Can Birds Eat Bananas? Plus Health Benefits and More!

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When we think of bananas, monkeys may be the first creatures that come to mind—but did you know that some birds love bananas too? In fact, many pet birds enjoy this sweet and nutritious fruit as part of their diet.

Banana is also a great choice to add to backyard bird feeders. While not all birds will eat bananas, many bird species enjoy this fruit as a treat.

Like with any food, however, it’s important to offer bananas to your feathered friends in moderation.

Health Benefits of Banana for Birds

Bananas are packed with nutritional benefits for birds, such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. This fruit is also a good source of dietary fiber and potassium.

When fed in moderation, bananas can help support a bird’s overall health and well-being. In addition, this fruit can also offer some unique benefits, such as:

  • Supporting a healthy heart
  • Aiding in digestion
  • Boosting energy levels
  • Helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Providing relief from stress and anxiety

Potassium

We all know that bananas are a great source of potassium. But did you know that this mineral is essential for birds too? Potassium helps to support a bird’s heart health and aids in muscle function. It’s also necessary for proper fluid balance in the body.

Dietary Fiber

Bananas are also a good source of dietary fiber. This nutrient is important for birds because it helps to keep their digestive system functioning properly. Fiber also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promote feelings of fullness after eating.

Slow Burning Energy Source

Bananas are a great source of natural energy for birds. The carbohydrates in this fruit are slowly metabolized by the body, which provides a steady stream of energy that lasts for hours. This makes bananas an ideal treat to offer before your bird participates in any type of physical activity, such as flying or playing.

Can Birds Eat Too Many Bananas?

Can Birds Eat Bananas

While bananas are a super healthy treat for birds, it’s important to offer them in moderation. Like with any food, too much of anything can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

Bananas, in particular, are relatively high in sugar. So, if your bird consumes too many of them, they may end up with an upset stomach or diarrhea.

To avoid this, make sure to offer bananas as part of a balanced diet.

Bananas for Birds: Serving Suggestions

Wild birds in the backyard will love a banana feeder!

One easy way to offer bananas to birds is to place them on a skewer or in a fruit feeder. This makes it easy for birds to eat and also helps to keep the fruit from going bad.

Another great option is to add banana slices to your bird’s regular seed mix. Or, you could make your own homemade bird food by mixing bananas with other healthy ingredients, such as oats, nuts, and berries.

If you have a pet bird, you can also offer them bananas as part of their diet. Just be sure to cut the fruit into small pieces so they can easily eat it.

Ripeness

When offering bananas to birds, it’s important to choose ripe fruit. Ripe bananas are softer and easier for birds to eat. They also have a sweeter taste than most birds love.

On the other hand, unripe green bananas are much harder and can be difficult for birds to digest.

Overly ripe, brown, or bruised bananas should also be avoided as they can spoil quickly and may not be as nutritionally dense. Beware: Birds may be more attracted to these over-ripe fruits due to an increase in sugars.

Palatability of Peel

The banana peel, while nutritious and full of vitamins, is not a good thing to give birds.  The excess cellulose is tough to digest, which can cause gastrointestinal issues.

What’s more, the peel can also harbor harmful bacteria that can make your bird sick, particularly from agricultural chemicals used on conventionally grown bananas. For this reason, it’s always best to remove the peel before offering bananas to birds.

Spike Stations

One way to offer bananas to birds without the mess is to create a “spike station.”

To do this, simply take a ripe banana and cut it into thin slices. Then, thread the slices onto a skewer or bamboo skewer. Make sure the slices are close together so the banana doesn’t slip off.

Once all the slices are on the skewer, place them in a bird feeder or on a tree branch. The birds will love nibbling on these delicious and nutritious snacks!

Banana as a Suet Binder

Banana can also be used as a binder in homemade suet recipes.

Suet is a type of bird food that is made from fat, typically beef or pork fat. This high-energy food is perfect for birds in the winter when they need extra calories to stay warm.

To make suet using a banana, simply mash up a ripe banana and mix it with melted fat. Then, add your favorite bird seed to the mixture and stir until everything is well combined.

Once the suet has cooled and hardened, you can cut it into small chunks and offer it to birds in a suet feeder.

Bug Bar

Fruit in the garden, particularly overripe pieces, can attract large numbers of bugs. While this sounds like a negative thing, it can actually create a new source of bird feed itself.

To turn this into a positive, simply place overripe bananas, along with other fruits and vegetables, in a designated “bug bar” area of the garden. This will attract bugs, which will then attract insect-eating birds, such as hummingbirds.

Do Birds Like Bananas?

Birds love bananas! In fact, a variety of birds will seek out ripe bananas and other tropical fruits in the wild and eat them as part of their diet.

If you’re looking to attract birds to your yard or garden, offering them banana slices is a great way to do it.

Here in North America, bananas are not naturally grown so our local bird species would not usually come across them. However, they are definitely a welcomed treat for our feathered friends.

Some birds that are known to enjoy bananas include:

  • Cardinals
  • Jays
  • Catbirds
  • Wrens
  • Orioles
  • Finches
  • Blackbirds
  • Starlings
  • Robins

However, you may be surprised to find all sorts of species attracted to your banana spike stations or bug bars! There are no species that will be harmed by bananas in your backyard, so set them out and see who indulges.

FAQs

Can Baby Birds Eat bananas?

Yes, baby birds can eat bananas. Just be sure to remove the peel and cut the fruit into small pieces to make it easier for them to eat.

Can You Feed a Baby Bird Mashed Banana?

Mashed bananas may be fine for hand-feeding baby birds, but at this stage, they need a specialized diet. Consult a bird rescue or veterinarian for feeding advice.

Can Birds Eat Banana Bread?

Banana bread is not good for birds as it contains sugar and other ingredients that are not part of their natural diet. A small amount won’t kill them, but it’s best to avoid giving it to them altogether.

Can Birds Eat Banana Chips?

Banana chips may pose a choking hazard to small birds, as hard foods can easily get lodged in their throats.

The dehydration process that banana chips undergo also removes a lot of the fruit’s nutrients.

Can Birds Eat Plantains?

Plantains are a type of banana that is starchier and less sweet than the bananas we typically eat. While birds can eat plantains, they should only be given as an occasional treat because they lack the nutritional value of other fruits.

Do not give your bird plantain chips as these are usually fried and coated in sugar, which can be harmful to birds.

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Sophie Herlihy

After an early start in the veterinary industry and as a conservation educator at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, Sophie has since been a successful Zookeeper and Conservationist, specializing in native New Zealand species. When she isn't bird watching in native forests or crawling through the underbrush at midnight searching for rare frog species, she can be found with her husband on their sheep and beef station, far from civilization.