fruits that are good for parrots

27 Fruits Parrots Can Eat (And Why!)

In the wild, parrots eat fruits for quick-release energy (carbs) and the sort of vitamins and minerals that will keep them healthy. Consequently, a parrot’s diet should consist of approximately 10% fruit.

Many fruits are safe for parrots to eat, including apples, bananas, oranges, cherries, mango, lemons, and grapes. If your parrot wants more flavor, try feeding it pineapple, persimmons, cantaloupe, pomegranates, and plums.

All of these fruits (and more) can be fed to parrots whole or sliced. You should remove any pits or seeds from cherries or apricots, but all other parts of the fruit are safe to eat. You can even juice the fruits and add them to your parrot’s water dish.

Is Fruit Good For Parrots?

Fruit is good for parrots, and should be a regular part of their diet. Parrots rely on scavenging berries, fruits, and other juicy treats off of bushes and trees in the wild.

Parrots rarely eat the same food every day, and may quickly grow bored with traditional seed. Adding fruit to a parrot’s diet will keep these intelligent birds healthy, well-fed, and entertained.

As a plus, fruit also sates a parrot’s natural sweet tooth. It can provide them with healthy sugars that are a good source of energy.

The best fruits for parrots will be those that are naturally found in their habitats in the wild. However, you can also feed parrots exotic choices, like persimmons and cranberries. These are harder to find in South and Central America’s jungles or forests, but are very healthy.

How Much Fruit Should You Feed Your Parrot?

Experts recommend that fruits and vegetables make up 10% of your parrot’s diet. The key is to feed your parrot these treats in moderation. While the sugars contained in plums, peaches, and watermelon, for example, are natural and healthy, they are still sugars. Too much will:

A parrot’s diet should consist mainly of pellets, grains, seeds, sprouts, and a bit of animal protein. Fruits can top this off to make your parrot full.

Do Parrots Like Fruit?

As mentioned, most parrots are hard-wired to enjoy eating fruit. It provides them with valuable nutrients in the wild. Whether it’s an orange or a pomegranate, most parrots will quickly snatch up a piece from your hand.

Depending on the fruit’s shape and texture, your parrot may also see it as a toy. For example, watermelon rinds are great for parrots to sharpen their beaks on or throw around their cage.

With that said, some domesticated parrots are picky eaters. If they’ve never tried fruit before, they may be unwilling to sample the new flavor. Try offering it a few times, so your bird can get used to the idea.

fresh fruits for parrots

Fruits That Are Good For Parrots

Of course, not all fruits are safe or healthy for parrots. For example, avocados can be toxic, especially if the parrot eats the core. It’s important to choose the fruits you offer carefully, so your parrot enjoys all the health benefits and none of the dangers.

Bananas

Bananas are rich in potassium, which helps keep your parrot’s heart, muscles, and joints healthy. As a plus, these yellow fruits have high amounts of fiber. That prevents constipation and keeps natural gut bacteria healthy.

Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. These will improve your parrot’s immune system and boost energy levels. With a few chunks of banana, your parrot will also enjoy stronger bones due to the manganese.

Plantains

Plantains look similar to bananas, but they’re less sweet and have more starch. This fruit is high in fiber, keeping digestive issues at bay.

Plantains are also rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which have been known to delay or prevent certain cancers.

Apples

Apples are full of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that:

  • Prevent skin issues
  • Improve the immune system
  • Boost heart health

Because these nutrients are isolated in the skin of apples, they’re great for parrots. Your bird will love gnawing through the rubbery surface or crunching through the meat underneath. You can feed apples whole or sliced, so long as they’re properly washed.

Grapes

The healthiest grapes are the dark ones, like black grapes. That’s because the pigment known as resveratrol gives them this dark shade and their health benefits.

Resveratrol is a plant compound with antioxidant properties. It helps to relieve oxidative stress, slowing the effects of aging, and keeping your parrot full of energy for longer. Unlike some antioxidants, this compound has been thoroughly studied for its anti-cancer properties.

According to the Annals of the National Institute of Hygiene, grapes’ skin can help prevent certain cancers from developing.

