Celery is a divisive vegetable – one that not everyone loves, though we are well aware of its health benefits.
But can birds eat celery? Will they be a concern for gardeners trying to grow this crop in their vegetable gardens? Should you feed celery to wild or pet birds, and if so, how should you serve it?
Read on for the answers to these questions and to learn a little more about whether or not celery is something that birds like to (and should) eat.
Do Birds Eat Celery?
Birds do eat celery. Birds will occasionally eat celery stems and leaves, especially while these are young and tender and growing in your garden.
However, the celery plant is not really known as being particularly appealing to birds. Birds will occasionally eat it, but it is not a favorite for most, and other food sources will usually be selected before celery.
Experienced gardeners may already know that celery is a notoriously challenging crop to grow. It is fussy regarding water, fertility, and its growing environment. Pests are not usually the main problem. But birds can occasionally pose a threat to your crop.
Do Birds Eat Celery Seeds?
One way that birds might cause a problem for gardeners is by eating celery seeds before they even get the chance to germinate.
Seed-eating birds will often, if given the opportunity, eat seeds you have sown in your vegetable garden. Gardeners often think that seeds have failed to germinate when, in fact, something has eaten them all! If this has occurred, birds may well be the culprits.
Do Birds Eat Celery Seedlings?
Birds sometimes also wait for seedlings to germinate before eating or simply uprooting the tender young plants.
This, too, can be a problem for gardeners. It is most likely to happen when you grow plants like brassicas, which pigeons and other birds love to eat. But it can occur when growing celery too.
How To Stop Birds Eating Celery in Your Garden
If you find that birds are a pest in the vegetable garden, then the remedy is simple. The thing is that celery is not really a favorite food for birds, so if birds are eating it or damaging the crop, this is likely a sign that there is not enough natural food around for them in your garden and the surrounding area.
The best way to prevent bird damage in a vegetable garden is to take steps to create a garden crammed with delicious things that birds love to eat!
Of course, this begins with a consideration of what you choose to plant. Planting as wide a variety of plants as possible which provide food for birds, and attract the insects that they also like to eat, should be your first step if you want to help the birds in your area.
After planting to create a bird-friendly garden, you might also consider providing food in bird feeders, at a bird table, or other bird feeding stations.
Should You Feed Celery to Garden Birds or Pet Birds?
Just because birds will eat fresh celery, of course, does not necessarily mean that it should be fed to them. So another important consideration is whether celery is a beneficial food to feed birds.
Feeding leftovers to garden birds can be a great way to live waste-free. Food causes significant issues when it ends up in landfill, and of course, living in a more sustainable and eco-friendly manner is one more way to aid the birds and other wildlife. The more we can all do in this regard, the better.
Is Celery Good for Birds?
Though birds won’t always choose to eat a celery stick as a top choice, it can be beneficial if they eat some because of the vitamins and other nutrients it contains.
Among other things, celery is a source of essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium, all of which help to keep your feathered friends in tip-top health.
There is nothing in celery stalks that is dangerous or toxic to birds. However, one note of caution to sound is that the fibrous material and stringy texture of the stems can potentially lead to crop impaction or issues within a bird’s digestive tract.
How To Serve Celery to Birds
If you have leftover celery or decide to feed celery to birds for its nutritional content, then it is important, of course, to provide it in the right way.
Can Birds Eat Raw Celery?
It is perfectly fine and safe to feed raw celery to pet birds or to leave some outdoors to see if wild birds will have a taste.
However, to avoid any potential problems with long strings from the stems, chop up any raw celery you offer into bite-sized pieces or offer raw celery juice instead.
Can Birds Eat Celery Leaves?
Providing the leaves or leaving the foliage on celery stems is also absolutely fine and won’t harm birds. Sometimes, garden birds will pick at these while leaving larger stem sections behind.
Can Birds Eat Cooked Celery?
Tender pieces of cooked celery are also not harmful to birds, and many birds may be more likely to consume celery when it is cooked.
Of course, cooked celery does not have quite the same nutritional benefits as raw celery, but it is softer and may be easier for some birds to eat and digest.
Just remember that leftovers containing celery might also have salt, which is unhealthy for birds and can harm them even in small quantities.
You also need to be on the lookout for other ingredients used in recipes that might pose a health risk for birds.
Make Sure Celery Is Fresh
It is important to understand that you should not leave out anything that has spoiled for birds. Generally, you should only leave out food suited for human consumption.
If you decide to leave some celery outside for birds, one thing to remember is that it might not be a particularly favored food. So keep an eye on it; if it is not consumed, remove it, so molds don’t grow and pathogens don’t spread.
If left out and not consumed, celery in a bird feeding area might also attract pests like rodents that you don’t want coming near your home.
So if the birds in your area don’t eat celery, simply add it to your composting system instead.
Feed Birds With Organic Celery Only
Another critical thing to consider if you plan on feeding celery or other fruits or vegetables to birds is that you should only ever choose organic options. Only offer food you have grown yourself or fresh, seasonal organic produce grown in your local area.
Produce that is not organic can contain traces of the pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers used in growing it. And these can potentially pose a health risk to birds (and humans). Going organic is not only the more eco-friendly and ethical choice but also the safer option.
Remember, while feeding birds celery can be excellent occasionally, the most important thing for bird lovers is ensuring birds have a balanced diet through the plants you grow and the insects you attract in your garden.