Last Updated on January 23, 2022 by Fabiola L.
Looking to change up the menu of your backyard avifauna? Why not try going through our Birds That Like Oranges feature and learn more!
Why compare apples and oranges when you can cut up both and make a great fruit salad? Oranges are a delicious fruit. Additionally, they’re highly nutritional and have little to no calories. Everyone loves them! But did you know that humans are not the only beings that find this tangy fruit irresistible? You would be surprised at the number of avifauna that is pulled in like a magnet by a slice of orange.
So whether you are a bird owner or hang a bird feeder for the local critters, you would enjoy learning about the many kinds of creatures with whom you can share your citrus fruits. By knowing what birds eat oranges, you can anticipate and keep your eyes peeled for who will be showing up at your backyard feast for this energy-packed treat!
Birds That Like Oranges
Orioles measure just under nine inches and boast a bright plumage, identical to their favorite fruit. Don’t let their beauty and sweet singing tempt you into trying to cage one; they inhabit open spaces and marshes and don’t do well in captivity. Owning one is also illegal in some regions. Instead, appreciate them from a distance by making an offer they can’t refuse.
Halving an orange and nailing it to a fence post is a surefire way to attract any passing orioles. For people owning bird feeders, orioles are comfortable eating from a platform feeder or suet feeder. Just pop a sliced orange into a suet feeder and enjoy watching this vibrant visitor partake from your buffet.
2. Red-bellied Woodpeckers
These petite redheads are also among birds that like oranges. Unlike their cousins, the Red-bellied woodpecker only sports colored feathers on part of its head and its breast.
A Red-bellied Woodpecker’s song can delight many avid birdwatchers. True to their name, they are native to woody areas and groves. They love seeds and nuts (which are often used by birders to attract them) and are trusting enough to build nests and lay eggs in birdhouses.
Hawks, snakes, domesticated cats hunt them, and redheaded woodpeckers even devour their eggs. They are also quite clever and store nuts and other food in tree crevices to eat later. People seeking to catch a glimpse of them exploit their love for oranges and use it to lure them into their yard.
The assortment of colors on a Western Tanager gives it a fiery look. In the summer months, it migrates, either alone or with a group, farther north than other members of its ilk. It mainly feeds on insects but is also quite partial to sugar water and fruits – which its human patrons often provide. Among its primary hunters are hawks, owls, and jays, as well as housecats if one is unfortunate enough to stumble across their way.
Scarlet Tanagers are their even brighter relatives, with black wings and a crimson torso. Deforestation has limited their opportunities for building nests in their favored secluded areas, so they are obliged to roost near exposed spaces. This makes them victim to uninvited guests like the brood parasitic brown-headed cowbird. They have a particular liking for berries and, similar to other birds that like oranges, are sure to drop by if you lay out some pieces.
4. Northern Mockingbird
As Harper Lee famously said in their defense, mockingbirds “don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.” Unlike the previous members in this list, Northern Mockingbirds are commonplace and have no fancy hues.
But, what they lack in looks, they make up for in their vocal range. Fans cherish these birds due to their uncanny ability to mimic other birds and even animals and instruments.
They are drawn to berries and nuts (especially peanuts) in the cold seasons and, being omnivorous, have insects as part of their summer diet. Although they usually don’t approach backyard bird feeders, a passing mockingbird will certainly swoop in for a nip at a fresh orange. Northern mockingbirds are pretty open-minded about their living spaces, being found in grasslands, deserts, and cities.
Learn more about What Does a Mockingbird Eat In the Wild?. Gray Catbirds
Gray Catbirds are winged thieves. They’re also known as the bane of fruit farmers specializing in berries. Of course, this also means that they’re prime candidates for our birds that like oranges list.
Unlike many other animal species, it is impossible to tell them apart by gender as both males and females are dark grey. Their default sound is a catlike mewling. That’s what has earned Catbirds their name, but they share the unique ability of mockingbirds to emulate the sounds they hear.
They like to roost close to the ground. But, Gray Catbirds build their nests in dense bushes and vines rather than in trees. Although they are gray, the eggs they lay are a lovely shade of blue. A significant percentage of their population has vanished in Bermuda due to the curse of deforestation.
Thankfully, the species isn’t considered endangered yet. The shy nature of this species makes it keep to itself. However, the spirited little body carries the heart of a lion that is unafraid to challenge any threats to its nest. Gray catbirds are pretty famous for going after predators that dare to attack their homes.
There’s nothing like a cool glass of fresh lemonade or orange juice to beat the relentless heat of a summer day. Our beaked friends do like oranges but prefer them in a version they can peck at. Oranges are an excellent food source for birds as they are chock-full of immunity-boosting nutrients and vitamin C. All of which are essential in periods of stress such as molting and brooding.
If you are a birder wanting to attract avifauna to your yard, chopped orange bits would be a brilliant addition to your bird table. Or, if you are a pet owner looking to add a bit extra citric goodness to your bird’s meal, the occasional organic orange is sure to do the trick!