In short, yes, you can feed birds apples. But as always, when feeding wild birds, there are some best practices people should follow. The best practices are simple, some of which we will explore today.
Do UK wild birds eat apples?
Yes, wild birds in the UK love apples! Again there are some do’s and don’ts that we can adhere to that will help out our feathered friends.
Are apples safe for birds?
YES! Apples and fruits like them are ok for birds. The seeds are also not dangerous to bird species. The idea that seeded fruits like apples & pears are dangerous is essentially an urban myth perpetuated on the internet.
You can feed birds whole apples, apple slices, apple cores & apple skins. Although they have tough beaks, birds will appreciate soft or bruised fruit as it’s easier to tackle. Equally, if you have some chickens, you can cut the apple into pieces for them, and they will love you forever!
How do you give apples to birds?
You can give an apple to birds in a variety of ways. We find that the best way to feed apples to wild birds in the UK is to;
- Cut them in half and place them on the floor or the bird feeder
- Cut them into small pieces and put them into the bird feeder or floor
Some people have even made simple feeds specifically for apples. They provide a perch for the birds to sit on while feeding. And a spike to secure the apple.
When should you feed apples to birds?
There are certain times of the year when you should or should not feed apples to wild birds in the UK. Sometimes you could even be causing more harm than good, so listen up!
Feeding birds apples in Autumn or Winter
Winter can be a difficult time out in the wild, and this is the best time to give our country’s bird population a helping hand. During the winter months, you should put some food out (like apples) twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Food at this time of year is scarce. A slice of apple each day is a lifeline for at least one animal.
If food is building up, you are giving them more than enough. Remember not to leave food to spoil if it goes uneaten that day. And remember, if you get into a routine, they will rely on you during these months. Keep up the feeding routine!
Feeding birds apples in Spring and Summer
This time of year is warmer for birds, but they have new demands. During the spring and summer, birds tend to molt & raise young. Both of these require a lot of energy & protein.
While apples are not known for building muscle & protein content, they are rich in natural sugars that will give birds a much-needed boost during a busy day foraging or hunting.
Do birds eat apples in winter?
Yes, wild birds do eat apples in winter. Food is scarce during this time of the year. Apple contains a much-needed source of natural sugars to the bird table.
Do birds eat apple cores?
Yes, you can feed UK wild birds apple cores. The idea that apple seeds are dangerous for birds (or animals) is a myth. Apple seeds only contain traces of cyanide, not lethal doses.
Do birds eat apples from trees?
For many birds in the wild, any fruit tree is a banquet. Full of sweet sugar-rich fruits and crunch protein-rich bugs. So yes, if you are lucky enough to have a fruit tree and want to scrump the fruit, you might want to put a net over it for the final months of fruiting.
Can birds eat apple skin?
Yes, birds can eat apple skin with no problem. If you have been pecked at by a chicken (or worse), you will know that a beak would have no problem nipping away at apple skin. Being full of fiber and nutrients, it is also a nutritious part of the apple to feed wild birds in the UK.
Can you put apples out for birds?
Yes, you can put apples out for wild birds in the UK. The only thing to remember is to throw away any uneaten foods after 24 hours to avoid spoiling or attracting rats.
Which birds eat apples in the UK?
The majority of wild birds will eat apples in the UK. However, some species love apples more than others. If you have left out some fresh apple slices, you are likely to see;
So what other birds feed on apples? As always, you will have a pigeon or a magpie hanging about any food source you put out for birds! Other species you might see include cardinals, sparrows, thrashers, tanagers, woodpeckers, bluebirds, orioles, wrens, lorikeets, crows, jays, and fieldfares.
Are fruits with seeds dangerous for wild birds in the UK
No, apple seeds are not harmful to birds. This idea is a misrepresentation of fact. This ‘fact’ is often followed with the statement ‘apple seeds contain cyanide. Which they do in very, very small quantities. Birds, fruit, and seeds have been around for a long time.
Do birds eat apple seeds?
A bird may eat some apple seeds, but there is no real danger here. They are perfectly safe when consumed by birds or humans. For context, to kill a human with cyanide from apple seeds. They would have to consume around 250,000 apple seeds.
Photo by TIVASEE: https://www.pexels.com/photo/apples-on-wooden-board-near-figures-of-flowers-and-bird-6556341/