Feeding fruit to your summer birds

April 16, 2010

Have you ever tried feeding fruit and jelly to the birds? It’s amazing how many birds are attracted to fruit—something that berry and fruit growers already know! If you have fruit and berry trees on your property, you may already have many fruit-eating birds in your yard and attracting them to your feeders will be fairly easy. However, if you don’t have natural attractants like an orchard, it may take a while for some of these elusive birds to spot the fruit that you’ve put out. However, be patient! Many a bird lover was amazed to see their first oriole within a week after offering an orange half! It could be that orioles are naturally attracted to the color orange.

The easiest fruits to feed are orange halves, raisins and grapes. And each of these fruits will attract different groups of birds. Orange halves will attract catbirds, grosbeaks, woodpeckers and tanagers and of course, orioles. Grapes attract bluebirds, waxwings, grosbeaks, mockingbirds and more. And raisins will attract many of these same birds. Some bird lovers soak their raisins in warm water before putting them out, which makes it easier for the birds to peck at and swallow.

There are many ways to serve fruit and you may want to try different fruits as well, such as apples and bananas. There are feeders especially made for fruit.  A super-simple method is to just nail an apple or orange half to a tree. Platform feeders are very versatile and you can just set out the pieces of fruit along with your seed. Cut the fruits up into pieces so the birds don’t have to peck through the sometimes tough skin, which may discourage them. And don’t forget that these fruits can also be served in the form of jelly or preserves! Orioles love grape jelly! There are feeders that allow you to skewer the fruit half and also have cups to contain jelly.

The only thing you need to watch for with fruit is that it doesn’t get moldy, so check it every other day or so and remove unhealthy looking food. Ants could also be a problem. In that case a ring of petroleum jelly around the hanger or at the base of a platform feeder should dissuade them. Have fun feeding fruit!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Zac April 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I’ve tried feeding fruit to the birds several times. So far I’ve attracted bees and ants.

Beca - Who Loves Gardens April 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I am going to try this right away. How easy ..

Anna Mouro July 7, 2011 at 11:05 am

Thank you!

Anna Mouro August 31, 2012 at 10:43 am

I have tried apples,but all I attracted was many flies.

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