Author: Patricia Larson, LVT
Published: June 14, 2023
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.
In this article, we’ll answer the following questions relating to pet birds and fresh fruit:
- Do birds eat fruit in the wild?
- What are the benefits of feeding fresh fruit to pet birds?
- How much fruit can my bird eat each day?
- Which fresh fruits are safe for pet birds to eat?
Do Birds Eat Fruit in The Wild?
What do birds like to eat? In the wild, birds eat a wide variety of foods each day, including fresh fruit. Keep in mind that wild birds are more active than pet birds and require more calories to meet the demands of their daily routine.
Fresh fruit makes a nutritious and enjoyable addition to your bird’s nutrition but should be fed in small quantities to ensure his primary source of nutrition (i.e. essential pellets) is not neglected.
It’s best to work with your veterinarian for specific recommendations on how much fruit is appropriate for your feathered friend.
What are the Benefits of Feeding Fresh Fruit to Pet Birds?
When looking at the best foods for pet birds, fresh fruits can make a nutritious and enriching addition when fed in appropriate quantities as a part of a balanced diet. Pet bird owners are delighted to hear that it is not only okay but beneficial to feed birds fruit.
Some benefits of feeding fresh fruit to pet birds include:
- Fruit adds valuable variety to your bird’s daily diet
- Variety promotes the natural foraging instincts of birds
- Offering fresh fruit to birds creates bonding opportunities
- Fresh fruit helps with bird training activities
Birds are intelligent and inquisitive by nature. Provide an assortment of foods to keep your pet bird lively and engaged with his environment. Nutritional variety also promotes those natural foraging instincts that are so important in the wild. Like his wild bird cousins, your bird will enjoy and benefit from foraging for his food!
Another great aspect of offering fresh food is the bonding that it creates. Spend time offering your little one different fruits and veggies to strengthen the bond you share. This fun activity provides benefits to both of you. Try hand-feeding different fruits and veggies to learn your bird’s favorites.
If your bird doesn’t like a new type of fruit at first, try offering it in another form (i.e. steam some sweet potato and try offering it warm or cold if they don’t like it raw).
Fresh fruits are also great for helping with bird training activities. If your bird enjoys puzzle games, try hiding small pieces of fruit inside as a tasty prize.
What Kinds of Fruits Can Birds Eat?
Birds love to eat fresh fruit, but which varieties are best? Let’s take a closer look at some bird-safe favorites. The following fruits are safe for birds:
Can Birds Eat Apples?
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. Just be sure to remove the seeds before offering apples to your birds.
Can Birds Eat Cherries?
Cherries and other stone fruits (including apricots, peaches, and plums among others) are all good options for birds. With any stone fruit, just make sure to remove the pit before offering it to your bird.
Can Birds Eat Bananas?
Bananas are tons of squishable fun for parakeets, cockatoos, cockatiels, and many other species of birds! Birds especially enjoy the texture of bananas. Bananas are a fantastic source of vitamins, potassium, and dietary fiber for birds.
Can Birds Eat Strawberries?
Fresh strawberries make a great snack for a wide variety of pet bird species. Strawberries are often widely available year-round. Organic strawberries are a great option if you can find them and your budget allows. If organic isn’t an option, just be sure to wash berries thoroughly before offering them to your bird.
Can Birds Eat Blueberries?
Like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are safe for birds. Blueberries are power-packed with vitamins, dietary fiber, and other great nutrients that will benefit your feathered friend’s body.
Can Birds Eat Watermelon?
A variety of melons are appropriate for birds. Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are all good options. When offering your bird melon, make sure it is cut into small pieces.
Melons have a high water content so take care to offer to birds in moderation during breeding and molting periods.
Can Birds Eat Grapes?
Grapes are a fun and enticing treat for birds. Grapes are high in fructose, so they should only be fed in moderation to birds. Too much fructose can lead to obesity and other health-related issues, but feeding grapes in small amounts is acceptable.
Can Birds Eat Raisins?
As grapes dry into raisins, the sugars become concentrated significantly. For this reason, raisins should be fed only in very small amounts to birds.
Can Birds Eat Oranges?
Bird owners often ask if it’s okay to offer oranges for birds. The answer is yes – oranges are safe and nutritious for birds to eat! Just like humans, birds may benefit from the vitamin C contained in oranges.
What are some other types of fruit that are safe for pet birds?
A delicious fruit to share with your bird that is rich in antioxidants. Mango is high in sugar, so be sure to offer it to your bird in moderation.
Guava is packed with tons of vitamins and nutrients that are great for birds!
Papaya is great for increasing the amount of vitamins C and A in your bird’s diet. Offer papaya to give your bird’s immune system a boost.
Kiwi is a fruit that’s low in sugar but also has some great antioxidant properties. A popular treat for those birds that enjoy fruits that have a little tang to them.
Pineapple is a fun and tangy fruit that your bird will love to pull apart! Plus it’s packed full of fiber.
Safety Tips When Offering Fruit to Your Pet Bird:
- Avoid canned fruits which typically contain unhealthy added sugars. If canned fruit is your only option, they must be used, rinse well with water before feeding.
- Check the food you offer daily and wash the dishes to prevent bacterial infection or mold growth.
- Make sure to keep dishes away from the bottom of the cage and their droppings.
- Make sure that the fruits and veggies are cut into pieces but nothing too small to avoid them being swallowed whole. This gives your birds something to do and prevents choking.
- Check with your bird’s veterinarian if you have questions about a specific fruit that was not covered in this article.