can baby birds eat fruit

Fruit is an attractive and nutritious addition to any bird feeding station. Many birders are surprised at the different bird species that happily sample fruit at feeders. There are several ways you can feed birds fruit in your yard and enjoy a more diverse flock of feathered guests.

How Long Do Birds Feed Their Young?

An average bird will spend two to four weeks feeding its young. However, this can vary depending on the species of bird. Swifts are among the birds that will keep feeding their young until they are eight weeks old or older!

Birds That Eat Fruit

Many different species of birds eat fruit. Birds are categorized as frugivores, or frugivorous, if the majority of their diet consists of fruit. Other birds adjust their diets according to the season; they might consume more fruit in the late summer or early fall when it’s easier to get. Fruit that is still clinging to trees and bushes in the winter can provide hardy species that live in northern regions with an easy source of food. The most familiar birds that regularly eat fruit include:

  • Catbirds
  • Grosbeaks
  • Orioles
  • Robins
  • Tanagers
  • Thrashers
  • Thrushes
  • Waxwings
  • Woodpeckers

Apart from these fruit-eating birds, other species that will sometimes nibble on fruit include warblers, kinglets, titmice, sparrows, quail, and towhees. This is especially true when other foods are scarce and fruit is readily available. Certain species, like parrots and toucans, may consume almost only fruit in their tropical diets.

Sparrow eating cherries from a tree / Shutterstock

Tips For Feeding Baby Birds

Here are some pointers on how to feed baby birds now that you know what they enjoy eating:

  • Before attempting to feed a baby bird you find that looks injured or orphaned, get in touch with a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center.
  • Make sure the insects you feed young birds are small enough for them to easily swallow. You don’t want the bird to choke on its food!.
  • Don’t give cow’s milk to baby birds because it can make their stomachs upset.
  • And last but not least, whenever you handle baby birds or their food, always wash your hands. This will help prevent the spread of disease.


What kind of fruit can baby birds eat?

Berries and small fruits, including blueberries, raspberries, currants, blackberries, mulberries, beautyberries, serviceberries, sumac, holly, juniper, and viburnum are especially popular with many birds. Birds also enjoy other fruits such as oranges, plums, apples, grapes, cherries, crabapples, and prickly pear.

What can baby birds not eat?

Don’t feed the baby bird bread or milk. Many people make the mistake of feeding baby birds milk or bread. Unlike mammals, milk is not a natural part of a bird’s diet and they will be intolerant to it. Bread is full of empty calories and will not provide the baby bird with the nutrients it needs to survive.

Can baby birds eat bananas?

Bananas. This long yellow fruit is a favorite of many birds (and their owners). It’s soft, sweet flesh is almost irresistible for many of our feathered friends, and as a bonus, the peel can make a fun toy for your bird while providing important foraging activity as well!