Fruit feeders are primarily for fruit-loving birds who are our spring and summer residents. These are the birds who return to us each year after wintering in warmer climates. Orioles, robins, mockingbirds, catbirds, tanagers, cedar waxwings and bluebirds all love fruit. Most fruit-eaters are insect-eaters, not seed eaters, though there are exceptions, including the cardinal, which enjoys both seed and fruit.
Locate your fruit feeder away from your seed feeders to give fruit eaters their own haven for feeding. There is little overlap of seed and fruit eaters. Some fruit eaters tend to be shy, so placement of a fruit feeder away from seed feeders will appeal to them.
For fruit such as oranges and apples make a girdling peel around the fruit. This will expose the fruit’s tempting juices and aroma to the birds. As a rule, birds eat only fruit that is exposed or bruised. If you find that at a particular time fresh fruits are not being eaten, try dried figs or dried apples.
Winter Fruit Feeding
In winter months you’ll find your fruit feeder may attract woodpeckers, cardinals and a few other birds. These birds enjoy both suet and fruit to supplement their winter diets.
Other Fruit-Eaters in Your Yard
Some of our customers have found that their thistle or sunflower feeders simply empty out overnight with no apparent cause. We suspect small flying squirrels of this mischief. These truly gentle creatures, however, also love fruit. By installing a fruit feeder where the seed feeder was being emptied, the flying squirrels should be content and your seed feeders will be left for your birds.