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Attracting Birds

with Fruit

No matter where you live, you can attract a larger variety of birds to your yard with fruit. Birds have a natural fondness for fruit. Providing fruit can attract otherwise reluctant birds to your feeders such as orioles, tanagers, or warblers. Summer is an especially good time to offer fruit. Many of the fruit eating birds spend the winter in the tropics, but in the summer they are back looking for new sources of food.

Fruit can be offered either fresh, frozen, or dried. Almost any variety can be used. Big fruits like oranges, should be cut in half. Impale the halves on a stick or limb, or use a nail to attach the fruit to

a tree, fence post, feeder, or even a deck. You may want to try chopping up bits of fruit and scattering them on the ground. A shallow bowl is a good choice for providing bits of fruit. You will probably want to separate the fruit from your seed, as the fruit can get messy.

Dry fruits are great for convenience, and less messy. You can get them in the health food store, or even dry them yourself in the oven at a low temperature 4-12 hrs. Wild fruits can be dried and saved to use later when food is more scarce. When offering the fruit, put it in the same place every time. It may take a while for the birds to discover it. Be patient, once they find it, they'll return again and again.

One of the most popular fruits are apples. Apples can attract bluebirds, cardinals, catbirds, flickers, woodpeckers, and several other birds. Bananas are especially good for attracting warblers, also tanagers, orioles, catbirds, and thrushes. It is best if the bananas are ripe. Oranges are very tempting to orioles. Berries of all kinds can bring in common feeder birds plus thrushes, towhees, tanagers, bluebirds, and grouse. Hummingbirds like the juice from fruits and the flies fruit attracts.

Make sure you remove the fruit when it becomes spoiled. Try different combinations and see what works at your feeders, and just have fun!


by Linda Vanderveen


Piper, Kathy. Feeder Fruits. Bird Watchers Digest. April 2000

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