The 10 Proven Fruits to
Feed and Attract Backyard Birds

Are you a bird lover but struggle with what fruits to feed backyard birds? Well keep on reading and you learn our tips to attract them.

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Iñigo Navarro

May 16, 2021


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What’s This Post About?

Not all birds depend on bird seeds, nectar, and suet. Some birds prefer to eat different fruits in different conditions. Such birds are called ‘frugivores’.

Many small summer birds that do not prefer to eat seeds often, visit a feeder. If you wish to attract these colorful little creatures, you can offer them fruits instead. By doing so, you would be opening a room of opportunity to attract birds that were previously not visiting your backyard.

All fruits that are nutritious and beneficial for humans can also be easily consumed by birds. These include apples, grapes, berries, cherries, and fruit rind. Robins, thrashers, mocking-jays, woodpeckers are some birds that enjoy eating all these nutritious fruits.

What Fruits to Feed Backyard Birds?

Birds are not picky about their fruits. Fruits that might not appeal to us as humans are not necessarily disliked by birds too since every individual has their own set of preferences about which fruits to consume.

For instance, toxic wild berries or overripe fruits are not often consumed by humans since they are not considered safe. Feeding fruits to birds does not cost much.

Here are the fruits that you can feed your backyard birds:

  • Apples
  • Crane-berries
  • Oranges
  • Black Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Blackberries
  • Pumpkins
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Fruit Rinds

Let’s read more about each of these fruits and how they help in attracting different types of birds to your backyard.

1. Apples

apple for birds

Fresh fruits including apples will attract many birds in your backyard like Mocking Jays, Cardinals, and many more.

Other than domestic apples commonly called eating apples, the only apples that are native of North America are the crabapple. The kind of birds that eat apples is mockingbirds, thrashers, wrens, waxwing, blue-jay, grosbeaks.

Few more species of birds that can consume apples include Purple Finch, Hairy Woodpecker, American Crow, Catbird, Red-headed woodpecker, and Bellied Woodpecker.

2. Cranberries

cranberries for birds

The most popular fruit for bird feeders is fresh cranberries, blueberries, or any other kind of berries.

You can decorate your feeder with cranberries and popcorn and it will lure a great number of birds into your backyard. Catbirds, Finches, Mocking-jays, Bluebirds, and Waxwings are some popular birds that eat cranberries.

The only fact that you should be careful about is that your cranberries shouldn’t be too sour. Adding popcorn with unsalted butter will improvise the taste in that case.

3. Oranges

bird eating oranges

Many particular birds like to eat oranges. They can be offered either halves or sliced oranges.

Some other specified birds that do eat oranges include Brown Thrasher, Baltimore Oriole, Grosbeak, Orchard Oriole, Western Tanager, Bullock’s Oriole, Scarlet Tanager, and Red-bellied Woodpecker.

4. Black Grapes

warbler with grapes

A variety of birds prefer to eat purple grapes and black-grapes.

Birds that eat grapes include Mockingbirds, Catbirds, Bluebirds, Towhees, Robins, Waxwings, Grosbeaks, Woodpeckers, and Tanagers.

In many areas, they grow wild grapes. You may grow vines on your land. Birds can eat grapes right off the vine. You can cut them in half to make it easier for birds to eat grapes which include Downy Woodpecker, Red-eye Vireo, Northern Cardinal, Baltimore Oriole, Northern Flicker, Scarlet Tanager, Red-bellied Woodpecker.

5. Raisins

raisins for birds

Raisins attract many birds. You can soak them beforehand in warm water and feed them to your backyard birds.

Birds that eat raisins include Robins, Bluebirds, Orioles, Mockingbirds, Waxwings, Catbirds.

6. Blackberries

blackberries for birds

Blackberries are the choice of treat for birds. It is proved as a great source of food during the breeding season.

Birds that like to eat blackberries include Robins, Waxwings, Spotted Towhees, Western Golden-crowned Sparrows, Orioles, and Tanagers.

You can plant many bushes and vines that help produce berries that birds love. However, a lot of these are not preferable by humans. For example, Elderberries, Mulberries, and Oregon Grape.

Many shrubs produce these berries that birds love. You can check your local nursery to get these shrubs that can grow in your backyard easily and birds can feed through them.

