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is watermelon good for parrots?

Can Parrots Eat Watermelon? (Flesh, Rind + Seeds)

(Last Updated On: March 10, 2023)

Watermelon is a sweet and flavorful fruit from the gourd family that most parrots like. If you want to add variety to a parrot’s diet, we need to know if watermelon is healthy and nutritious.

Parrots can safely eat watermelon, including the black seeds. Watermelon provides vitamins A and C, choline, potassium, and phosphorus, boosting the immune system and hydration levels.

Some owners avoid feeding parrots watermelon rinds because the texture is tough and fibrous, making digestion more difficult. Also, pesticides may coat the rind, which must be washed off.

Do Parrots Like Watermelon?

Most parrots love eating watermelon for the following reasons

  • Stringy texture, which provides resistance to bite through.
  • The juicy and squishy texture of the fruit.
  • Seeds, which are fun to pick out and munch on.
  • Sweet flavor, which will sate a parrot’s craving for natural sugars.
  • Keeps birds hydrated and refreshed on hot days.

Where you put food can affect a parrot’s appetite. If a parrot is ignoring watermelon, change the location of the food to see if this makes a difference. For example, a parrot may feel safer eating high up.

Parrots like large watermelon chunks because breaking them down into smaller chunks is more fun.

Is Watermelon Good for Parrots?

Parrots that eat watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) will benefit in the following ways:

Source of Water

According to the Mayo Clinic, watermelon comprises 92% water. This makes this fruit juicy and delicious and means that a parrot can stay hydrated on a warm day with a few slices.

Water is essential for all bodily processes, including flushing toxins and waste from the parrot’s system.


The soluble and insoluble fiber in watermelon adds bulk to a parrot’s stool, making digestive transit easier. Without sufficient fiber, parrots are unable to release waste.

are parrots allowed to eat watermelon?


L-citrulline is an essential amino acid involved in producing nitric acid, which is essential for healthy cardiovascular and immune health in parrots.

The L-citrulline found in watermelon enhances muscle function and reduces tiredness and fatigue, which is vital for active parrots. L-citrulline also detoxifies the body, removing toxins and waste products.

L-citrulline is converted to L-arginine in the kidneys. According to the Italian Journal of Animal Science, L-arginine is vital for weight gain in birds during their formative years.

Vitamin A

According to the USDA, 25 grams of watermelon contains 142 IU of vitamin A (retinol).

Birds fed all-seed diets are most vulnerable to a vitamin A deficiency (hypovitaminosis A), so it’s a common condition in American parakeets (budgerigars).

The vitamin A found in watermelon gives parrots strong and healthy plumage. It keeps a parrot’s iconic red, blue, yellow, or green feathers vibrant and bright-looking.

Without sufficient vitamin A, keratinization is impaired, so the feathers become dull and brittle. The beak may also become soft and vulnerable, leading to damage and difficulty feeding and preening.

Vitamin A is essential for developing and maintaining the retina, which is part of the eye that detects light and allows parrots to see well, especially in declining light conditions.

It supports immune cells, which fight off infections and diseases. It also maintains the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes, which are the first line of defense against harmful pathogens.

Vitamin A maintains the health of mucous membranes in the respiratory tract, which trap and remove harmful particles from the air before they can enter the lungs and air sacs.


Choline is a water-soluble compound usually grouped with B vitamins but isn’t classified as a vitamin or mineral. There’s just over 1 mg of choline in 25 grams of watermelon.

Choline is essential for brain function and the nervous system of psittacine species.

It also plays a pivotal role in producing acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in muscle control, memory, and other essential cognitive functions.

Choline is involved in the transportation and metabolism of lipids (fats) in the liver, helping to prevent fatty liver disease (the accumulation of fat in the liver in birds).

Vitamin C

Parrots can synthesize vitamin C in the liver from glucose, so they don’t need a dietary source. However, some species of parrots can benefit from the vitamin C found in watermelon.

Antioxidants protect cells and tissues from damage caused by free radicals, which occur due to metabolism and environmental stressors. Vitamin C can help prevent oxidative damage to cells.

Vitamin C is involved in collagen production and is vital for the immune system, helping promote the production of white blood cells and healthy immune function.


There are 28 mg of potassium in 25 grams of watermelon, but banana is another good source.

Potassium plays a role in moving water across cell membranes to maintain optimal hydration and electrolyte balance. Fluid balance is critical to the function of cells and tissues.

However, high levels of dietary potassium can interfere with calcium absorption, leading to hypocalcemia. This can result in soft and misshapen eggshells and thin and brittle bones.


There is about 2.6 mg of phosphorus in 25 grams of watermelon.

Phosphorus is involved in the formation and maintenance of bone tissue in parrots. This mineral is a vital component of hydroxyapatite, which makes up most bone tissue.

Phosphorus is important for energy metabolism, as it plays a key role in producing and storing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule that provides energy for cellular processes.

Also, phosphorus regulates pH levels and plays a part in DNA and RNA synthesis.


While birds can synthesize some carotenoids, like beta-carotene, they can’t produce lycopene, so it must be obtained by eating foods such as watermelon, guava, and pink grapefruit.

Lycopene is a carotenoid (organic pigment) that gives watermelon its reddish hue. Interestingly, watermelon has higher levels of lycopene than tomatoes.

As an antioxidant, it has been linked to the fight against signs of aging. Lycopene can help against pollution, toxins, and the effects of radiation from sunlight.

Here’s a quick summary of the health benefits of watermelon for parrots:

Fiber:Aids digestion and the passage of waste.
L-citrulline:Cardiovascular and immune health and detoxification.
Choline:Brain, muscle, and nervous system function.
Vitamin A:Healthy eyes, skin, feathers, respiratory tract, and immune system.
Vitamin C:Immune function and protection against oxidative stress.
Potassium:Fluid balance in the body.
Phosphorus:Strong bones and enzyme and cellular processes.
Lycopene:Improves heart, lung, and eye health.

Can Parrots Eat Watermelon Seeds?

Although we used to throw away the hard, black seeds because they detracted from the sweet and delicious flavor of the fruit, watermelon seeds are the most nutritious part.

Watermelon seeds are a nutrient-dense, low-calorie snack for parrots. They’re a good source of zinc, magnesium, iron, selenium, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Can Parrots Eat Watermelon Rind?

Rinds are often coated with wax, which is necessary to preserve the fruit. Aside from this waxy coating, commercial watermelons are often sprayed with pesticides.

It’s still possible to feed the rind to your parrot if you:

  • Rinse it thoroughly with water to remove all traces of wax or pesticides.
  • Scrape off a couple of layers and feed them the rest.

Alternatively, you could get watermelons from an organic farm.

do parrots like watermelon?

How Much Watermelon Can I Feed My Parrot?

Parrots must be fed at least twice a day. Fruit and vegetables are essential to robust health and well-being, but parrots need various foods to benefit from a diverse range of vitamins and minerals.

The amount of fruit and veg a parrot needs is species-dependent:

  • Large species need 1 ½ cups of fruit and vegetables a day.
  • Small species need ¾ of a cup of fruit and vegetables a day.

Watermelon can be part of a parrot’s diet, but only offer them 2-3 slices once or twice per week.

Watermelon is safe for parrots to eat., but only as part of a balanced diet. No matter how healthy watermelon is, it’s not enough if a parrot isn’t consuming other nutritious foods.