Originally published in the June/July 2018 issue of Bird Talk Magazine. Buy it here.

There are a number of fruits and vegetables in season during the summer. Which one will be your bird’s favorite?

Summer Fruits

While fruits are a great source of vitamins and minerals, they are also high in sugar. Talk to your avian veterinarian about the proper amount of fruits for your bird.

Most of these foods can be served raw or dried. If you do serve dried, feed dried fruits that are sulfite-, pesticide- and preservative-free.

Apricots: These fruits are a great source of vitamin A, potassium, iron, calcium, silicon, phosphorus and vitamin C. When serving your parrot, remove the pit from fruit, and don’t let your bird chew on the leaves or branches. They can be poisonous, and the pit contains cyanide.

Bananas: Who doesn’t love bananas? These fruits are high in potassium and seem to be a universal favorite of birds everywhere.

Blackberries: These fruits are high in Vitamin C and potassium. While super nutritious, think about feeding these in an area that is easy to clean. When your bird throws little blackberry bits around, it’ll be easier to scrub it off without staining.

Blueberries: Blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Much like blackberries, feed these to your bird in a place that is easy to clean.

Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe is a great source of vitamin A, C and folate. Feed the fruit part only.

Grapes: Birds love grapes, both eating the fruit and the skin.

Honeydew Melon: This fruit is high in vitamin C. As with the cantaloupe, feed the fruit part only.

Kiwi: These fuzzy fruits are high in vitamin C, E and potassium. Feed the fruit part only.

Mangoes: Mangoes are high in vitamin A and C. Feed the fruit part only. There’s some debate if the pit of the mango is actually toxic to animals; however, to be safe, don’t let your bird eat it.

Nectarines: These fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Like apricots, remove the pits and don’t let your bird have access to the leaves or branches.

Peaches: These fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Like apricots and nectarines, remove the pits and don’t let your bird have access to the leaves or branches.

Plums: These fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Like apricots, peaches and nectarines, remove the pits and don’t let your bird have access to the leaves or branches.

Raspberries: Raspberries are high in vitamin C and a great source of dietary fiber. Much like blackberries and blueberries, feed these to your bird in a place that is easy to clean.

Strawberries: These much-loved fruits are a good source of vitamin C, manganese and potassium. Much like the other berries, feed these to your bird in a place that is easy to clean.

Watermelon: These big fruits are a great source of vitamins A, C and potassium.

Summer Vegetables

Avian veterinarians everywhere agree: vegetables are a great part of a balanced bird diet. Most of these vegetables can be served raw, dry or cooked, though hold the salt and seasoning if you do. Use sulfite-, pesticide- and preservative-free vegetables too.

Beets: Beets are a great source of folate, potassium and vitamin C. Feed both the main vegetable and the greens.

Bell Peppers: I’m not sure if birds have a love for spicy food, but they won’t even blink snacking on a bell pepper. They are also a great source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, folic acid and fiber.

Cabbage: Whether it’s green or purple, cabbage is a great source of vitamin C and K.

Collard Greens: Kale’s healthy cousin, collard greens are a great source of vitamin A, C and folate, along with calcium and fiber.

Corn: Corn seems to be another universal favorite for birds. Compared to other vegetables, it doesn’t have same nutritional value so consider feeding other types of vegetables first.

Cucumbers: A great source of vitamin C and easy to feed your bird. Just slice them up and hand one over to your bird.

Lettuce: Iceberg lettuce doesn’t have a lot of nutrients, but other lettuce types, like romaine, are high in vitamin A and folates.

Green Beans: Many birds love holding these in their feet and chewing through them to get the bean inside. They are a great source of fiber and vitamin C.

Okra: These vegetables are a great source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium and fiber.

Peas: Peas are a great source of vitamin A, C, folate and dietary fiber. You’ll love watching your bird smash his beak into one.

Radishes: These crisp, crunchy vegetables are high in vitamin C.

Spinach: You can’t go wrong with this vegetables. They are high in vitamin A, C, fiber, iron, folates and magnesium.

Summer Squash/Zucchini: These vegetables can’t compare to their autumn squash counterparts, but they are still a good source of vitamin C. Leave the peel on since that is where all the nutrients are.

I am the editor in chief of Bird Talk Magazine, a California native, journalist, vegan and the proud owner of Forest and River, two German Shephards, and a turquoise green-cheeked conure named Blue.

1 COMMENT

  1. What a great list for summer fruits and vegetables! I beg to differ regarding giving the bird spinach, however: Spinach isn’t one of the cleanest vegetables in the world, plus it’s got a good deal of oxalic acid in it, which isn’t particularly good for birds. Avoid giving your bird(s) arugula for the same reason; the abundance of oxalic acid in it. Hope I’ve been of some help here.

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