Attracting colorful summer birds to the backyard is not only about birdseed, suet, and nectar. Fresh fruits can also be used to entice these vibrant winged creatures. Thrushes, tanagers, orioles, jays, mockingbirds, woodpeckers, and many others are among the birds that enjoy feasting on fruits. It’s not just the fruit-loving birds either, as even some species considered seed eaters will indulge in a tasty fruit treat. The best part is that feeding birds fruits does not have to break the bank; it can be done at a low cost. Apples, oranges, grapes, raisins, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, currants, blackberries – there are so many different fruits that can attract a variety of birds. Whether fresh or dried, fruits can be offered in various ways such as on the ground, in a tray, a small glass bowl, or even in mesh onion bags. They can also be impaled on a tree branch or made into garlands to be draped over bushes or trees. For those looking for specialized bird feeders, there are suet cages and feeders equipped with spikes designed to hold fruit. Fruit scraps from the kitchen can be repurposed to feed the birds, including bruised grapes, unripe oranges, and other discarded fruit. However, it’s essential to ensure that spoiled or fermented fruit is not given to the birds, and any excess fruit should be frozen or removed when it goes bad to prevent attracting pests. So why not try adding some colorful variety to the backyard by offering fresh fruits to our feathered friends?
Benefits of feeding fruits to birds
Feeding backyard birds birdseed, suet, and nectar is a common practice among bird enthusiasts. However, it may not be enough to attract a wide variety of colorful summer birds. That’s where feeding fruits to birds comes in. By introducing fruits into their diet, birdwatchers can enjoy the following benefits:
Attracting a wider variety of colorful summer birds
Fruits provide a different type of food source for birds, which can attract species that may not be drawn to traditional birdseed offerings. The vibrant colors and sweet scents of fruits act as a natural lure for many birds. By incorporating fruits into their feeding routine, bird enthusiasts can attract a wider array of species, adding diversity and beauty to their backyard birdwatching experience.
Providing additional nutrition
In addition to attracting a greater variety of birds, feeding fruits to birds also offers enhanced nutrition. Fruits contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can supplement the birds’ diet and promote their overall health. By providing these nutritional benefits, birdwatchers contribute to the well-being of the birds and help support their vitality and resilience.
Enhancing the overall birdwatching experience
Feeding fruits to birds not only adds visual interest to the backyard but also creates opportunities for closer observation. As birds flock to enjoy the fruit offerings, birdwatchers can witness their behaviors, interactions, and unique feeding techniques up close. This hands-on experience allows bird enthusiasts to forge a deeper connection with these feathered creatures, enriching their overall birdwatching experience.
Types of birds that eat fruits
Numerous bird species are known to enjoy fruits as part of their diet. Some of the birds that specifically seek out fruits include:
Thrushes, such as the American Robin and various types of thrushes, are known to have a fondness for fruits. Their sharp beaks enable them to efficiently extract the juicy morsels from fruits like berries.
Tanagers, renowned for their vibrant plumage, are also fruit enthusiasts. Species such as the Northern Cardinal and the Summer Tanager relish the sweetness of various fruits.
Orioles are famous for their bright orange plumage and their love for nectar. However, they also have a penchant for fruits, particularly oranges and other citrus fruits.
Jays, including the Blue Jay and the Steller’s Jay, are highly adaptable when it comes to their diet. They are attracted to fruits, which they often carry away and cache for consumption at a later time.
Mockingbirds are skilled mimics that enjoy a diet that includes fruits. This versatile species can be enticed by a variety of fruit offerings.
While woodpeckers are primarily known for their insect-seeking behavior, some species, such as the Northern Flicker, also have a taste for fruits. They can often be seen pecking at apples or other suitable fruits.
Seed-eating birds that also enjoy fruits
Interestingly, some birds that are commonly associated with seed-eating habits will also indulge in fruits. This includes species like the House Finch and the American Goldfinch.
Different fruits that attract birds
A variety of fruits can be offered to birds to entice them into the backyard. Here are some examples of fruits that are known to attract birds:
Apples are a popular choice for attracting birds. Their firm and juicy texture make them accessible and appealing to many bird species.
Oranges are highly favored by birds, particularly orioles. Cutting oranges into sections or halves allows birds to easily access the juicy fruit.
Grapes are both sweet and hydrating, making them a sought-after fruit for many bird species. Offering grape clusters can be a delightful treat for these feathered visitors.
Dried fruits like raisins are a convenient and long-lasting option for bird feeding. They can be scattered on the ground or offered in a tray for birds to enjoy.
The succulent flesh of cherries is irresistible to birds like thrushes and tanagers. Placing cherries on a feeding tray can attract these colorful summer visitors.
Birds are particularly drawn to the small and vibrant berries of blueberry bushes. These sweet treats are often enjoyed by thrushes, tanagers, and mockingbirds.
Cranberries can be offered to birds, especially during the winter months when other food sources may be scarce. They are relished by various bird species, including thrushes and tanagers.
Currants, with their rich flavor, can entice birds like tanagers and mockingbirds. Their small size makes them suitable for feeding trays or small glass bowls.
Birds are known to relish the juiciness of blackberries, especially in late summer when they are ripe and abundant. These fruits are a favorite among thrushes and mockingbirds.
Preparation and placement of fruits
To make the most of feeding fruits to birds, proper preparation and thoughtful placement are crucial. Here are some tips to ensure an enjoyable bird feeding experience:
Offering fresh or dried fruit
Both fresh and dried fruits can be enjoyed by birds. Fresh fruits provide maximum nutritional benefits, while dried fruits offer long-lasting and convenient options.
Cutting oranges into sections or halves
Oranges should be cut into sections or halves, allowing birds to easily access the fruit. This also prevents wastage and ensures that the fruit remains fresh for longer periods.
Utilizing different feeding options
Birds have different feeding preferences. Ground-feeding birds may prefer fruits placed on the ground or a low tray, while others may enjoy fruits placed in a small glass bowl. Mesh onion bags can also be used to contain fruits and hang them from branches.
Impaling fruit on a tree branch or making garlands
Another option is to impale fruits on a tree branch, allowing birds to pluck them directly. Fruits can also be strung together to create garlands, which can drape over bushes or trees, creating an inviting feeding station.
Using suet cages or fruit-specific bird feeders
Suet cages or specialized bird feeders equipped with spikes can be used to offer fruits to birds. These feeders prevent the fruit from getting dirty or spoiled and allow birds to feed easily.
Obtaining fruits for bird feeding
Feeding fruits to birds doesn’t have to be costly. Here are some ways to obtain fruits for bird feeding:
Using kitchen scraps
Kitchen scraps can be a valuable resource for bird feeding. Bruised grapes, unripe oranges, and other discarded fruits can all be repurposed to attract birds to the backyard.
Avoiding spoiled or fermented fruit
Spoiled or fermented fruit should never be given to birds, as it can be harmful to their health. Care should be taken to remove any rotten fruits from the feeding area promptly.
Freezing or removing excess fruit to prevent pests
To avoid attracting unwanted pests, excess fruit can be frozen or removed when it starts to go bad. This ensures that the feeding area remains clean and safe for the birds.
In conclusion, feeding fruits to birds offers numerous benefits for bird enthusiasts. It attracts a wider variety of colorful summer birds, provides additional nutrition, and enhances the overall birdwatching experience. By understanding the different types of birds that eat fruits, knowing the variety of fruits that attract them, and implementing proper preparation and placement techniques, birdwatchers can create an enticing and rewarding feeding environment for their feathered friends. So, why not add some fruity delights to your backyard and enjoy the vibrant beauty of birds in a whole new way?