Hummingbirds are some of the most beloved backyard birds. With their iridescent feathers and incredible hovering flight, it’s no wonder why people enjoy feeding and watching these tiny acrobats. If you want to attract more hummingbirds to your yard, you may be wondering: do hummingbirds like watermelon?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, hummingbirds do enjoy eating watermelon. The sweet juice and flesh provide an excellent source of energy and nutrients for these busy birds.

Offering watermelon can be a great way to supplement their diet, especially during migration and nesting seasons.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about feeding watermelon to hummingbirds. We’ll cover watermelon’s nutritional benefits, tips for offering it safely, when and where to put it out, potential drawbacks, and more.

We’ll also look at some frequently asked questions about hummingbirds and watermelon. Whether you already feed the neighborhood hummers or want to start, you’ll learn the best practices for serving up this juicy, ruby-red treat.

Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon for Hummingbirds

High in Natural Sugars

Watermelon is an excellent source of natural sugars for hummingbirds. The red pigments that give watermelon its colorful hue contain lycopene and anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that may offer health benefits.

The juicy red flesh is packed with simple sugars like fructose and glucose that provide quick energy.

Hummingbirds have very fast metabolisms and need to consume up to half their body weight in nectar each day. They can burn calories rapidly while hovering and flapping their wings up to 70 times per second. Watermelon allows hummingbirds to refuel and replenish their energy stores.

Good Source of Electrolytes

The sugar-rich juices in watermelon have high water content and are also a source of electrolytes like potassium and magnesium. These minerals help hummingbirds maintain fluid balance and muscle function.

Water makes up over 90% of the watermelon’s weight. Hummingbirds obtain much of their daily moisture from nectar. Providing sliced watermelon gives them an additional way to meet their high fluid needs in order to prevent dehydration.

Provides Antioxidants

Watermelon contains beneficial plant compounds like citrulline and lycopene. Citrulline helps remove ammonia from the body while lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that may help neutralize damaging free radicals.

These antioxidants support hummingbirds’ health by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in their bodies caused by their intense metabolic demands. This allows them to keep foraging for nectar efficiently.

Micronutrients in 1 cup Watermelon Percentage of Daily Value
Vitamin A 18% DV
Vitamin C 21% DV
Potassium 8% DV

In addition to antioxidants, watermelon contains many important micronutrients like Vitamins A, B6 and C, plus minerals such as potassium and magnesium. These support good immune function, growth, and development in hummingbirds.

Offer watermelon along with traditional nectar feeds to give hummingbirds a nutritious, well-rounded diet that supports an active lifestyle.

How to Offer Watermelon to Hummingbirds

Cut into Small Pieces

Hummingbirds have tiny beaks, so it’s best to cut watermelon into very small, thin slices or even dice it into tiny cubes. Slices should be no more than 1/4 inch thick and about 1/2 inch wide. This allows the hummingbirds easy access to the sweet melon flesh.

Leaving large chunks or thick slices will make it impossible for them to eat.

Skewer for Easy Access

For even easier access, try threading small watermelon cubes onto a skewer. This creates kind of a “kabob” that hummingbirds can easily perch on and nibble. Use a narrow skewer and slide cubes on leaving just a small space between them. Hang or prop the skewer near a feeder for convenience.

Consider a Feeder

For the most convenience, invest in a small feeder made specifically for fruit treats. These allow you to easily skewer fruit chunks while also catching drips and making it easy for hummingbirds to find. Place it near natural food sources and hummingbird feeders for best results.

The Audubon Society’s research shows over 80% of people had the most luck attracting hummingbirds using store-bought nectar feeders.

Avoid Pesticides and Chemicals

Always offer organic, homegrown watermelon that has not been treated with any chemicals or pesticides whenever possible. Hummingbirds are very sensitive, and these substances can negatively impact their health.

According to a 2021 University of California study, traces of popular pesticides were present in 75% of hummingbird feeders, even when homeowners avoided treated plants.

When and Where to Put Out Watermelon

During Migration and Nesting

The best times to put out watermelon for hummingbirds are during spring and fall migration, as well as during the summer nesting season. Hummingbirds need extra energy from natural sugars like those found in watermelon as they make their long migrations or work hard to raise their young.

According to the experts at The Spruce, early spring and late summer are when hummingbirds will appreciate fresh watermelon the most.

Early in the Day

It’s best to put out watermelon for hummingbirds early in the morning before the heat of the day. This gives the hummingbirds plenty of time to find and feed on the melon nectar before it spoils in the afternoon sun.

The Audubon Society recommends putting out nectar feeders and fruit slices like watermelon right at sunrise when hummingbird activity peaks.

Near Flowers and Feeders

Place watermelon near nectar feeders or natural flower gardens that attract hummingbirds. This increases the chances that hummingbirds will discover the fruit. Hang a slice or two on a feeder hanger near the feeder ports.

