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 5-10% fruit.

Many fruits are safe for parrots to eat, including apples, bananas, oranges, cherries, mango, lemons, and grapes. If your parrot wants more flavor, feed your parrot pineapple, persimmons, cantaloupe, pomegranates, and plums. However, fruit is high in sugar, so feeding your parrot too much can lead to weight gain.

All of these fruits can be fed to parrots whole or sliced. Remove any pits or seeds from cherries or apricots as they contain arsenic, but all other parts of the fruit are safe to eat. If you like, you can juice the fruits and add them to your parrot’s water dish to encourage hydration.

Is Fruit Good For Parrots?

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

Parrots rarely eat the same food every day and may grow bored with traditional seeds. Adding fruit to your parrot’s diet will keep these intelligent birds well-fed and healthy. As a plus, fruit also sates a parrot’s sweet tooth. It can provide them with natural sugars that are a good source of energy.

The best fruits for parrots are those that are naturally found in their habitats in the wild.

How Much Fruit Should You Feed Your Parrot?

Experts recommend that fruits and vegetables account for up to 10% of your parrot’s diet. While the sugars in plums, peaches, and watermelon are natural and healthy, they are still sugars. Too much will:

A parrot’s diet should consist of pellets, grains, seeds, nuts, fruit, and meat.

Do Parrots Like Fruit?

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

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

However, some domesticated parrots are picky eaters. If they’ve never tried fruit before, they may be unwilling to sample the new flavors.

fresh fruits for parrots

Fruits That Are Good For Parrots

Not all fruits are safe for parrots. For example, avocados can be toxic, especially if the parrot eats the core. Here are some healthy fruits for parrots:

Bananas

Bananas are rich in potassium, which is good for your parrot’s heart, muscles, and joints. As a plus, bananas contain fiber. That prevents constipation and keeps natural gut bacteria healthy.

Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. These will optimize your parrot’s immune system and boost its energy levels. With a few slices 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 contains more fiber than bananas, keeping digestive issues at bay. Plantains are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.

Apples

Apples contain polyphenols, especially in the skin. Your parrot will enjoy gnawing through the rubbery surface and crunching through the meat underneath. You can feed apples whole or sliced.

Grapes

The healthiest grapes are the dark ones, like black grapes, due to the presence of resveratrol. This is a plant compound with antioxidant properties. It reduces oxidative stress, slowing the effects of aging.

Oranges

Oranges are a tropical fruit that parrots love eating. They’re rich in vitamins and minerals, such as:

  • Vitamin C
  • Thiamine
  • Folate
  • Potassium

Oranges also contain plant compounds that have antioxidant properties, such as hesperidin and anthocyanin. 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, 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 as it contains arsenic and should be removed.

Cherries

Cherries may be small, but they’re full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, such as:

  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Polyphenol

Cherries 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 (they contain arsenic) before feeding these sweet-flavored fruits to your parrot.

Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense berries. 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

According to the Journal of AOAC International, blueberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants.

Cranberries

Cranberries are often cooked before being eaten because of their sour taste. However, parrots will love the 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 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

Raspberries have one of the lowest amounts of sugar for any fruit – 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 that’s low in calories.

Raspberries are high in fiber and contain many antioxidants. This has been linked to lowered inflammation, improved joint health, and more vibrant feathers.

Cantaloupe

Other fruits in the melon family can easily overshadow cantaloupes. However, they have some of the highest levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives orange and yellow fruits their color.

According to 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 proteins, as well as creating new proteins in the body. It has also been linked to keeping the brain healthy. That’s 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 helps the metabolism and creates:

  • Blood cells
  • Tissues
  • Neurotransmitters

Watermelon

Watermelon comprises 92% water, but there are other nutrients in this fruit. Watermelons contain large amounts of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Various B vitamins

They’re also rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium, and plant compounds with antioxidant properties, including lycopene and cucurbitacin E. Watermelon also contains lots of fiber.

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.

According to the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, guava helps parrots with diarrhea and indigestion.

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. This colorful fruit contains:

  • 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, including improving your parrot’s eyesight.

Nectarines

Nectarines are low in calories. As you may have figured out from their orange skin, nectarines contain beta-carotene. This is matched to vitamin C, which fortifies the immune system and improves skin health.

Nectarines also contain lutein, a type of antioxidant that’s known to improve eye health. In the right amounts, it can 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 parrot 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.

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

Peach

Peaches are small, fuzzy fruits packed with nutrients, such as:

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

When choosing peaches, the fresher they are, the more nutrients they’ll contain. According to Food Research International, fresh peaches have more antioxidants than peaches that aren’t fresh.

Persimmons

Persimmons come in two main varieties, each with its own unique taste. 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 contain:

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

Persimmons also contain 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, it will benefit from:

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

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

Plums

Plums, alongside other prunes, contain more than 15 vitamins and minerals, including:

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

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 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 of red wine and green tea. Punicic acid is another antioxidant compound mainly found in pomegranate seed oil.

Kiwi

Kiwis are full of flavor and nutrients, the most abundant being vitamin C. It’s so plentiful that it can fill 273% of the daily recommended intake in humans.

Kiwis are known to help with vision due to their high level of antioxidants, namely zeaxanthin and lutein. According to the Archives of Ophthalmology, kiwis reduce macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss, by 36%.

Jackfruit

Jackfruits are a tropical fruit that’s a good source of:

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

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

do parrots like fruit?

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 types 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.

Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruits are 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 upsets. The plant compounds within dragon fruit can rebalance gut bacteria and improve digestion.

Parrots should eat fruit regularly, especially the varieties that they commonly encounter in the wild. However, although rich in vitamins and minerals, most fruits contain high amounts of sugar. Blueberries and raspberries contain the least sugar and calories. Feed fruit to your parrot in moderation and provide plenty of variety.