Oranges

Oranges are a tropical fruit that parrots know and love eating. They’re rich in many vitamins and minerals, the most common being:

  • Vitamin C
  • Thiamine
  • Folate
  • Potassium

Oranges also contain plant compounds that have antioxidant properties. These include hesperidin and anthocyanin, two compounds that help fight off illness and disease.

While less potent, antioxidants beta-cryptoxanthin and lycopene are also present. These are responsible for the fruit’s color and give parrots a healthy boost to their immune systems.

Apricots

Apricots are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, considering how low-calorie they are, it’s impressive how many nutrients are packed into the juicy layers, such as:

  • Antioxidants
  • Beta-carotene
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Flavonoids
  • Anthocyanins

The nutrients found in apricots are mostly contained in the peel. As such, parrots will love biting through the whole fruit and gnawing away at the juicy layers. However, the stone is inedible and should be removed.

Cherries

Cherries may be small, but they’re full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The compounds with the largest range of health benefits include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Polyphenol

Cherries have been found to have anti-inflammatory compounds. A review published in Molecules determined that cherries reduced inflammation in 11 of 16 research studies.

Additionally, cherries reduced the markers of oxidative stress in 8 out of 10. Remove the pits before feeding these sweet-flavored treats to your parrot.

Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense berries. Although not technically a fruit, they’re often heaped in with other berry-fruits like raspberries and blackberries. These ride the fine line between a true berry and aggregate fruits, which are fruits with smaller fruits on them.

No matter their classification, blueberries are rich in many different vitamins and minerals. The most abundant are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Manganese

Blueberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants. This is supported by a study published in the Journal of AOAC International, which looked at the antioxidant activity of common fruits.

Cranberries

Cranberries are often cooked before eating because of their sour taste. However, parrots will love this tangy flavor. Cranberries are packed with:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin E
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Fiber

Cranberries are linked to fewer urinary tract infections due to E. coli due to compounds called condensed tannins. They prevent E. coli from attaching to the bladder and urinary tract. In parrots, they can work to:

  • Improve digestion
  • Strengthen eye health
  • Boost the immune system

Additionally, cranberries are known to lower the risk of heart disease. This is because of the various antioxidants present in the fruit, such as:

  • Anthocyanins
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Quercetin

Raspberries

Fruits can be a concern due to their high amount of sugar. However, raspberries have one of the lowest amounts of sugar for any fruit, clocking at just 5 grams per cup. Compare this to the 20 grams of sugar per cup in apples, and your parrot can enjoy a healthy treat.

Likewise, raspberries are high in fiber and contain many antioxidants. This has been linked to lowered inflammation, improved joint health, and more vibrant feathers. Since parrots live for decades, a few raspberries a week can help prepare them for a better future.

Cantaloupe

Cantaloupes may be easily overshadowed by other fruits in the melon family. However, they have some of the highest levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives orange and yellow fruits their color.

According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cantaloupes may have as much beta-carotene as carrots. This can improve your parrot’s:

  • Eyesight
  • Muscles
  • Immune system
  • Brain health 

Figs

Parrots will enjoy the sweet flavor and unique texture of figs. Despite their small size, figs are rich in vitamins and minerals, the most abundant being:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin K
  • Copper

Vitamin B6 is important for breaking down protein, as well as creating new proteins in the body. It has also been linked to keeping the brain healthy. That’s especially valuable in parrots, which rely on complex neural pathways to speak and solve puzzles.

Vitamin K’s main role includes making compounds that help with blood clotting and keeping bones healthy. Copper, on the other hand, helps the metabolism and creates:

  • Blood cells
  • Tissues
  • Neurotransmitters

Watermelon

Watermelons comprise 92% water, but there are other nutrients in this fruit. Watermelons have large amounts of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Various B vitamins

They’re also rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium, and plant compounds with antioxidant properties. These include lycopene and cucurbitacin E.

Watermelons have a high amount of fiber, which helps the digestive system of your parrot.

Guava

Guavas are a tropical fruit that parrots know well. In the wild, these fruits aid in parrots’ digestive systems with high levels of fiber. Vitamin B and C then give parrots the burst of energy they need to forage.

