Can Birds Eat Cucumbers?

Can birds eat cucumbers? You’ve probably been told to eat your vegetables your whole life. So why not offer them to your backyard birds?

Wild birds can eat cucumbers when offered at a bird feeder. Cucumbers are full of nutrients and water with in beneficial for the birds’ health.  Cucumbers do not attract any specific type of bird. You will attract more birds by preparing the cucumber to make the flesh ready available to the birds.

There is a little more to feeding your backyard birds’ cucumber them simply placing one on your feeders.

IF you want to know more about offering cucumbers at your feeder, then this guide has you covered. We’ll discuss the benefits of cucumbers. Plus what you need to be careful with, what parts to offer, how to prep them, and the best way to offer cucumber to your backyard birds.

So let’s take a closer look.

Do birds eat cucumber?

Wild bird do eat cucumbers if you offer it in the right way. And what would that be?

You have to help them get into the flesh part of the cucumber.

Although a cucumber skin isn’t tough, a whole cucumber doesn’t exactly screen ‘eat me’.

Showing birds the inside flesh of a cucumber lets them know it’s easy and refreshing to eat.

How Are Cucumbers Good For Birds?

Birds enjoy cucumbers because they are juicy and hydrating. Cucumbers are rich in vitamins and minerals including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Manganese

What’s more, is that cucumbers can provide birds with a source of protein and fiber.

Birds need these essential nutrients and vitamins to maintain healthy feathers. It also wards off disease.

All these vitamins and nutrients are essential to keep birds healthy and thriving.

Cucumbers are 96% water, which means they’ll be a great source of water for birds.

Are Cucumbers Safe for Birds?

Cucumbers are safe to feed wild birds.

Just be sure to offer cucumbers alongside a variety of other well-loved bird food such as seeds.

Cucumber is excellent for keeping the birds hydrated. But it’s a poor source of the essential fats that bird need to thrive.

The main problem with offering birds store bought cucumbers is the skin. The outer layer is often covered with a thin wax layer. Also the farmer likely used pesticides as the cucumbers were growing.

You’ll need to keep this in mind as you prepare the cucumber for the birds.

When to Cucumbers Out for Birds

You can feed birds cucumbers at any time of year.

The best time to offer cucumbers is during the summer season. this will help to offer the birds hydration in the hot weather conditions.

You can offer cucumbers in winter as they will provide a rare water source for the birds. But because cucumber is full of water you’ll find it will freeze over in cold conditions. You may want to keep your feeder in a sunny spot or change up the cucumber so the birds aren’t eating cucumber ice pops!

Also don’t be surprised if the birds don’t eat the cucumber in winter. They’ll likely be after food high in fat and carbs to get energy.

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Parts of the Cucumber Birds Eat

Cucumbers might seems simple, but there are a few parts we need to consider. Let’s take a look at each part and what’s best to offer the birds.

Do Birds Eat Cucumber Flesh?

The flesh of the cucumber is the juicy white/clear part inside. This part is soft, slightly sweet, hydrating, and easy for birds to eat.

The flesh of a cucumber is the part with the most water and nutrients for birds. This is the part you should make most available for birds at your feeders.

Do birds eat cucumber skin?

Birds will eat cucumber skin.

But you have to be careful with offering bird cucumber skin.

What’s the big deal?

Well, cucumber skins may be covered in wax or pesticides.

These things can be harmful to birds. Even if you wash the cucumber, you probably won’t remove all these chemicals.

So what’s the solution?

If your cucumbers are store bought then its best to peel off the cucumber skin first. This removes to risk of harming the birds. Unfortunately it also removes some of the fiber the bird will get too.

If youre giving the birds home-grown or organic cucumbers, you don’t need to remove the cucumber skins.

Do birds eat cucumber seeds?

Cucumber seeds are safe and non-toxic for wild birds to eat. You do not need to remove the seeds from a cucumber fore offering them to your birds.

The birds will eat the seeds as they are embedded into the middle of the cucumber flesh.

Can birds eat Cucumber Blossom?

If you grow cucumber in your yard you’ll see cucumber plants grow blossoms.

Bird will eat cucumber blossoms as they are full of nutrients for birds.

Unless the birds are attacking the rest of your plant, try not to deter them from eating these nutritious blossoms. When birds eat blossoms it can help to naturally prune plants or even remove insects who will do more harm.

Other Types of Cucumbers for Birds

There may be ways that you enjoy cucumbers that you may be wondering if these are safe to offer to your backyard birds.

Can birds eat pickled cucumbers?

You shouldn’t offer pickled cucumbers to wild birds. Vinegar or brine are the staples of most pickled cucumbers. Neither of these is good for wild birds.

Brine is full of salt which cause birds to become dehydrated or even cause kidney failure.

Vinegar is extremely acidic and can cause digestive trouble for birds.

Although a bird may seem like it initially enjoys a food, doesn’t mean it’s good for them in the long run.

Can birds eat Fried Cucumbers?

Birds should not eat Fried cucumbers. Fried foods in general are one of the worst food you can feed wild birds.

Fried foods are full of unhealthy trans fats which are of no benefit for birds. Also the act of frying will destroy the nutrients in the cucumber.

