Birds love watermelon! But is it safe to provide them with the watermelon from your table? The answer is a bit complex.
Sometimes, new birders — despite their best intentions — put out treats that aren’t beneficial to their feathered friends. Experienced birders, however, will do research beforehand and make sure that each thing they supply to the birds is safe.
While this might sound time-consuming, this is the best strategy to ensure you avoid injuring your backyard birds or making them sick.
So what about watermelon? Can you safely put this juicy, summer, sweet fruit out for birds to enjoy?
Watermelon is great for birds, and in this article, we’ll go over the dos and don’ts of feeding watermelon to the birds in your backyard.
Is Watermelon Safe for Birds To Eat?
Watermelon is definitely safe for birds.
It is a healthy and delicious treat that many species of birds delight in finding in your backyard. Not only is it rich in nutrients, including Vitamins A, B, B6, and C, but it is also a great source of hydration. Plus, it’s a great source of energy.
During the summer heat, a bird that eats watermelon is getting essential nutrients and plenty of water.
Providing watermelon, along with with other fruits, can be a healthy and beneficial way to attract a variety of species to your yard.
Are Any Parts of the Watermelon Toxic?
Most parts of the watermelon are safe for birds. Birds can eat the fleshy insides of the melon, as well as the seeds. They can also enjoy the juice, although you don’t want to leave watermelon juice out long enough for it to spoil or ferment.
The rind, however, can be an issue for birds.
Can Birds Eat Watermelon Rinds?
Watermelon rinds aren’t toxic on their own. In fact, the rinds can potentially provide many health benefits to the birds. It’s also a great source of fiber.
However, commercially sold watermelons are often covered in harmful pesticides and fungicides that are used in the growing process.
Unlike other fruits that are commonly washed before they are consumed, there are plenty of people who do not wash their watermelons. It would be a good idea to do so, though, to avoid contamination.
It is best to cut off the outer layer of the rind before putting watermelon out for the birds in your backyard to avoid giving them anything that could make them sick.
Can Birds Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Some watermelons come with seeds, and others don’t. Either option is fine for the birds in your backyard.
You can even take the scraps from the watermelon you have already eaten and place them in the yard for your birds. (After you cut off the rind, of course.)
Often, after I carve a watermelon, I put out the seeds and juice for the birds instead of throwing it away into the trash!
Birds can eat black seeds, white seeds, or any other watermelon seeds.
Are Watermelon Seeds Nutritious for Birds?
Good news: this article is full of “yes!” answers. Yes, watermelon is good for birds. Yes, it’s safe for them. And yes, the seeds are nutritious, too!
Watermelon seeds contain multiple nutrients and minerals, including copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and folate. These dietary elements of good for birds’ feathers, bones, hearts, and metabolism.
However, if you have a seedless watermelon, there is no harm in providing that to your birds, too. It may not be an extra source of nutrition like the seeds, but it is still good for them.
How Do You Feed Watermelon to Birds?
If you want to feed watermelon to your birds, there are a few things you need to know. Let’s look at the best ways to give watermelon to birds, including how much to give, what not to give them, and how to provide it.
Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Watermelon for Birds?
Generally, birds will not eat too much watermelon. Because the fruit is safe for them, there really aren’t any risks associated with feeding them watermelon flesh, seeds, or juice.
Are There Any Bird Species That Can’t Have Watermelon?
Not all wild birds eat fruit, but many do.
There are no species of birds that will get sick from eating watermelon, but if you have a lot of carnivorous birds in your area, they will probably leave your watermelon offering alone.
Can Baby Birds Eat Watermelon?
Baby birds eat whatever their parents eat.
When they are hatchlings, birds only eat what their parents give them, and their parents will not give them anything dangerous.
When they are a little older and begin to go into the world to eat on their own, watermelon is fine for them.
How To Prepare Watermelon for Your Backyard Birds
Simply throwing a watermelon into the yard and waiting for the birds to make it disappear is not a good strategy.
You will end up with a moldy, buggy mess in your yard or garden if you use that approach.
Instead, cut up the watermelon into very small pieces, discarding the rind. It is fine for the juices and seeds to stay with the watermelon you are going to offer to your birds.
If you want to avoid that sticky mess that comes from fermenting fruit juices that have been left out for too long, only offer a little bit at a time. Keep what you are not providing yet in the fridge to offer later.
I recommend putting the fruit out on a plate or in a bowl so that you can clean it up easily afterward. If you leave watermelon out overnight, you may end up attracting backyard pests like raccoons or squirrels.
Enjoy Watching Your Birds Feast on Watermelon!
Turns out, watermelon is a near-perfect snack that provides many benefits for birds. Just make sure to keep this tasty snack safe by removing the rind (or at the very least wash it first).
After you have served watermelon to your birds, sit back and enjoy watching them feast!
Feeding your backyard birds healthy snacks like watermelon and other fruits can attract a variety of species you may not normally see at your feeders.
When your yard becomes a source of nutritious and tasty treats, you will begin to be visited by more and more species!