Can Birds Eat Cherry Pits

Birds are fascinating creatures known for their diverse diets. As a bird enthusiast, you may wonder if birds can safely consume cherry pits. In this article, we will explore whether birds can eat cherry pits and the potential risks associated with it. So, let’s dive in and discover the truth about this intriguing topic.

can birds eat cherry pits

Can Birds Eat Cherry Pits?

Cherry pits, also known as cherry stones or seeds, contain a compound called amygdalin. This compound releases cyanide when ingested. While humans can safely consume cherries by spitting out the pits, the same cannot be said for birds. Birds lack the ability to distinguish between the edible fruit and the toxic pit, making it unsafe for them to consume cherry pits.

The Dangers of Cherry Pits for Birds

If birds accidentally ingest cherry pits, the cyanide released can be harmful or even fatal to them. Cyanide interferes with the bird’s ability to transport oxygen, leading to respiratory distress and potential organ failure. Additionally, the hard texture of cherry pits can pose a choking hazard for birds, especially smaller species.

Natural Diet of Birds

To better understand why cherry pits are not suitable for birds, it is essential to explore their natural diet. Birds primarily feed on a variety of seeds, fruits, insects, and nectar. Their digestive systems are adapted to process these foods efficiently. While some fruits are safe for birds, cherry pits should be avoided due to their potential toxicity.

Safe Alternatives for Birds

If you want to provide birds with a fruit treat, there are several safe alternatives to cherry pits. Birds enjoy a wide range of fruits, including apples, berries, melons, and oranges. Ensure that the fruits are fresh and free from any pesticides or harmful chemicals. By offering these alternatives, you can provide birds with a nutritious and enjoyable snack without risking their health.


In conclusion, it is not safe for birds to eat cherry pits. The cyanide released from the pits can be toxic to birds and may lead to severe health issues or even death. As responsible bird enthusiasts, it is crucial to provide birds with a diet that aligns with their natural feeding habits. Opt for safe alternatives like fresh fruits to ensure the well-being of our feathered friends.


  1. Can birds eat cherries without the pits?
    Yes, birds can safely consume cherries without the pits. The flesh of the cherry is safe and nutritious for birds to eat.

  2. Are all fruit pits toxic to birds?
    Not all fruit pits are toxic to birds. However, it is essential to research and ensure the safety of specific fruit pits before offering them to birds.

  3. What other foods should I avoid feeding birds?
    Some foods to avoid feeding birds include chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, avocado, and onions. These foods can be toxic or harmful to birds.

  4. Can birds digest seeds easily?
    Yes, birds have specialized digestive systems that allow them to digest seeds efficiently. Seeds are a natural part of their diet and provide essential nutrients.

  5. How can I attract birds to my garden without feeding them fruit?
    You can attract birds to your garden by providing a variety of bird-friendly habitats, such as birdhouses, bird baths, and native plants that offer food sources like seeds and insects.

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