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Bird-Safe Edible Flowers

Bird safe edible flowers

Via iStock.com/Thomas Demarczyk

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Want your bird’s culinary experience to blossom? Try adding a few safe, edible flowers to their diet. A bird’s diet is generally made up of pelleted foods, fruit, vegetables and treats, says Byron J.S. de la Navarre, DVM at the Animal House of Chicago. Edible flowers aren’t typically something birds eat and their unique textures can provide an enriching, foraging-type of activity for them.

“Most [edible flowers] are harmless, but not all of them are,” says Byron J.S. de la Navarre, DVM at the Animal House of Chicago. “Lilies, for example, are not safe and can be toxic. Garlic and onion should also be avoided.”

Before you start picking petals for your parrot’s plate, check our list of safe edible flower choices. As a guideline, de la Navarre recommends that you feed in moderation to avoid upsetting your bird’s stomach. Also, be sure to wash the flowers before feeding them to remove any pesticides or droppings.

Anise (Pimpinella anisum) – best as an occasional treat
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – feed only in tiny portions; avoid flowers
Bee balm (Monarda)
Borage blossoms (Borago officinalis)
Calendula (Pot Marigold) (Calendula officinalis) – use in salads
Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) – avoid dyed varieties
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) – feed in moderation
Chives (allium schoenoprasum)
Daises
Dandelion (Taraxacum) – use leaves in salads, but feed flowers in moderation
Dill (Anethum graveolen) – feed in moderation
Elderberry (Sambucus spp.) – feed in moderation
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) – feed in moderation
Grapefruit (Citrus x paradise) – feed flowers in moderation
Hibiscus
Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
Impatiens – feed in moderation
Kumquat (various Fortunella species)
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
Lemon (Citrus × lemon)
Milk thistle (Silybum species)
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)
Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) – feed in moderation
Passion flowers (Passifloraceae Passiflora) – feed in moderation
Petunia (Petunia spp.) – feed in moderation
Plum (Prunoideae Prunus)
Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo or Cucurbita mixta)
Roses/Rose hips (Rosoideae Rosa)
Sage (Salvia officinalis) – feed in moderation
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)
Thyme (Lamiaceae Thyme)
Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo.)
Violets (Violaceae Viola) – feed in moderation


Chris Brownlow has been writing about pets for over 10 years. As a writer who believes in immersing herself in her topic, she has tasted more than 20 different flavors of dog and cat food while working on an advertising campaign for PetSmart. Prior to her pet days, Chris was a print and digital journalist at The Tampa Tribune and The Virginian-Pilot.

Featured Image: Via iStock.com/Thomas Demarczyk