Fruits 101

TART AND TROPICAL…YES PLEASE!

Fruits are an essential part of the diet and provide necessary sugars. You MUST control the amount because too much sugar is detrimental to your bird’s health and disposition.

Fruit is an important source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and phytochemicals which are absolutely essential for optimal health. Fruits are a good source of energy and are rich in enzymes that makes digestion fast and easy, releasing energy into the body.

Just remember that all that energy needs to be burned up somehow so fruit should be fed but sparingly. Too much fruit and you will likely have behavioral problems (like a 3-yr old on a ‘sugar high’).

Some fruits, like grapes for example, are like little sugar bombs so we do not recommend feeding them at all. One grape to a macaw is like you eating a sugar ball the size of your head!

Fruit also supplies a good deal of fluid so be prepared for watery droppings. The first time I fed our Eclectus a grape it was like a river, and yes, I freaked out.

When you feed fruit, make it FRESH if possible. Frozen is second if there’s no other option but don’t feed dried fruit. Why? Two reasons … first, dried fruit is smaller in size so many people think they can feed MORE of it, but it is much more concentrated from a sugar perspective so more is NOT better. Second, dried fruit usually contains sulfites which you do not want to give your bird. Try to stick to fruits lower in sugar if you can and go for the orange ones (like cantaloupe, mango, papaya).

Use our food list to find fruits that you can feed your bird; some are more nutritious than others in the list and since birds don’t eat a whole lot of volume, try to offer the most nutritious and leave out the others.

FRUIT NAME
Apple (tart is best)
Apricot
Banana
Bilberry
Bilberry
Blackberry
Blackcurrant
Blueberry
Cantelope
Cherry
Clementines
Coconut
Cranberry
Damson
Date (only in very small quantities - high sugar)
Elderberry
Fig
Gooseberry
Greengage (European plum)
Hawthorn berry
Kiwi
Loganberry
Lychee
Mandarin
Mango (peel thoroughly before serving and only give when fully ripe)
Melon
Mulberry
Orange
Papaya (peel thoroughly before serving and only give when fully ripe)
Passion Fruit
Peach
Pear
Persimmon (only sweet, non-tangy varieties)
Pineapple
Plum
Pomegranate
Raspberry
Rose-hips
Rowan berry
Satsuma
Sea-buckthorn
Service berries (Juneberry, saskatoon, from Amelanchier species of trees)
Starfruit
Strawberry
Tangerine