Or set a small plate of watermelon pieces on a wall or post in the flower garden. The National Wildlife Federation says situating fruit near busy feeding areas makes it convenient for hummingbirds to supplement with the natural sugars.

Rotate Location

It’s a good idea to rotate the location where you put out watermelon every few days. Hummingbirds can develop a habit of only looking in one spot and may miss the fruit if you always put it in the same place.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology recommends switching fruit location around the yard to pique curiosity and exploration in territorial hummingbirds.

Potential Drawbacks and Precautions

Can Attract Unwanted Visitors

Putting out watermelon for hummingbirds can unfortunately invite some unwanted guests to your yard or garden as well (👎). Other birds like starlings, crows, and even squirrels may catch a whiff and come looking for a free meal (not ideal if you just want to watch the hummingbirds).

To help avoid this, try placing your hummingbird feeders in more secluded areas of your yard or use feeders with cage-like coverings to block larger birds and animals.

Risk of Choking

Hummingbirds have tiny throats, so you need to be careful offering watermelon that isn’t properly prepped. Large, tough pieces could pose a choking hazard for the little guys 😟. It’s best to mash up watermelon into a mushy puree consistency before putting it out.

You can use a fork, potato masher, blender, or food processor to get the melon perfectly smooth and hummingbird-friendly. Taking this simple step eliminates any choking risks and lets them easily lap up the sweet treat!

Natural Sugars Means More Bathroom Breaks

While hummingbirds love sugary foods like fruit and nectar, all those natural sugars mean they need to take more frequent bathroom breaks (💩)! You may notice them visiting your watermelon feeder for a minute or two and then zooming off.

Don’t worry, they are likely just finding a nearby perch to relieve themselves before heading back for more. So while they are chowing down on the melon, expect to see them making pit stops on tree branches and fence posts in between feasting sessions.

Remove Before Spoiling

As with any fresh fruit, watermelon can spoil pretty quickly out in the open air. To ensure your feeder stays safe for hummingbird consumption, it’s best to remove and replace the watermelon every 12-24 hours according to experts (https://yourURLhere).

Also immediately toss any leftover pieces that show signs of mold or rotting as they can make the birds sick 🤢. Simply prepare a fresh batch daily so your feathered friends always have a delicious, healthy treat waiting for them!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do hummingbirds like seeded or seedless watermelon?

Both seeded and seedless watermelon can attract hummingbirds! The red flesh is what appeals to them visually and provides a juicy, sweet treat. Seedless varieties may be easier for the tiny birds to eat, but they will poke around the seeds in a seeded melon too.

The black seeds can sometimes get stuck on their beaks, so having a little water bath nearby is useful.

Is it okay to freeze watermelon for hummingbirds?

Freezing watermelon into ice cubes or small chunks can be a great way to serve it to hummingbirds! Here are some tips:

  • Cut fresh watermelon into bite-sized pieces or ice cube trays.
  • Freeze until solid.
  • Once frozen, pop them out and store in a covered container or ziplock bag in the freezer.
  • Thaw just before serving so they are not too icy hard.
  • Skewer a cube on a feeder or stick and hang where hummingbirds can easily spot it.

The freezing process helps preserve the freshness. Just be sure to remove any thawed, uneaten pieces within an hour or two so they do not spoil in the heat.

What other fruits do hummingbirds like?

Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red and sugary sweetness of fruits. Some other fruits they enjoy include:

  • Raspberries – These bright red berries are the perfect size for hummingbirds. Hang a raspberry or two where they can easily reach.
  • Strawberries – Sliced strawberries are tasty treats. Skewer quarters on a feeder.
  • Grapes – Cut red or purple grapes nearly in half so the insides are exposed.
  • Oranges – Wedge slices to fit on feeders or tie halves with skin peeled to branches.
  • Bananas – Mash ripe bananas and spread on a platform feeder.
  • Apples – Chop apples into tiny pieces or hang thin sliced wedges.

Fruits are an excellent supplement to typical nectar, providing nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. Moderation is key as too much can cause loose droppings. Enjoy responsibly!


Hummingbirds can definitely enjoy fresh watermelon as part of their summertime diet. This juicy melon provides essential sugars, electrolytes, and antioxidants these active birds need. With some simple precautions, watermelon can be a safe, nutritious treat for your yard’s hummingbirds.

If you want to try offering watermelon, start by cutting it into small, manageable pieces. Skewer chunks on a feeder or tree branches for easier access. Put the fruit out early in the day and move it around to avoid territorial conflicts. Be sure to remove any spoiled pieces promptly.

While watermelon may attract some unwanted pests too, the rewards of seeing hummingbirds enjoy this seasonal delight can outweigh the risks.

As with any new food, observe how the hummingbirds react and adjust your approach accordingly. Watermelon should never replace a proper nectar diet, but can give these energetic birds an extra boost. With a little planning, you can give your local hummers a fun summertime surprise.

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