What Birds Eat Grape Jelly? Is It Safe?

Birds are one of the most captivating creatures in the world.

From their vibrant colors to their sweet melodies, it’s hard not to be mesmerized by these flying wonders.

But have you ever wondered what birds like to eat besides seeds and insects?

In this article, we will explore a surprising delicacy that some birds have taken a liking to – grape jelly! Yes, you read that right.

Grape jelly has become a popular treat among certain species of birds. But the question remains, is it safe for them to eat?

Let’s dive into this curious phenomenon and find out more.

Baltimore OriolesBaltimore Orioles
Gray CatbirdGray Catbird
Rose-breasted GrosbeaksRose-breasted Grosbeaks
Yellow-rumped WarblersYellow-rumped Warblers
Downy WoodpeckerDowny Woodpecker
Brown ThrasherBrown Thrasher
Scarlet TanagerScarlet Tanager
House FinchHouse Finch
Northern MockingbirdNorthern Mockingbird
Hairy WoodpeckerHairy Woodpecker

What Birds Eat Grape Jelly?

1. Baltimore Orioles

baltimore oriole

The Baltimore Oriole, a migrating bird in the family of New World blackbirds, has been designated as the official state bird of Maryland.

The birds are named for Lord Baltimore, for whom the striking orange and black feathers are a fitting tribute.

The sexes of Baltimore Orioles seem quite different; the males have vivid orangish-yellow breasts, rear, and abdomen.

Their whole face and head are concealed by a pitch-black cowl that reaches all the way around their shoulders.

Black covers most of their body, with white and orange spots here and there.

Male and female Baltimore Orioles seem similar, however, the male has a black head, while the female has a brown-yellow body with a greyish tail and wings.

They have a yellowish tint to their breasts and a white underbelly.

2. Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

The Gray Catbird, a type of mimid abundantly detected in North and Central America, is closely similar to the thrashers and tremblers.

True to its moniker, this bird is mostly grayish having black or brownish-black markings on the neck, head, and wings.

Their eyes, feet, legs, and beak are all dark brown or black.

The adults show essentially no signs of sexual dimorphism in their appearance.

3. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

These huge, migratory grosbeaks, known as Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, breed in the eastern sections of North America and get their common name from the pink spot that spreads over their chests.

These birds have a tiny but sturdy frame, dark feet, eyes, legs, and a dark, stubby beak.

There is a clear sexual dimorphism in the mature birds’ plumage.

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are primarily black in appearance, beginning at the head and continuing down the back and onto the tail and wings.

Their undersides, in contrast, are completely white but for a distinctive red V-shaped area.

Females, on the other hand, are a drab brown overall and have strongly striped white underparts.

4. Yellow-rumped Warblers

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

You can observe yellow-rumped warblers all across North America.

The mature males of this species of bird are sexually dimorphic, having a grey back and head that is covered with black streaks.

Yellow spots may be seen on their sides, breast, and behind.

However, females have a yellow spot on their lower backs and a brownish upper body.

Their bellies are predominantly white with hardly perceptible stripes.

5. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is the tiniest of the woodpeckers found across North America.

These birds’ heads feature three black stripes, while their faces and undersides are white.

Their top halves are mostly black, while their wings include white dots.

Male mature Downy Woodpeckers may be identified from females by their distinctive red forehead patch.

However, young males possess a more pronounced red crown.

6. Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrashers are a huge thrasher species that may be spotted over the middle and eastern parts of the United States.

Other than their dazzling yellow eyes, these birds are mostly brown and white in hue.

Their top bodies are a rusty brown, while their undersides appear white, having prominent brown striping.

They also have brown bodies and tails and wings having white tips.

7. Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanagers

The Scarlet Tanager is a member of the cardinal family of passerine birds and is considered to be of medium size.

This migratory bird has thick, dark eyes and a dark beak.

This species’ mature females and males clearly have different feather types.

