what fruit can you feed wild birds

Birds of all shapes and sizes benefit from variety in their daily diet. The foundation of your pet bird’s diet should be a high-quality diet that provides uniform nutrition in every bite. But, that doesn’t mean that other foods aren’t important and beneficial! Fresh fruit, for example, is great for adding variety and valuable nutrients to your feathered friend’s daily nutrition.

What Fruits do Birds Eat?

Any fruits that humans eat are also suitable for birds. Additionally, birds will consume a variety of fruits that humans may find unpleasant or hazardous. Many birds are particularly fond of berries and small fruits, such as viburnum, holly, juniper, blueberries, raspberries, currants, blackberries, mulberries, beautyberries, and serviceberries, as well as sumac, holly, and juniper. Other fruits like oranges, plums, apples, grapes, cherries, crabapples, and prickly pears are also favored by birds.

Small fruits can be swallowed whole by birds, and excreted seeds have the potential to sprout into new plants that will produce fruit in the future. In order for birds to access the flesh, larger fruits can be sliced, shredded, or torn. Certain birds will drink the juice from soft fruits like citrus. Birds can consume fruit before it reaches its full ripeness, and many of them will continue to nibble on it long after it has overriped and possibly fermented. Fruit-loving birds have even been known to consume fermented fruits to the point of intoxication, according to multiple accounts!

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

Can Birds Eat Raisins?

As grapes dry into raisins, the sugars become concentrated significantly. Because of this, birds should only be given raisins in very small amounts.


What fruit can birds not eat?

While most fruit is safe and generally healthy for birds to consume in small amounts, certain fruits containing seeds (such as apples and pears) and pits (such as cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums), should not be offered to birds without removing the seeds and pits first, as these seeds and pits …

Can you feed wild birds fruit?

Fresh grapes, bananas, cherries, and berries may all be taken by orioles, robins, Cape May Warblers, and other birds with a sweet beak. You can use fresh fruit or frozen, as long as it isn’t frozen in juices. Cutting larger fruits into bite-sized pieces can make them more desirable.

Can you leave fruit out for birds?

Many types of birdseed are suitable for spring feeding, but you might also consider offering fruit for songbirds. (If you do use fruit, be sure to remove any leftover or spoiled pieces.) You can also offer crushed eggshells (rinsed and baked), which provide calcium for birds such as robins.

What fruits are best for birds?

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.