Bird Feeding

Feeding Fruit to Your Birds

Learn how to feed fruit to your birds.

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 is going to 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 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 attract different groups of birds. Orange halves attract catbirds, grosbeaks, woodpeckers and tanagers and, of course, orioles. Grapes attract bluebirds, waxwings, grosbeaks, mockingbirds and more. And raisins 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 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 serve 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, an ant moat around the hanger of the feeder should dissuade them. Have fun feeding fruit!

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5 Comments

  • Reply 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.

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

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

  • Reply Anna Mouro July 7, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Thank you!

  • Reply Anna Mouro August 31, 2012 at 10:43 am

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

  • Reply Susan June 22, 2016 at 3:51 am

    My orioles only like red currant jelly. I’ve tried everything else, oranges, etc. We have so many this year it is a joy to watch them at our feeder. I’ve also put out blackberries for my cat birds and they do like those. I’ve put out grapes, peaches, and other berries with no luck.

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