6 Ways to Feed Wild Birds by Apples in Your Garden – RSPB Community

Feed Wild Birds by Apples - Wild Birds eat apples

Feeding wild birds in your garden can be a delightful and rewarding experience. Apples are a nutritious and appealing treat for many bird species. This guide will explore six effective ways to offer apples to your feathered friends, ensuring they enjoy a healthy and safe snack.

Why Feed Birds Apples?

Apples are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for birds. They provide essential nutrients that support a bird’s diet, especially during the colder months when natural food sources are scarce. Birds such as robins, blackbirds, thrushes, and even parrots enjoy eating apples.

Preparing Apples for Birds

Before offering apples to birds, it’s crucial to prepare them properly:

  • Remove the seeds: Apple seeds contain cyanide, which can be harmful to birds.
  • Cut into manageable pieces: Smaller birds may struggle with whole apples, so cutting them into halves, quarters, or slices is advisable.
  • Wash thoroughly: Ensure the apples are free from pesticides and other harmful residues.

1. Apple Slices on a Bird Table

Apple Slices on a Bird Table
Apple Slices on a Bird Table

One of the simplest ways to feed apples to birds is by placing slices on a bird table. This method is accessible for various bird species and allows you to observe them closely.


  1. Cut the apple into thin slices.
  2. Place the slices on a clean bird table.
  3. Monitor and replace any uneaten or spoiled apple slices regularly.

2. Hanging Apples from Branches

Hanging Apples from Branches
Hanging Apples from Branches

Hanging apples from tree branches can attract birds that prefer to feed off the ground, such as waxwings and blackcaps.


  1. Cut the apple in half.
  2. Use a piece of string or garden wire to secure the apple halves.
  3. Hang the apples from sturdy branches at different heights.

3. Using a Fat Ball Feeder

apple on a Fat Ball Feeder
Apple on a Fat Ball Feeder

A fat ball feeder can be repurposed to hold apple slices, making it easy for birds to access the fruit.


  1. Slice the apple into quarters.
  2. Place the apple slices inside the fat ball feeder.
  3. Hang the feeder in a location that is safe from predators.

4. Creating Apple Rings

Creating Apple Rings Feeding Birds
Creating Apple Rings Feeding Birds

Apple rings coated with peanut butter and birdseed can be a nutritious and fun treat for birds.


  1. Slice the apple into rings and remove the core.
  2. Spread peanut butter on one side of each ring.
  3. Dip the peanut butter side into birdseed.
  4. Hang the apple rings from branches or a bird feeder using string.

5. Apple Wedges on a Spike

Apple Wedges on a Spike Feeding Birds
Apple Wedges on a Spike Feeding Birds

Using a spike or skewer to hold apple wedges can make it easier for birds to peck at the fruit.


  1. Cut the apple into wedges.
  2. Skewer the wedges onto a spike or nail.
  3. Place the spike in a secure location, such as a tree trunk or a wooden post.

6. Apple Bowls for Hummingbirds

Apple Bowls for Hummingbirds
Apple Bowls for Hummingbirds

Creating a natural bowl from an apple can provide a unique feeding station for hummingbirds.


  1. Cut the apple in half and scoop out a small portion of the flesh to create a bowl.
  2. Fill the bowl with sugar water.
  3. Place the apple bowl in a location frequented by hummingbirds.

Tips for Feeding Apples to Birds

  • Use organic apples: Organic apples are free from harmful pesticides.
  • Monitor for spoilage: Remove any uneaten or spoiled apples to prevent attracting pests.
  • Provide variety: Alongside apples, offer other fruits like pears, berries, and raisins to attract a wider range of bird species.
  • Maintain hygiene: Clean feeders and feeding areas regularly to prevent the spread of disease.


Feeding apples to wild birds in your garden is a simple and effective way to support their nutritional needs. By using these six methods, you can attract a variety of bird species and enjoy the beauty of nature right in your backyard. Remember to always prepare the apples properly and maintain a clean feeding environment to keep your feathered friends healthy and happy.


Q: Will birds eat apples?

A: Yes, many species of birds will eat apples because they are a nutritious source of vitamins and minerals for them. Feeding garden birds apple slices can attract a variety of garden visitors.

Q: Can parrots eat apples?

A: Absolutely, parrots can eat apples, and they often enjoy the taste. However, it’s important to remove the apple seeds before offering it to your parrot, as the seeds contain small amounts of cyanide which can be harmful.

Q: How should I prepare apples before feeding them to birds?

A: Wash the apple thoroughly to remove any pesticides or chemicals that might be on the skin. Cut the apple into small, manageable pieces for smaller birds, and larger chunks for bigger birds, remembering to remove the seeds.

Q: Is it safe to feed birds apple seeds?

A: No, apple seeds should not be fed to birds. The seeds contain a compound that can release cyanide when metabolized, which is poisonous to birds even in small quantities.

Q: How often can I feed my pet bird apples?

A: Apples can be offered in moderation as a part of a balanced diet. It’s best not to feed birds many apples at once or too frequently, as the high sugar content can lead to health issues. Offered occasionally, apples can be a healthy treat.

Q: Can wild birds eat fresh fruit like apples?

A: Yes, many wild birds enjoy fresh fruit, and apples are a safe and nutritious option. Just remember to cut them into suitable sizes depending on the size of the bird and remove the seeds to avoid any health risks.

Q: Are there any birds that particularly like apples?

A: While many birds enjoy apples, larger garden birds such as starlings and some types of parrots show a particular fondness for them. Apples are a good source of nutrients and can help attract a wide range of birds to your garden.

Q: What other types of fruit can I offer garden birds?

A: Besides apples, you can feed birds fruit like pears, oranges, and berries. These fruits are nutritious for birds and can be offered alongside seeds and pellets to create a varied diet for your garden visitors.

Q: Where should I place apple pieces to feed the birds in my garden?

A: Place the apple pieces on bird tables, hanging feeders, or directly on the ground, depending on what’s safest and most accessible for the birds in your garden. Ensure the feeding area is clean and free from predators.

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