are cherry pits poisonous to birds

Since 1987, author Patty Jourgensen has worked with and taken care of rescue birds. She is an expert in avian health, behavior, and nutrition.

A: It’s always best to wait to use something until you are positive it’s safe for your bird whenever you have doubts about its safety. My philosophy is: when in doubt, don’t. Fruit is great for your parrot, but the seeds can be confusing since some are harmful and some are not. Here is a list use can use a guideline:

Birds can safely consume the seeds of citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons as well as those found in grapes, cantaloupe, cranberries, watermelon, and pomegranates. Even though they are not fruits, pumpkin and squash seeds are safe. Giving these seedy pieces of fruits and vegetables occasionally encourages birds to consume the surrounding flesh.

Giving your birds apple seeds and the pits of cherries, peaches, plums, pears, apricots, and nectarines is not a good idea. They have different concentrations of a potentially fatal cyanide compound in them. Humans would need to consume a large number of apple seeds before experiencing the poison’s effects, but parrots would naturally die from a smaller dose far more quickly. It’s not a huge deal if your bird eats a few apple seeds, and you don’t have to take him right away to the veterinarian.

Keep in mind that the larger the seed or pit, the higher the amount of toxins they contain. Chewing them releases amounts of poison that might otherwise remain locked inside the hull and pass through the system without causing much harm. Unfortunately, birds chew everything, and if given the opportunity to chew open a pit, they will.


Can birds eat cherry pits?

Fruit pits and seeds, including apples, cherries, apricot, plums, and peaches, should not be fed to birds due to their level of cyanide. Many birds enjoy eating fruit, but pet parents should carefully remove all seeds or pits to prevent cyanide poisoning.

Are cherry pits poisonous to wild animals?

But for the cyanide to affect an animal, the seeds sometimes need to be chewed or eaten in super high quantities. The pulp of fruits is not believed to produce cyanide. Most birds and many mammals eat the fruits whole, so the pit just passes through the digestive track without being chewed and thus releasing cyanide.

Can birds and squirrels have cherries?

Birds also enjoy other fruits such as oranges, plums, apples, grapes, cherries, crabapples, and prickly pear. Birds may swallow small fruits whole, and any seeds that are defecated could regrow into new plants for future fruit crops. Larger fruits may be pierced, shredded, or torn for birds to reach the flesh.