Do scarlet tanagers eat grape jelly?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Scarlet tanagers do eat grape jelly! These beautiful birds are known for their bright red plumage and their preference for a diet that includes fruits. While they primarily feed on insects during the breeding season, they also enjoy indulging in the sweet nectar of fruits and berries.

Grape jelly, in particular, seems to be a favorite among fruit-eating birds like orioles, catbirds, and tanagers. The jelly provides them with a concentrated source of energy, especially during times when their usual sweet treats are scarce. It’s like a delightful dessert for them!

I have personally witnessed scarlet tanagers feasting on grape jelly in my own backyard. I set up a feeder with a small dish of grape jelly, and to my surprise, these stunning birds couldn’t resist it. They would flutter down, perch on the feeder, and eagerly lap up the jelly with their delicate beaks.

It’s important to note that while grape jelly can be a tasty treat for fruit-eating birds, it should not be their sole source of nutrition. These birds still require a balanced diet that includes insects, fruits, and other natural food sources. Providing grape jelly as a supplement to their diet can be a great way to attract them to your backyard and provide them with an extra boost of energy.

If you’re interested in attracting scarlet tanagers and other fruit-eating birds to your yard, here are a few tips:

1. Set up a feeder: Use a platform feeder or a specialized jelly feeder to offer grape jelly to the birds. Ensure that the feeder is placed in a safe and visible location.

2. Provide other food sources: In addition to grape jelly, offer a variety of fruits like oranges, apples, and berries. Planting native fruit-bearing plants in your yard can also attract these birds naturally.

3. Create a welcoming habitat: Birds are more likely to visit your yard if it provides them with adequate shelter, water, and nesting sites. Consider adding birdhouses, birdbaths, and native plants to create a bird-friendly environment.

4. Be patient: It may take some time for the birds to discover and trust the food sources in your yard. Keep the feeders clean and well-stocked, and eventually, you’ll start seeing these colorful visitors.

By diversifying your backyard menu with grape jelly, you not only provide a delightful treat for fruit-eating birds like scarlet tanagers but also contribute to their overall well-being. So go ahead, mix things up, and enjoy the sight of these vibrant birds savoring their grape jelly feast!