Can Birds Eat Zucchini? The Health Benefits and Serving Tips

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Not long ago, I grew far too many zucchini in my garden. I know I’m not the only one, either! Zucchini plants, when they succeed, produce wild amounts of these dark green vegetables.

Sometimes it’s impossible to eat all of the zucchini you grow in the garden! You may make zucchini bread, zucchini noodles, and sauteed zucchini for days and still have a surplus.

You wouldn’t be the first person to wonder–can I throw this zucchini out to the birds? Can birds eat zucchini? Or is it one of those toxic foods?

The answer is yes. Birds can eat raw zucchini! That said, they don’t always want to.

Health Benefits of Zucchini

Zucchini is a nutritionally rich food.

It’s a low-calorie vegetable that is high in antioxidants and beneficial to healthy digestion. The entire body benefits from a diet that includes zucchini and adequate water content!

Birds don’t have the same dietary needs as humans, of course. But zucchini’s health benefits are good for birds, too. They can get vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from eating fresh or cooked zucchini. They also enjoy the nutritious cucurbitacin in zucchini.

Will Birds Eat Zucchini?

I have not put zucchini out for the wild birds in my backyard, but I give zucchini to my chickens, who love it as a tasty treat! They prefer raw zucchini to cooked zucchini, and it doesn’t take long to make a few zucchini squashes disappear.

Wild birds like crowned sparrows, robins, crows, and finches have a reputation for going after zucchini that is growing in a garden, so it’s clear that at least some wild birds enjoy the taste. These birds may eat the leaves instead of the vegetables themselves.

Vegetable gardeners, whose zucchini plants have caught the attention of these birds, often express frustration at trying to keep the birds away from their zucchini. On the other hand, it should not be a problem if you want to feed zucchini to birds.

Remember that if you grow zucchini plants and teach your backyard birds to love this delicious vegetable, they may feel entitled to eat your entire crop!

Some birds, though, will simply turn up their noses at zucchini. Birds whose diet is primarily fruit, insect, or nectar-based may be disinterested in zucchini altogether.

Can Birds Eat Raw Zucchini or Raw Squash?

There is no need to cook zucchini before it is offered to the birds. In fact, cooked zucchini and other cooked squash will spoil quickly, especially in the heat.

A large pile of cooked zucchini will also attract bugs and then get moldy before the birds have a chance to be interested in it.

What About Courgette? Is Courgette Safe for Birds?

Like zucchini, courgette is perfectly safe for birds. You must only avoid giving moldy food to birds because it can make them sick if they eat it. That is true, no matter what you are offering!

How To Prepare Zucchini for Wild Birds

Even though my chickens are happy to eat an entire zucchini, most wild birds are much smaller than chickens!

I recommend dicing fresh zucchini for birds into small pieces and putting it on a plate near your birdfeeders. You will figure out quickly if you have wild birds who are interested in zucchini or not.

If they don’t eat the biggest zucchini shares within a few days, remove the food and throw it away or put it in the compost bin.

Do Pet Birds Eat Zucchini?

Pet birds like parrots, budgies, parakeets, and cockatiels require a healthy diet. They do well when offered a variety of healthy snacks in addition to their regular bird food.

Zucchini can be offered to parrots and other pet birds, along with the following safe vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Corn on the cob
  • Greens (including dandelion greens and collard greens)
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh fruit
  • Low-fat fruits
  • Fruit pits
  • Organic fruit
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Fresh Vegetables
  • Warm fruits

Do Ducks Eat Zucchini?

Ducks, like other backyard poultry, really enjoy zucchini!

It is also incredibly good for them. The fiber in zucchini prevents colic in ducks, especially young ducklings.

Ducklings are also susceptible to dehydration and infections; Zucchini helps to prevent these conditions. It may also help reduce the risk of ducks developing a painful condition in which egg yolks get stuck in the oviducts.

You may have heard that feeding bread to wild ducks is bad for them because it is basically “junk food.” What if you took some healthy, bite-size zucchini to give to the ducks at your local pond instead?

Other Interesting Foods You Can Offer to Your Backyard Birds

Zucchini isn’t the only interesting food you can offer to backyard birds!

Birds enjoy the following household foods, a common complement to zucchini. 

You can even offer eggs to the wild birds that visit your yard! This includes raw eggs, scrambled eggs, and boiled eggs. They will eat the shells and everything! Raw eggs are messy, so it’s usually easier to give them cooked eggs.

Avoid offering food that has been heavily seasoned or is in a complex recipe that may have ingredients that will make the birds sick.

Feeding Zucchini to Birds Can Brighten Your Day as a Backyard Birder

Anything you can do to attract more birds to your yard will make your experience better as a backyard birder. This includes offering healthy, nutritious treats like flavored zucchini.

Next time you have a surplus of veggies like non-organic zucchini or other squash vegetables, don’t just throw it out or wait for it to get moldy in your fridge. Instead, slice it up, put it on a plate, and see what kinds of birds show up to enjoy their tasty snack!

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Liz Ranfeld

Liz Boltz Ranfeld is an independent educator and writer from Indiana. She lives on the edge of the woods with her husband, 2 kids, dogs, chickens, and hedgehog. One of the best things of living in rural Indiana is spotting hawks, pileated woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and other wild creatures. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and gardening, and one of her personal heroes is the conservationist and birdwatcher Rosalie Barrow Edge, who paved the way for the protection of birds around the globe.