Attract uncommon fruit-eating bird
species to your feeding station.

There are many species of fruit-eating birds.  Some of these make fruit their primary food source most of the year.  Birds that eat fruit also include many of those species most common at seed and suet feeding stations and bird baths such as robins, cardinals, chickadees, house finches and woodpeckers which will enjoy fruit when they can find it.

Fruit-eating bird species for which fruit is a primary food source that is not usually found at feeding stations can be coaxed to human habitats with the addition of fruits, berries, jams and jellies to the wild bird offerings.

While these birds eat fruits and berries all year around, others eat fruit during seasons when other more preferred foods are not available.  Goldfinches, that relish thistle and sunflower seeds all year around at feeders and in late summer and early autumn in fields and prairies, can be seen in crab apple trees in late winter taking dainty bites from the fruits they would not typically prefer.

Fruit-eating birds, known as "frugivorous", include cedar waxwings while orioles, which also eat significant amounts of other foods, have a strong preference for fruits.  In tropical climates, hornbills and toucans have a fruit-based diet while, parrots enjoy fruit in high proportion as well.

These birds eat berries all year around:








house finches



purple finches







  • Even fruit-eating birds will make insects a large portion of their diets during breeding season when their young require large amounts of protein to thrive.
  • Fruit supplies sugar and is essential as a source of energy during breeding and migratory periods.  It helps sustain body heat in cold.

Attract fruit-eaters to your habitat by adding fruiting trees and shrubs to your landscape and offering fruit in a variety of fruit feeders.  Included among these are nectar feeders and jam/jelly dishes.  Place an orange half on a spike to attract orioles.

Any fruits consumed by humans provide nutrition for birds.  Wild birds will also eat many fruits that are not human food.  Over 60 bird species eat poison ivy berries including downy woodpeckers, northern flickers, ruffled grouse and yellow-rumped warblers.

To stock your landscape and your feeders with fruit-eater favorites that you can also enjoy, here is a list of popular wild bird fruit:









In warm months when many foods are plentiful.  Fruit may not be as appealing to some wild bird species.  In winter, add dried fruit to your seed.  Offer suet with fruit additives.  Place diced apple pieces in a fruit dish feeder.  Skewer a whole apple on a feeder or nail and watch woodies peck with their powerful beaks.

Drunken birds?  Yes, there is evidence that birds which eat a large enough quantity of fermented fruit can and do get drunk.

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