If your parrot feels unwell, guava can be the answer. It’s known to help parrots weather diarrhea or indigestion. According to the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, which looked at guava extract’s effect on diarrhea, it can be highly beneficial.

Mango

Mangos are tart and sweet, but they’re also low in calories. Considering the small impact they’ll have on your parrot’s weight, they’re rich in vitamins and minerals. The colorful fruits contain high amounts of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin K
  • Niacin
  • Copper
  • Manganese

Mangoes contain so much vitamin C that they fulfill 67% of the recommended daily intake in humans. Mangos also have many antioxidant compounds, including:

  • Mangiferin
  • Anthocyanins
  • Quercetin
  • Benzoic acid
  • Kaempferol
  • Catechins

These work to reduce the harmful effects of aging. They can improve your parrot’s eyesight, so it can enjoy all the extra color shades in mangos.

Nectarines

Nectarines are low in calories, but high in nutrients. As you may have guessed from their orange skin, nectarines have an impressive amount of beta-carotene. This is matched to vitamin C, which is known to fortify the immune system and improve skin health.

Nectarines also contain lutein, a type of antioxidant best known for improving eye health. In the right amounts, it can also make your parrot’s feathers stronger and more vibrantly-colored.

Lemons

Lemons are sour, but your parrot won’t mind this zesty bite of flavor. You can feed them straight, so your bird can chew through the hard outer layer, or slice them up to hand-feed in pieces.

Your parrot will benefit from vitamin C and fiber. This goes hand-in-hand with plant compounds that lower cholesterol levels, keeping the heart healthier. Lemons have even been linked to preventing anemia, and to a lesser extent, reducing the risk of cancer.

Papaya

Like guava and oranges, papayas are tropical fruits with a taste your parrot will love. They are very juicy and easy to tear apart, serving as fun enrichment as well as a health boost. Papayas are packed with:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B9
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium

Papayas also contain carotenoids, a type of antioxidant that gives the fruit its orange shade. However, benefits to your parrot’s skin, feathers, and brain are best attributed to lycopene, another antioxidant.

Peach

Peaches are small, fuzzy fruits packed with many nutrients. These include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Copper
  • Potassium

When choosing peaches, the fresher they are, the more nutrients they’ll contain. Specifically, fresh peaches have more antioxidants than peaches that are not fresh, according to Food Research International.

Persimmons

Persimmons come in two main varieties, each with their own unique taste. Parrots will enjoy both kinds, and the nutrients will give your parrot:

  • A boost of energy
  • Sharpened memory and attention span
  • Healthier organs
  • Improved digestion
  • Stronger bone health
  • Better cell regeneration

That’s because persimmons have:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Various B vitamins
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

As a plus, this food also contains beta-carotene, like carrots, which is matched to other compounds like tannins and flavonoids.

Pineapple

Pineapples are a tropical fruit. Your parrot will love the hard texture, the spiky pieces, and the juicy fruit within.

If you give the pineapple in slices to your parrot, or let your bird tussle with the leaves, then it can benefit from enrichment and a tasty treat. After all, pineapples have:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Thiamin
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Copper

These nutrients, alongside antioxidants, help to improve digestion and boost immunity.

Plums

Plums, alongside other prunes, contain more than 15 different vitamins and minerals. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Different B vitamins
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus

On top of that, plums contain an abundance of polyphenols. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, plums contain twice the amount of antioxidants than other common fruits.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are abundant in:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Fiber

However, what really makes pomegranates nutritious are the plant compounds they contain. The first is punicalagins, which can be found in the juice and peel.

According to the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, punicalagins have twice the antioxidants in red wine and green tea. Punicic acid is another antioxidant compound mainly found in pomegranate seed oil.

Kiwi

For their small size, kiwis are full of flavor and nutrients, the most abundant being vitamin C. In fact, it’s so abundant that it can fill 273% of the daily recommended intake in humans.

Kiwis are known to help with vision, due to the high level of antioxidants present in the fruit. Specifically, these are the compounds zeaxanthin and lutein. According to the Archives of Ophthalmology, kiwis reduce macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss, by 36%.

