Can Birds Eat Honey?

honey jar with honey comb

Birds are a diverse group of animals that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They belong to the class Aves, which is characterized by their feathers, wings, and beaks. Birds are known for their unique diet preferences that can vary from one species to another. One question that many people have is whether birds can eat honey.

What is honey?

Honey is a sweet, viscous substance produced by bees from nectar collected from flowers or secretions from living parts of plants. It has been used as a sweetener for thousands of years and has several medicinal properties. Honey contains natural sugars like fructose and glucose, antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins B complex, amino acids, minerals such as iron and calcium.

Do birds eat honey?

Yes! Some bird species do consume honey as part of their regular diets while others may consume it occasionally when they come across it in the wild or near human settlements. Most bird species prefer nectar over pure honey – which makes sense since they’re not able to extract the sugar easily like bees – but some will readily take advantage when given the chance.

Some examples of bird species that consume honey include bee-eaters (Merops apiaster), hummingbirds (Trochilidae), sunbirds (Nectariniidae), and lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) among others.

Is honey good for birds?

While certain types of birds enjoy consuming small amounts of sugar as energy sources – just like humans sometimes indulge in sweets – there’s no real nutritional value obtained through eating pure raw unprocessed honey itself besides the aforementioned nutrients listed above found within it.

In fact, too much sugar can cause health problems for them if consumed excessively since most wild fruits contain only 10-15% sugar content, unlike processed foods we create with high concentrations of sugar like jelly or honey. Birds need a balanced and varied diet to maintain their health, so it’s best to provide them with natural food sources instead of relying solely on added sugars.

Some species, like bees, may thrive from consuming honey, but they have evolved specialized digestive systems for breaking down the complex sugars present in honey which birds lack.


Birds can eat honey, but it should not be considered as part of their staple diet because of its low nutritional value compared to other foods found in nature. Sugar content is important for energy, yet too much could cause health problems if consumed excessively. If you want to attract birds into your garden or backyard space, consider planting native plants that produce nectar-rich flowers and fruits that these animals love.

Overall when considering feeding wild animals such as birds it’s always best practice to allow them access to natural food sources while avoiding providing processed foods high in sugar from human intervention where possible – this helps ensure they’re getting everything necessary for a healthy lifestyle!