what wild birds eat apples

As Im still buzzing at the Local Waxwings i was trying to think of a way of possibly attracting them to the garden if they were flying past. We have no plants with any berries on other than Honeysuckle so I though maybe I could put slices of apple on cut branches of a peach tree we have in the back garden. I then remembered I had a couple of spare feed hangers (not sure of their proper name) but they have four hooks on each one. I then sliced some cheapy apples into halves and stuck them on the hooks and then hung them in the tree. Has anyone else tried this method of putting apples out and was it successful in any way, and I dont mean just waxwings?

The tree is about 18 foot at its highest and these are at about 8 foot high.

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

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!

Feeding Birds Fruit in Your Yard

Providing your yard’s birds with natural and additional fruit sources is a simple task. Fruit trees, berry bushes, and native vines can be planted to guarantee a consistent fruit supply year after year. Make sure you select fruit varieties that ripen at different times of year to provide your birds with a consistent source of food. Reduce the amount of chemicals that are applied to the plants, such as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. If you wish to harvest fruit for yourself, shield certain bushes or branches from birds’ attention well in advance of the fruit’s ripening, but after the fruit ripens, leave old and windfall fruits accessible for birds to consume.

A feeding platform or tray can be adorned with a few apple chunks, a half-orange, or some raisins to add fruit to bird feeding stations. Moreover, you can make a beautiful string feeder with berries, wedges, and chunks of fruit, or you can stuff a suet cage with large fruit chunks. Before being given to birds, small dried fruits like cranberries, raisins, or currants should be soaked or moistened. Never give fruits with chocolate or candy coatings, seasonings, or spices; these items don’t attract birds and may even be poisonous or unhealthy in other ways. You can even throw out fruit rinds that still have juicy bits attached to the skin so that birds can nibble on them.

Another method of feeding fruit to birds is with jelly, but use caution when doing so. Birds do enjoy fresh fruit jellies or even just crushed up fruit, but brands of jelly that have a lot of added sugar, preservatives, or other chemicals are not as good for birds and should only be sold in small amounts. Never give sugar-free jelly to birds because they lack the nutritional value needed to provide them with enough energy.

Orioles are songbirds that are attracted to fruit and jelly.

FAQ

Can I feed apples to wild birds?

Fresh apples are a great source of nutrition for birds when fed in small amounts daily. Your feathered friend is likely to enjoy the taste and texture of a wide variety of apples. Both sweet and tart apples are appropriate for birds.

What birds eat apples off the tree?

Fruit is a staple in many birds’ diets, and several varieties love apples, including sparrows, woodpeckers, robins, jays, crows, cardinals, bluebirds, and even wild turkeys.