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Attract Birds You Have Never Seen Before With Fruit

Updated on May 24, 2013
grandmapearl profile image

At a very young age Connie learned from her Grandma Pearl to observe and love backyard birds. She stills feeds and studies them everyday.

Northern Oriole singing high up in the tree.
Northern Oriole singing high up in the tree. | Source

When you think about it, where do birds migrate to and from? The tropics. And what do they eat while they spend the wintertime in that lush warm paradise? Tropical fruit!

It makes perfect sense then that adding tropical fruit bits to your platform or fruit feeders will catch the eye of migratory birds. The next time you buy a fresh pineapple, how about setting out a small morsel; or try a tiny bit of ripe banana, mango or papaya just for fun. Be persistent--if you don't get any takers the first time, just keep trying with different types of fruit. Chances are you will be surprised by a visit from a bird you've never been able to attract to your feeders before.


Some fruits that birds love to eat.  I keep my berries in a freezer bag so that I can take a few out at a time.
Some fruits that birds love to eat. I keep my berries in a freezer bag so that I can take a few out at a time. | Source

Fruits Enjoyed by Birds

Temperate Region Fruits
Tropical Fruits
peaches
figs
canteloupe
kiwi
plums
ripe mango
apricots
pineapple
cherries
oranges
cranberries
pomegranate
pears
grapefruit
raspberries
papaya
currants
tangerines
strawberries
bananas
blueberries
 
grapes
 
apples
 
watermelon
 
My oriole fruit and jelly feeder has pegs to spear the fruit, and a cup to add jelly or more fruit, and it is 2-sided.
My oriole fruit and jelly feeder has pegs to spear the fruit, and a cup to add jelly or more fruit, and it is 2-sided. | Source

How to Prepare and Serve Fruit for Birds

  • Remove skin and pits or stones and any large seeds such as those found in grapefruits.
  • Cut larger fruits into small pieces about 1/2 to 1 inch in size; pretend you are a bird and you have only a beak and your feet with which to manipulate your food.
  • Juicy fruits like pineapple, grapes and berries can be placed in a small shallow dish. Remember to select a dish that will not tip over or spill when birds land on the rim.
  • Fruits like apples and figs that have more solid textures can be added to platform feeders.
  • If you are using a fruit feeder with a peg, slice the fruit in half and push it onto the pointed end. I usually insert the point of my paring knife into the end of the fruit that goes over the peg. That makes it easier to add the fruit half without getting squirted with juice!

Blemished fruit is okay, but rotten or moldy fruit should be added to your compost, not your bird feeder.

Only put out a little at a time because fruit spoils quickly in warm weather. Remove it if it is not consumed during the day to discourage visits from raccoons, etc.

Have fun and experiment to see what birds are attracted to your fruit buffet.


Fruit feeders with built-in holders and cups are available where bird seed and feeders are sold, or online. There are many styles from which to choose.

Or you can make your own simple fruit feeder with a wire and a couple of tools you may have in your toolbox.

Supplies needed to make a fruit feeder for the birds.
Supplies needed to make a fruit feeder for the birds. | Source
Make a loop in one end of the wire about 1" to 1-1/2" in diameter.
Make a loop in one end of the wire about 1" to 1-1/2" in diameter. | Source
Add fruit and then make a second loop like the first one.
Add fruit and then make a second loop like the first one. | Source
Fruit Feeder should be no more than 5" long so that birds will feel safe landing and feeding from it.
Fruit Feeder should be no more than 5" long so that birds will feel safe landing and feeding from it. | Source
Female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak enjoying seeds, nutmeats and orange halves in seed tray/squirrel guard.
Female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak enjoying seeds, nutmeats and orange halves in seed tray/squirrel guard. | Source

Homemade Fruit Feeder for Birds in 4 Steps!

What You Will Need:

  • 12 gauge wire--I found mine in the craft store
  • needle nose pliers are helpful for bending the wire
  • wire cutters
  • ruler
  • slices of fruit, such as apples, oranges, tangerines, etc.

Step One: Measure approximately 20" of wire and snip with wire cutters.

Step Two: With the help of the needle nose pliers, form a loop approximately 1" to 1 1-1/2" in diameter and wrap the end around 2 or 3 times to secure the loop.

Step Three: Thread 2 or more slices of fruit onto the wire.

Step Four: Form another loop like the first one and hang both loops over a hook where birds can find it.

The feeder should hang down no more than 5" in order that birds can reach the fruit slices easily.

Fruit should be added to your compost pile or discarded after several days, if it hasn't been eaten by then! If the weather is very hot, or the feeder is in the sun all day, check to make sure the fruit has not spoiled or soured.

To use this feeder again for more fruit:

discard any old fruit that has not been eaten,

then wash the wire with a little mild soap and warm water;

rinse thoroughly and unfasten one end of the loop by unwinding the wire wraps and straighten the wire enough to be able to add more fruit slices,

reform the hanging loop and wrap 2 or more times to secure.

