grown cherries contain chemicals such as pesticides that pose risks to their health.
  • Figs: Fresh figs or dried figs contain high amounts of potassium and minerals but have an increased level of natural sugar. Birds cannot store excess glucose like humans; therefore, ingesting too much sugar is detrimental to their health due to its dehydrating properties.
  • Raisins: Dried fruit comes extremely sweet since water is removed through dehydration. As a result, raisins can cause stomach distress in birds due to their sugar concentration.
  • Bananas: While bananas still make for a perfect bird feed ingredient once in a while, they possess high sucrose and glucose levels when ripe, hence causing overweight issues over time.
  • Pineapple: The core of pineapples (containing bromelain) becomes dangerous for birds because they tend only to pick the juicier bits while disregarding the harder insides. This indicates they will ingest too much bromelain adding up with the fruit’s natural sugars.

Birds need healthy food options without added sugars, just like humans do; knowing which foods your feathered guests should avoid can keep them safer and healthier during feeding sessions.

Did you know? It was discovered that processed corn-based bird food was linked to illnesses experienced by our avian friends, leading to scientists suggesting that it is best to naturally provide seeds and fruits in a bird’s diet, which is closer to their wild feeding routines.

Remember, just because birds are known for their sweet tweets doesn’t mean they have a sweet tooth – so be mindful of what fruits you feed them.


Birds’ diets consist mainly of fruits, which provide them with necessary nutrients and vitamins. Some common fruits that birds eat include berries, apples, oranges, grapes, and bananas. Birds also have specific fruit preferences based on their species. For instance, fruit doves prefer small, soft fruits like passionfruit and papaya while parrots enjoy hard fruits like nuts. Considering the range of fruits that birds consume, it is important to provide a varied diet to your feathered friends for optimum health.

Pro Tip: Offer fresh and ripe fruits as they provide the most nutritional value to birds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kinds of fruits do birds eat?

Q: Do all birds eat fruit?

Q: Can birds eat citrus fruits?

Q: Can I feed birds fruit from my garden?

Q: Should I peel fruit before giving it to birds?

Q: What are the benefits of feeding birds fruit?

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.