Attract Fruit-eating Birds to Your Backyard honeycreeper bird exotic
Attract Fruit-eating Birds to Your BackyardAttract Fruit-eating Birds to Your Backyard
Honeycreepers, native to Hawaii, have a diet of fruits, insects, and nectar.

They may seem ultra-exotic and tropical, however fruit-eating birds do live in North America along the East Coast. In fact, while kayaking along the Delaware River in Philadelphia the other week, I had the incredible opportunity to watch a Baltimore Oriole creating a nest! Not all fruit-eaters are mango or papaya-loving tropical birds. Some are in our own backyards!

White-throated Sparrow enjoying the fruits of a Staghorn Sumac

Fruit-Eating Birds Living in Pennsylvania

Many birds incorporate fruit into their diets. Here in PA, and in the surrounding region, we have birds that live here who will eat insects in the spring, then transition their diets to fruit and seeds in the summer season.

While this list isn’t a comprehensive one, it may give you a good idea of birds that you may see that will be searching for fruit and visiting your fruit-bearing wildlife habitat, gardens, and fruit-feeders!

Birds that Live Here Year-Round:

  • American Robin
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
This Rose-Breasted Grosbeak is one of the birds found in this area that are being threatened by Climate Change.
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Birds that Migrate Through or Breed Here:

  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Philadelphia Vireo
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Black-and-White Warbler
  • Yellow Warbler

Native Plants that Attract Fruit-Eaters

There are a ton of wonderful trees and flowers that produce fruits, seeds, and nuts that feed birds. Attract fruit-eating birds to your backyard this summer by adding some of the plants on this list, or search the database for plants in your area! This list includes some common natives that you may be able to find at local nurseries and greenhouses to add to your yard and community.

  • Allegheny Serviceberry
  • American Plum
  • Black Cherry
  • Black Raspberry
  • Coralberry
  • Eastern Red Cedar
  • Flowering Dogwood
  • Hawthorn (Hog Apple)
  • Highbush Blueberry
  • Nannyberry Viburnum
  • Northern Spicebush
  • Persimmon
  • Staghorn Sumac
  • Trumpet Honeysuckle
  • Tupelo

If you don’t have space to add these trees, shrubs, and flowers, consider setting up special bird feeders! Setting out fruits such as citruses, watermelon, peaches, and blackberries can be a real treat for birds flying by! Many of these fruits can even be turned into a feeder itself.

Create a Citrus Fruit Feeder

  1. Choose a citrus (navel oranges or grapefruits do best since they are large and easy to work with) for your feeder and cut it in half.
  2. Scoop out (and eat!) the fruit, leaving the peel behind. This will create a bowl.
  3. Use skewers to poke 3 holes into the edge of the peel and tie yarn through the holes.
  4. Gather the strings and tie together to form a hanger.
  5. Pour in bird seed (black oil sunflower attracts the largest diversity of local birds), meal worms, or fill with suet. You can even combine suet with the citrus fruit that you scooped out for an extra tasty treat for the birds!
  6. Hang on a tree at least 15 feet from windows to prevent window strikes and watch the birds flock to their snacks!

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