Raisins are popular with a wide variety of backyard birds. However, most of the Georgians that feed birds that I have talked to tell me they only offer raisins to their backyard birds in the winter. This is unfortunate because these juicy sweet dried grapes are a great source of food for the birds that occupy our backyards during the summer too. When you stop and think about, raisins are a great source of vitamins, sugar, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
The noted nature writer John K. Terres wrote in is his book Songbirds in Your Garden that raisins were among the best fruit offerings for birds in the summer.
NORTHERN-MOCKINGBIRD//Photo credit: Terry W. Johnson
Birds seem to like raisins. Among the birds that dine on raisins in the summer are red-headed woodpeckers, gray catbirds, northern mockingbirds, wood thrushes, eastern bluebirds, cedar waxwings, red-bellied woodpeckers, and summer tanagers.
Some suggest that eating raisins in the summer can upset a bird’s digestive track. As of now, I have found no studies that substantiate this claim. However, there are those that suggest soaking or boiling raisins in water reduces this problem.
Birds eat both light and dark raisins. Some people claim that when you begin offering raisins, birds accept light raisins more quickly than dark varieties.
Others prefer to feed hydrated raisins during the summer. If you do, I suggest that you keep a close eye on them. Raisins that have soaked in water or boiled will quickly ferment in hot weather.
While many people mix raisins in with seeds offered in platform feeders, others simply place raisins in small plastic sauce containers in the feeder.
If you have had any experiences feeding birds raisins in your backyard during the summer, I would appreciate it if you would share them with me.