The 12 gauge wire is sturdy but quite flexible and easy to work with. It's perfect for this project.

You could make more than one and offer different fruit slices in different locations.



Male Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks are so colorful.  They eat tons of bugs and love all kinds of fruit.
Male Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks are so colorful. They eat tons of bugs and love all kinds of fruit. | Source
Scarlet Tanagers are also fond of both bugs and fruit.
Scarlet Tanagers are also fond of both bugs and fruit. | Source
Cape May Warblers are fruit lovers.
Cape May Warblers are fruit lovers. | Source
Female Red-Bellied Woodpecker is just beautiful.
Female Red-Bellied Woodpecker is just beautiful. | Source

Birds that you may attract by offering fruit: (depending upon what part of the country you live in)

Hooded Orioles

Bullock's Oriole

Orchard Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Cedar Waxwings

Gray Catbirds

Northern Mockingbirds

Thrashers

Rose Breasted Grosbeaks

Black Headed Grosbeaks

Blue Grosbeaks

Scarlet Tanagers

Western Tanagers

Red-Bellied Woodpeckers

Acorn Woodpeckers

Cape May Warblers

Yellow Rumped Warblers

Myrtle Warblers

Black Throated Blue Warblers

Robins

Towhees

Eastern Bluebirds

Western Bluebirds

Raspberry (Purple) Finches

Gold Finches

Indigo Buntings

Green Finches

Orange Finches







Do You Offer Fruit to Your Birds?

See results

There are so many colorful birds out there. Adding fruit to your feeders is a great way to attract birds you may never have seen before; particularly in spring to early summer time when they are hungry after migrating all those many thousands of miles. It's fun to experiment with different bird treats and treasures. You just never know what beautiful surprise you will find next at your bird feeders!

Male Purple (Raspberry) Finch enjoying the sunshine in his NYS summer home!
Male Purple (Raspberry) Finch enjoying the sunshine in his NYS summer home! | Source

Please Feel Free to Comment!

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    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      pstraubie, I'm so glad you enjoyed this article. It is indeed thrilling to catch sight of a bird that has never come around before. The little Indigo Buntings were my surprise this spring. Other times they have flown in only to leave within minutes, never to be seen again. But this time there is a pair, and they have stayed. So I know the fruit is attracting new birds. Good luck with your bird-attracting efforts! And thank you so much for the Angels. They watched over me while the tornado threats dissipated without damage or injury ;) Pearl

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      This is so clever. I am bookmarking it so I can give it a try. I love having the birdies come visit. And the thought of having new ones is exciting to me.

      Thanks for sharing. Sending Angels your way ps

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Thanks Deb! Oh, but you have such wonderful places to look for uncommon birds! It has taken a few years to attract the more colorful and rarer birds, and I still have more I hope to entice. Yesterday I saw a grackle fly in to steal a few morsels of bird seed. This is the first time I have seen a grackle this far up in the woods. There are plenty of them down in the housing developments on the 'flats'. What a shiny purple/black bird they are! I'd just as soon they didn't start gathering here, though.

      One year in the wintertime we had evening grosbeaks that stayed and ate at the feeders for 2 weeks, then off they went. I'd love to see them again ;) Connie

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Good work, Connie! This is such a wonderful way to get many uncommon birds to your homes, instead of looking for them like I do.

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      bravewarrior, I'm so glad to see you! You're on one of the migratory flyways, so it's very possible you might see different birds on their way to northern summer homes. Watch for the ones with luggage :) If you do offer tropical fruits to your birds, please let me know if you had any takers!

      Your continued support and friendship keep me inspired. Have a glorious day in Florida ;) Pearl

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      You're just full of information, Pearl. I never thought of this either. In fact, it never dawned on me that out-of-town guests will stop by for a visit when they're favorite meals are being served. Great hub!

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, that's exactly how I felt when I read about your idea of using pallets for furniture, gardening and fencing! I remember distinctly the loud DUH, and the forehead slap (I still have the mark!) LOL

      You're such a sweet and supportive friend! I'm sure Bev knows that you are indeed a brilliant and wonderful guy ;) Pearl

    • grandmapearl profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie Smith 

      5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Wow, Joe! You really know how to make a person feel like a million! I have to say that I look for your comments because they are always to the point, constructive and supportive as well as inspiring.

      You make me feel like a real writer, my friend! Thank you ;) Pearl

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I love the topic, my friend, but I also appreciate the tight writing, the liberal usage of beautiful images, and the great organization of your hub.

      Both in content and in presentation, then, you are absolutely stellar! Thanks for sharing! Aloha!

      Joe

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      How very clever, Pearl! I was reading that first part, about tropical birds eating tropical fruit, and I went.....DUH! Then I slapped my forehead and this huge lightbulb went off overhead.

      Why didn't I think of that???? Well, because my name isn't Pearl and I'm not nearly as smart, that's why! LOL

      Thanks for the information. I'm heading inside to show Bev how smart I am about birds. :)

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