The males are distinguished by their orange heads and bodies and their black wings and tails.

Females, in contrast, have a drab olive tint all over.

Their undersides are lighter than the rest of their bodies, and their dark olive upper bodies have a grey tint to the tail and wings.

8. House Finch

House Finch

The House Finch is a species of finch that can only be found in the western parts of North America.

The upper portions of both sexes of this bird have a drab brown color, while the undersides are streaked reddish brown.

But the males are easily differentiated from the females because of the pink glow that emanates from their whole upper body.

This hue may shift in tone with the seasons, becoming darker in the wintertime as a result of the berry and fruit diet.

9. Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

The scientific term of the Northern Mockingbird means “Many-tongued Thrush,” which refers to the bird’s impressive ability to imitate other sounds.

These birds possess an average body size, but their long legs and tails make up for it.

Their overall appearance is that of a muted grey, with the top sections being darker and the undersides lighter.

Edges of white and black may be seen on their tails and wings.

The color of their eyes ranges from greenish to yellow to orange to golden.

Adult male and female Northern Mockingbirds have the same appearance due to the absence of sexual dimorphism in their feathers.

10. Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy Woodpecker is a species of woodpecker that can be found all over North America and is a good example of a woodpecker of a more moderate size.

They resemble Downy Woodpeckers in size and coloring but are much bigger.

The sounds that members of various species make are the ideal means of telling them apart.

These birds have mostly white underparts, a black neck and head, and black wings containing white dots.

The only distinguishing feature between the sexes is that males have one to three red spots on their heads while females don’t.

Is It Safe for Birds to Eat Grape Jelly?

grape jelly

The short answer is yes, it is generally safe for birds to consume grape jelly.

However, it is important to keep in mind that grape jelly should only be offered to birds in moderation, as it is high in sugar content.

Excessive consumption of sugary foods can lead to health problems for birds, just as it can for humans.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that the grape jelly being offered to birds does not contain any artificial sweeteners or preservatives, as these can be harmful to birds.

The best option is to offer birds a small amount of pure grape jelly that is free of any harmful additives.

Overall, grape jelly can be a safe and enjoyable treat for birds, as long as it is offered in moderation and without any harmful additives.

So go ahead and treat your feathered friends to a little bit of sweetness – they may just sing a sweet tune of gratitude in return!


In conclusion, grape jelly can be a tasty treat for birds, especially certain species such as orioles and hummingbirds.

While it is generally safe for birds to consume grape jelly, it should be offered in moderation and without any harmful additives.

Excessive consumption of sugary foods can lead to health problems for birds, just as it can for humans.

As with any food offered to birds, it is important to do so responsibly and with the birds’ best interests in mind.

Providing a balanced diet that includes a variety of natural foods such as seeds, fruits, and insects, along with a small amount of grape jelly as a special treat, can help keep our feathered friends healthy and happy.

So go ahead and share a little sweetness with your backyard birds – they may just surprise you with a beautiful melody of thanks.


Is grape jelly the only food that birds need to eat?

No, birds require a balanced diet that includes a variety of natural foods such as seeds, fruits, and insects. Grape jelly should only be offered as an occasional treat.

Can birds eat any type of grape jelly?

It is best to offer birds pure grape jelly that does not contain any harmful additives such as artificial sweeteners or preservatives.

Can birds eat grape jelly that is past its expiration date?

No, it is not recommended to offer birds any food that is past its expiration date, as it can be harmful to their health.

How much grape jelly can I offer to birds?

Birds should only be offered a small amount of grape jelly, no more than a tablespoon per day.

Is it safe to offer birds other types of jelly or jam?

No, it is not recommended to offer birds any type of jelly or jam that contains artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Only offer pure grape jelly as an occasional treat.

Is it necessary to clean the feeder after offering grape jelly to birds?

Yes, it is important to clean the feeder regularly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Clean the feeder with soap and water before refilling it with grape jelly.

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.

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