Wild strawberries can be found growing along the edges of fields and woods, on roadsides, and even in backyards.
You may have seen birds flitting between the blooms and fruits of these plants and wondered, “Are wild strawberries part of a balanced diet for birds?”
Maybe that question was followed by, “If wild strawberries are good for birds, what about the strawberries I buy in the store? Can I offer those to the birds in my backyard as a treat?”
These are great questions! Let’s take a look at the facts about birds and strawberries.
Are Strawberries Safe For Birds To Eat?
Here is some good news when it comes to the safety of berries: If a berry is safe for people to eat, it’s safe for birds, too! That means that birds can eat strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and so many more berries!
Of course, that doesn’t work the other way. Our feathered friends can’t eat berries that are toxic to humans.
Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Strawberries?
They may be safe, but is it possible for birds to eat too many strawberries?
No, birds will not eat too many strawberries.
They may enjoy finding a grove of wild strawberries—or, much to the chagrin of many gardeners, a lovely cultivated patch—but they will only eat as much as they need to meet their nutritional needs.
Do All Birds Eat Strawberries?
While strawberries are fine for birds to consume, there are some birds who don’t eat fruit. Granivorous birds, whose diet is made up primarily of seeds and grains, are the most likely to consume fruits like strawberries.
Granivorous species include sparrows, finches, quail, pheasants, partridges, doves, pigeons, parrots, parakeets, and finches.
On the contrary, carnivorous birds, such as owls, hawks, eagles, and falcons are not likely to eat any fruit, including strawberries.
Another type of bird that will regularly eat strawberries is the hummingbird! Hummingbirds love to drink the water content/juices that are found in fruits like strawberries.
What About Pet Birds?
Domestic bird owners can feed strawberries to their birds, too! Parakeets, parrots, canaries, cockatiels, and other pet birds can eat strawberries and other fruits in moderation, as long as they are part of a nutritious and complete diet.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
Strawberries are quite nutritious for birds! They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber.
A healthy diet for granivorous birds can include plenty of fruits and berries. Even though they will mostly eat grains and seeds, fruits provide important nutrients and sugars.
Healthy birds are active and bright-eyed. They are alert, responsive, and have healthy-looking feathers.
Strawberries don’t make a bird healthy, but strawberries and their natural sugar can absolutely be a part of a healthy wild bird diet.
Is The Whole Strawberry Good For Birds?
There is no part of the strawberry that birds can’t eat. They can eat the fruit, strawberry leaves, strawberry seeds, flowers, and strawberry tops, all without issue!
Are There Any Drawbacks To Feeding Strawberries To Birds?
If you grow organic strawberries in your own garden, you may find that you’re feeding them to birds whether you like it or not!
However, assuming you don’t have birds acting as pests in your garden, there are no real drawbacks to feeding strawberries to birds.
I suppose they can be a more expensive treatment than other birdfeed.
Can Birds Eat Moldy Strawberries?
So far, I have only talked about the benefits of fresh strawberries.
Moldy strawberries are another story.
You should never offer moldy food to wild birds because mold can make them sick or even kill them. That’s why bird experts warn birders from providing bread to birds. Not only is it nutritionally empty, but it also is prone to dangerous molds.
If you have some strawberries that have gone bad, throw them in the compost bin—not out by the birdfeeders!
Interesting Ways to Serve Strawberries to Birds
The first way to serve strawberries to birds is probably pretty obvious: put whole, fresh strawberries out where you already feed your backyard bird visitors!
There are more options, though!
Frozen fruits, including strawberries, are just as nutritious as fresh ones, as long as they haven’t been frozen in sugary juices.
Large fruits tend to be less appealing to our feathered friends than smaller ones. Strawberries are already pretty small, but you can chop them into pieces if you want them to be easier for little birds to access.
Other methods of feeding strawberries to birds include:
- Freeze-dried strawberries
- Dried strawberries
- Strawberry jelly (or another jam with natural sugar content)
- Strawberry juice (make sure it doesn’t go rancid in the heat)
If you have a pet bird, such as a parrot, you may want to give them a bite of your strawberry desserts, such as strawberries and cream. We recommend bypassing the sugary cream and giving just the strawberries.
When Should You Feed Strawberries to Birds?
Strawberries can be offered year-round!
Birds will often find their own berries and fruits during the summer, which means a fall or winter strawberry can be a sweet treat and source of vitamin C for birds who stick around all winter instead of migrating to warmer climates.
Do You Know How to Keep Your Backyard Birds Healthy and Happy?
You’re reading this article, so that must mean that you care about the birds in your backyard habitat.
I do, too. In addition to being beautiful and fascinating to watch, birds are also an essential part of our ecosystem.
Whether you live in the desert or forest, near the beach or near the mountains, or in a rural or urban area, my guess is that the birds you get to see regularly bring you a lot of joy.
You’re not alone! Keeping backyard birds healthy and happy is about recognizing their needs and doing what is right.
Keeping your feeders and feeding area clean and full of species-appropriate foods is a great way to help protect the avian wildlife in your community. That includes offering sweet, delicious fruits like strawberries with essential minerals from time to time!