Kiwis aid in digestion due to their fiber content. That’s matched to an enzyme called actinidin, which helps in breaking down protein.

Jackfruit

Jackfruits are a tropical food with an interesting look. Once you get beneath the skin, you’ll find they’re packed with:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Riboflavin
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Fiber
  • Carotenoids
  • Flavanones.

Carotenoids have been linked to a lowered risk of chronic diseases and anti-inflammatory properties. Jackfruits can work to improve your parrot’s:

Starfruit

Starfruit is named after the fruit’s shape, which resembles a sprawling star. These exotic foods come in either green or yellow. The smaller varieties are sour, while the larger varieties are sweeter.

No matter the type you choose, both offer many health benefits for your parrot. For a low-calorie count, starfruits contain high amounts of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B5
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Copper

That’s matched to antioxidant plant compounds, such as:

  • Quercetin
  • Gallic acid
  • Epicatechin

Due to these nutrients and antioxidants, star fruits reduce inflammation, as well as prevent liver cancer. As a plus, their interesting color, shape, and flavor should entice any parrot into taking a bite.

Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruits are actually a superfruit with impressive amounts of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Iron.
  • Betalains
  • Carotenoids

They’re a good choice for parrots that have been experiencing stomach upset. The plant compounds within dragon fruit can rebalance gut bacteria and improve digestion. As a plus, the peel’s texture and the exotic coloring will entertain your parrot as it tears through this treat.

Is Citrus Fruit Good For Parrots?

While many fruits are healthy for parrots, citrus is the most common. If you want to simplify your parrot’s diet, you can pick from citrus fruit alone.

Whether they are lemons, oranges, or another variety, citrus is an excellent source of many nutrients. For example:

do parrots like fruit?

Citric Acid

As the name implies, citric acid is found in abundance in citrus fruits. When your parrot eats some, this essential compound works to create energy. According to the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, it also helps the body better absorb nutrients, such as iron and calcium.

Vitamins And Minerals

Citrus fruits are one of the best natural sources of vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system. It can also help with cell regeneration and improving skin health. For your parrot, even one orange can give it a healthy dose of:

  • B vitamins
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus

Citrus fruits are high in fiber, while being low in calories. That means your parrot will get all those nutrients without risking weight gain.

Antioxidant Rich

Best of all, citrus fruits have some of the highest levels of antioxidants. Thanks to the many plant compounds they contain, they can balance your parrot’s diet in ways no other food can.

What Dried Fruits Can Parrots Eat?

Dried fruits are a convenient way to add variety to your parrot’s diet. Of course, fresh is always better, since dehydration removes moisture from juicy fruits. This takes some of the nutrients with it.

If you have no other options, any of the fruits listed above can be dried and given to parrots. The drying process does not make them harmful or toxic. As a bonus, your parrot may even like the texture and crunch that dried fruit provides. Just keep these cautionary notes in mind:

Avoid Sulfur Dioxide

Always pick a brand that does not contain sulfur dioxide. Dehydrated fruits are sometimes coated with sulfur dioxide to preserve them. This ingredient can be harmful to your parrot.

Dry Fruits Yourself

To be safe, you can always dry fruits yourself. Just slice the fruit into thin pieces, place them in the oven, and bake until they’re crunchy. All types can be dried, but these will retain the most flavor:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Cranberries
  • Mangos
  • Oranges
  • Pineapples

Can Parrots Drink Fruit Juice?

Parrots can safely drink fruit juice. Pure juice is not toxic or harmful. In fact, it will contain many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It may even encourage a parrot to drink more water and stay hydrated.

Fruit juice will never be as healthy as straight fruit. For example, orange juice has much less fiber when compared to a fresh orange. Your parrot may also ingest too much sugar when drinking the juice alone. A cup of orange juice contains the sugar of two whole oranges.

Offer your parrot any juice in moderation. If it’s allowed to eat fruit 2-3 times a week, then offer it juice half that amount. Fruit is a healthy addition to any parrot’s diet, but shouldn’t exceed 10% of its daily intake.