7. Pumpkins

black capped chickadee and pumpkins

Birds love every kind of seed. People usually avoid pumpkin seeds. So rather than wasting it, you can feed it to your birds instead.

Pumpkin seeds are a choice of food for many birds. Some wild birds even like raw pumpkin seeds. These birds include Mocking-jays, Grosbeaks, Woodpeckers, Thrashers, Robins, and Bluebirds for example.

8. Cherries

cherries for birds

While offering cherries to birds, make sure that the seeds are removed first.

The kind of birds that eat cherries includes Catbirds, Bluebirds, Mockingbirds, and Waxwings.

9. Currants

currants for bird feeders

Dried raisins and currants just might be the right feed for birds. Make sure to soak them in warm water first and then feed them to the birds.

Birds are not picky like humans when you serve them any food in your backyard. Currants are mostly a choice of fruit for Blackbirds, Thrushes, Waxwings, and Robins.

10. Fruit Rinds

fruit rinds for birds

Birds that like to eat fruit rinds especially orange and pear peels are Thrushes, Robins, Bluebirds, Woodpeckers, Jays, Orioles, and Tanagers.

What Do You Need to Know When Offering Fruits to Birds?

Though there is a lot of information that can help simplify the process when you are offering fruits to the birds in your backyard. However, you need to keep the below facts in check.

BIRDS ORANGES APPLES GRAPES BERRIES CHERRIES BANANA RINDS PLUM RAISINS
GROSBEAKS YES YES YES YES     YES YES  
WOODPECKERS YES YES YES            
MOCKINGJAYS YES YES YES YES YES   YES   YES
ORIOLES YES YES YES   YES YES   YES YES
BLUE BIRDS YES YES YES YES         YES
WAXWINGS YES   YES YES YES   YES   YES
THRASHERS YES YES YES YES   YES      

Birds are tiny creatures and they can’t snoop food in a bite. It is important to make sure that the fruits you offer in your backyard are consumable for birds. Make sure of the following:

  • Fruit should be cut or sliced into halves.
  • The seeds must be removed from all seeding fruits so the birds do not choke on them.
  • If you offer scrapes from the kitchen, make sure they are eatable.
  • Pumpkin seeds are preferred by birds like Mocking Jays, so you can roast and serve them.
  • Don’t feed dried raisins, soak them overnight before you offer them to the birds.

How to Turn Your Pumpkins into Feed?

Recycle your leftover pumpkins and use them as a feeder instead to feed your backyard birds.

  • First, cut the top half of your pumpkin
  • Roast or soak the seeds in warm water
  • Fill the bottom half of the pumpkin with seeds
  • Decorate your pumpkin
  • Hang the pumpkin feeder in your backyard for birds to enjoy the free treat

If you are short on time and do not wish to create a feeder of your own, there are different kinds of feeders that you can always purchase and hang in your backyard to feed your birds.

How to Feed Birds Cheaply?

Utilize the seeds from pumpkins, squashes, and melons to feed your backyard birds. You can save the rinds of melons and it can also be served to the birds.

At times, you purchase fruits and find that most of them are unripe and not tasty. They rest on your kitchen counter in hope of getting ripe. But eventually, they become even more tasteless and soft and almost inedible. Instead of throwing these fruits out, slice them in half and feed them to the birds.

WARNING

If any part of the fruit is decayed, cut away the damaged section to throw it away and feed the remaining to your birds instead.

Keep Reading!

While feeding birds, make sure the food you are offering is not rotten or fermented and does not have mold on it. If that is the case, get rid of it as it will captivate pests and insects. The fruits you can offer to the birds in your backyard include apples, oranges, cranberries, black grapes, raisins, and more.

More than any other type of feed, fruits can rot fast. Keep a check and remove it from your feeder if it has been spoiled. You can also freeze fruits if they are in excess quantity and only feed a small amount that birds can consume in a span of 1 to 2 days.

If you do happen to attract more birds to your backyard, amplify your experience of bird watching by learning about the bird watching essential gear on our blog.

Backyard Bird Watching Essential Gear for Beginners - Fantastic & Amazing Guide

Are you interested in knowing what could make your bird-watching experience enthralling? Read on to find out about the essential gear you need to own.

Iñigo Navarro Picture

By Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Iñigo Navarro Picture

Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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