Birds go bananas for bananas at RSPB Conwy

Friday 10 December 2010

Drake Teal, Anas crecca, feeding on mud. Brownsea Island Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve. Dorset, England.

RSPB Cymru has long been advising that birds enjoy fruit like apples, pears and berries, but what about bananas?

The wildlife charity now has proof that some birds like bananas too, with a variety of birds on one of its nature reserves scoffing down bunches at a time courtesy of a local fruit wholesalers and the staff at a local supermarket 

Birds like teal, starlings and blackbirds at RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve in north Wales, have been enjoying bananas donated to the RSPB by Tatws Trading of Mochdre and Tesco in Llandudno Junction.

Staff and volunteers at RSPB Conwy were interested to see whether the birds would take the healthy treat, and were delighted when the gift was gratefully received.

Shirley Rowlands, manager of the Waterside Coffee Shop at the reserve, said: “We were lucky to receive lots of different fruits from Tatws Trading and more fresh fruit, nuts and dried fruit from Tesco, but it’s the bananas which have revealed some of the birds’ hidden cravings.

“Because blackbirds and blue tits prefer fruit like apples and pears, which they would find naturally, we had no idea what to do with the bananas. In the end, we scattered them along the edges of the reserve’s frozen ponds and wildlife garden hoping that something would give them a try.” 

“To our surprise, the water rail, a normally shy bird of the reed bed, has been having a feast!’ 

The tropical energy boost has proved so popular, that staff at the reserve are keen to keep feeding the fruit for as long as the cold snap lasts as it is proving such a vital resource, and are asking the public to do the same.

RSPB Cymru advises feeding birds all kinds of leftover kitchen scraps in addition to seed mixes, including mild grated cheese, porridge oats, cooked rice and pasta and potatoes. 

Fruit like apples and pears and dried fruits are also good supplementary food, even if bruised and part rotten, and popular with birds like thrushes, tits and starlings.

Shirley Rowlands, went on to say: "Although bananas aren't one of the traditional fruits fed to birds, they probably hit the spot quickly and help birds warm up soon after eating them. They will certainly be of more nutritional value than bread, which is more commonly fed to geese, ducks and swans.”

"Give it a go in your own gardens - but in moderation. Birds aren't quite the dustbins people think they are and chances are if you put too many out at once in a small space they will go a bit too rotten for them."

Last Updated: Monday 3 July 2017

It's not just birds!

Red admiral on banana
Learn how to make a butterfly banquet with your old bananas and give nature a home.
Tagged with: Country: Wales Topic: Birds Topic: Conservation Topic: Reserves Topic: Wildlife