Watermelon makes for a tasty summer treat, but did you know our avian friends enjoy the sweet fruit as well? Offering bites of this hydrating favorite can benefit wild birds visiting your yard. Learn which species relish watermelon, the best feeding tips, and creative ways to repurpose rinds for your feathered guests.
Which Types of Birds Enjoy Eating Watermelon?
Nearly all backyard birds will indulge in fresh watermelon when offered. Varieties attracted to the melon feast include:
Crows, magpies, jays, and ravens eagerly sample watery pink flesh and seeds. Their strong beaks easily pry into firm rinds.
Sparrows, starlings, grackles, and orioles thrive on versatility, incorporating fruit, insects, grains and more into healthy diets.
Doves, pigeons, quail and wild turkeys forage amongst dropped melon chunks as they prefer eating fallen pieces.
Warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks and other seasonal guests welcome sweet, juicy refreshment during active warm weather activities.
Check under hangingfeeders or birdbath edges after placing watermelon offerings to observe smaller birds enjoying collateral drippings as well.
Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon for Birds
Beyond tantalizing birds with a flavorful sensory experience, watermelon nutrition also boosts avian health:
With over 90% water content, melon quenches thirst while supplementing moisture from summer heat, flying, hatchlings, etc. The fluid support proves invaluable.
Watery melons power packed with minerals like magnesium and potassium replace depleted electrolytes lost by birds through extensive activities.
The fruit contains immunity bolstering vitamin A, vitamin C and amino acid citrulline to aid tissue strength and recovery from illness.
Ingesting small black watermelon seeds adds healthy fats. And seed spreading through droppings aids ecosystem regeneration too.
Refreshing, revitalizing watermelon gives birds a nutritious seasonal pickup when they need it most while delighting our visual senses as well!
Preparing Watermelon for Bird Consumption
Follow these simple tips for successfully serving watermelon to maximize enjoyment:
Slice deep enough to reveal the red interior fruit while discarding the thick outer green skin most birds cannot puncture. Expose edible portions.
Cut Small Pieces
Chop melon sections into petite bite-sized bits. Smaller chunks prevent excess wasting as pieces quickly dry out after cutting.
Use Raised Platforms
Serve pieces across a large flat surface like a raised platter, wide stump, or patio table to accommodate many diners simultaneously.
Swap out any uneaten remnants by the following day. Dehydration and spoilage happen swiftly in summer heat once cut open.
Presenting melon irresistibly with convenience enables birds to focus fully on relishing the scrumptious treats!
Creative Uses for Leftover Watermelon Rinds
Rather than trashing leftover rinds after carving out sweet inner fruit for birds, upcycle outer shells into helpful items birds appreciate too including:
|Offer fruit/suet mixes
|Hollow out middle; hang open side down
|Hold water for drinking/bathing
|Cut thick ring; stabilize on platform
|Freeze berries, nuts or seeds inside
|Carve shapes; freeze juices with items
|Line bottom of nest box
|Cut to fit box floor; create textured grip
Repurposing hard outer rind shell scrap into handy bird supports allows you to avoid food waste beautifully.
Frequently Asked Questions About Birds and Watermelon
Additional common queries on blending avian species and juicy melon treats:
Will birds eat other melons too like honeydew or cantaloupe?
Yes, most urban adapted birds accustom easily to various sweet melons. The soft textures and moisture remain the main appeal. However smaller varieties often prefer watermelon and its ample seeds.
Is it risky serving birds melon with fruit salad mixes containing chocolate or sweets toxic to them?
Absolutely – never combine melon intended for birds with ingredients like chocolate, caffeine, alcohol or citrus not tolerated by their digestive systems. Play safe by keeping human vs bird foods completely separate.
How can I incorporate watermelon when bird feeding bans restrict fruit?
If regional guidelines prohibit fruit feeding to prevent nuisance pests, consider serving water heavy fruits near bird baths instead for nutritional hydration as a loophole avoiding feeders. Always check latest seasonal ordinances.
Is it ok letting pet birds like parrots or cockatiels sample bits of leftover watermelon?
Yes, most companion parrots relish sweet watery fruit. Just introduce gradually watching for loose droppings indicating digestive issues. Remove rinds and seeds first for captive birds as well. Everything in moderation!
Refreshing sweet watermelon attracts myriad wild birds with its appetizing smell, vibrant colors and cool hydration. Follow our guidance on properly preparing bite sizes while strategically placing them to prevent territorial disputes. Both you and diverse avian visitors will delight sharing this iconic summer fruit. After parties disperse, continue the rewards by repurposing rinds into handy bird supports year round echoing lasting memories made together.