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Melissa Mayntz

Mailbag Monday Birds Eating Holly Berries

By March 28, 2011

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Today is Mailbag Monday, when readers' birding questions take center stage. This week, Teri from Indiana asks...

"I was wondering if birds eat the holly berries off bushes. I have a couple of bushes but have never seen any birds eat the berries."

A lot of birds love fruit and will eat holly berries, including American robins, cedar waxwings, gray catbirds, eastern bluebirds, northern mockingbirds and a wide variety of doves and sparrows. If you're not seeing the birds munch on your berries, they may not have found the bushes - you can make them more visible by adding bird feeders or a bird bath nearby so the birds will notice the fruit. Avoid insecticides that may be harmful to the birds, and let the fruit fall to the ground and you'll attract ground-feeding birds as well. Finally, keep watching! Many birds that feed on berries can be secretive and you just may not be noticing their snacks.

Did you know birds that prefer a diet of mostly fruit are called frugivorous?

Do you have a birding question you'd like answered? Submit it to Mailbag Monday, or check out the recent question archive to see what other birders are asking!

American Robin in Holly
Photo Jackie

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