Offering Cucumbers to wild birds

Cucumber FleshyesyesBest part to offer
Cucumber Skinonly organicyesOnly offer if organic/home-grown otherwise peel
Cucumber SeedsyesyesNo need to remove
Cucumber BlossomyesyesHelps maintain plants
Pickled CucumbernonoFull of salt/acidic vinegar
Fried CucumbernonoFull of trans fat, nutrients removed

What type of cucumber is best for birds?

You can offer up any type of cucumber to birds including:

  • Armenian cucumbers
  • English cucumbers
  • Garden cucumbers
  • Persian cucumbers
  • Lemon cucumbers
  • Kirby cucumbers

Most birdwatchers just opt for simple garden cucumbers as these are easiest to find in store. You’ll probably have more success with non-bitter cucumber varieties. The best ones are the English, Persian or lemon varieties.

These cucumber are often known as ‘burpless’ cucumbers. That means they are free from a chemical call cucurbitacin which makes humans belch!

Cucumbers lower in cucurbitacin will taste sweeter to birds. 

How to prep Cucumbers for birds

The best way to offer cucumbers at your bird feeders to birds is to prep them properly. The best method to use will depend on the type of feeder you are using for your birds.

Offer cucumber should raw, without any added seasonings such as salt.

Let’s look at the best ways to prepare cucumbers for birds.

Peeled or unpeeled?

You do not need to peel cucumber skins before offering it to birds. An unpeeled cucumber will allow birds to get a good source of fibre in their diet.

The problem is that the skin of your regular store bought cucumber is covered in wax and pesticides. You won’t be able to completely wash these off your cucumbers.

If your cucumbers are not organic or home-grown then lightly peel the outer skin of the cucumber. This reduces the risk of the birds eating the wax or chemicals.

Cucumber Slices

You can cut up your cucumber into thick slices. This helps to expose the cucumber flesh on both sides so the bird can easily peck away.

You can easily lay your slices on your platform feeder or piece them onto a fruit feeder.

Cucumber halves

A great way is to offer cucumbers to your bird is to simply cut it in half length ways. This is best done without peeing the skin off.

The halves can be impaled on a spike and the flesh can be easily eaten by the birds. The skin helps to keep the flesh and water in place like a little cucumber trough. This keeps the cucumber fresh and the birds hydrated.

Whole Cucumber

Placing a whole cucumber down of your bird feeder won’t go down well. Depending on the variety some bird may not be able to easily break through the skin.

You may have more success by peeling the cucumber and placing it down whole. The problem is that with nothing to keep the juices in place the cucumber will likely dry out quickly.

How to offer birds cucumbers

There are a few ways you can offer cucumbers to the birds in your yard. Let’s take a look at what’s best for you.

Cucumber on Platform Feeders

A platform feeder is great for offering up cucumbers as it pretty much an outdoor plat for your birds.

Just cut up the cucumber and put the halves or slices on the platform.

The issue with using platform feeders is that the food is exposed. This may attract other animals to your feeders such as raccoons, rats, mice or squirrels.

Cucumber on Fruit Feeders

Fruit bird feeders (like this one) are ideal for offering cucumber to your backyard birds. You’ll notice that they all have some form of a spike to impale the fruit (or vegetables) to keep them in place. A bird will easily knock over cucumbers as they are lightweight, and a spike will help hold them in place.

Cucumber in a Suet Cage

You may already have a few suet cages that use to feed the birds suet. You may even have some empty ones if you’re not offering suet in summer.

Instead of filling the cages with suet, fill them with cucumbers slices or quarters.

The cage will help to keep the cucumber in place but allow the bird easy access to the fleshy parts.

Suet cages are a great way to offer cucumber to birds if you have a problem with other animals at your feeders. They won’t be able to access the cucumber through the smaller feeding squares.

Cucumber on Spikes

You don’t need to use a fancy feeder to offer cucumber to the birds in your yard. You can place the cucumber anywhere that you can impale them onto such as:

  • Nail in fences
  • Branches
  • Bird poles

Just be careful not to expose the birds to any sharp edges as they eat. A sharp nail can cause a lot of damage to a bird’s beak.

Related questions

Do birds eat bruised cucumbers?

You may have found a forgotten cucumber at the bottom of your refrigerator. It’s going a little bit off and is slightly bruised and getting a little mushy. Now you’re wondering if it’s safe just to put it out to the birds rather than going to waste?

The reality is that birds can actually be pretty fussy about what they eat. They are able to tell the difference between fresh food and things that are going off.

Just like us, they don’t want to risk eating things that may make them ill.

You can try and offer it, but don’t be surprised if they turn us their beaks and you’re putting it in the trash a few days later.

Do birds eat boiled cucumbers?

Wild birds can eat boiled cucumbers. Yet, you shouldn’t serve them up if it’s a leftover from your cooking.

That’s because you’re probably added other ingredients alongside the cucumbers. Ingredients such as salt, garlic or onions, are all really harmful to birds.

If you find your cucumber is a little bit tough then boiling the cucumber can help to soften them. This will make it a little easier for the birds to eat.

Otherwise, there is no need to waste your time boiling cucumbers for birds, just offer them up raw.

Final Thoughts

Now you know that birds can eat cucumbers. This guide has shown you why they are good for birds. You also know how to reduce the risk of using store-bought cucumbers and how to prepare and offer cucumbers at your feeders.

So go ahead and try it out. I hope you enjoy watching the birds eating their cucumber treat at your feeders.

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