Do Hummingbirds Eat Grape Jelly? (Explained)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

Hummingbirds are extremely picky eaters. They primarily consume fresh and tasty nectar.

Nonetheless, despite their sugar addiction, they have other food sources. Hummingbirds feed on insects such as ants, mosquitoes, and spiders. 

Humans have also perfected the art of luring these birds into their backyards with sugar water over the years.

When these incredible creatures feed, they truly are a sight to behold.

But, do these picky eaters eat grape jelly? Let us find out!

Do Hummingbirds Eat Grape Jelly?

Do Hummingbirds Eat Grape Jelly

Hummingbirds do eat grape jelly. Naturally, these small birds are strong and energetic. They have extraordinary flying abilities.

This, however, necessitates a constant desire for sugar boosters. These sugar boosts keep them going. This is primarily why they are classified as sugar addicts. 

People enjoy grape jelly regardless of their diet because of the minerals and sugar it contains.

They have a sweet tooth, as you may have guessed. 

This article is chock-full of information about grape jelly and how it helps hummingbirds.

Continue reading if this piques your interest. 

What Is Grape Jelly?

Before we get into what grape jellies are, let’s first define grapes. 

Grapes are berries that are botanically classified as fruits. Grapes have been harvested for over 8000 years, according to research. 

Fresh grapes can be eaten as table grapes. They can also be used for other purposes, such as wine production, grape seed oil, grape seed extract Jam, gape juice Jelly, etc.

So, what exactly is grape jelly?

Grape jelly is a type of jelly made from crushed grapes. Jelly is a popular summer food for birds. Grape jellies for birds, however,  are not the same as those consumed by humans. 

Jellies are typically made by combining fruit juice and sugar. They should be firm enough to maintain their shape. 

Birds can be offered crushed grapes, a homemade jelly recipe, or easy jelly from the supermarket.

When making jellies for birds, however, it is always best to leave out the sugar. 

Red and Concord grapes are the best grapes to feed birds. These grapes are both healthy and simple to make.

Here is an article I wrote on hummingbirds eating oranges

What Are The Health Benefits Of Grape Jelly To Humming Birds?

Do grape jellies benefit the health of hummingbirds? Let us find out. 

According to studies, grape jellies do not contain significant amounts of minerals and vitamins found in fruits.

They also provide a small amount of protein. These fruits, however, are not completely useless to birds. 

Grape jelly is high in other nutrients that are essential for the growth and general well-being of birds.

Let’s take a look at these nutrients and what they can do for hummingbirds. 

Sugar: Homemade jellies are delicious. They are typically made with high-fructose corn syrup.

This syrup is a sweetener made from sugar. It is mostly found in processed foods and beverages.

It is made up of the simple sugars, glucose and fructose, just like regular sugar. 

Sugar has been shown to increase the energy of hummingbirds. Simple sugars are an important part of hummingbirds’ natural diet.

You may be concerned that providing too much sugar to hummingbirds will harm them.

There hasn’t been any recent research to back up the theory. 

However, it is critical to feed them grape jelly in small amounts. Added sugar is detrimental to the health of birds.

These sugars are indigestible to these birds. 

Carbohydrates: Grape jelly has approximately 13g of carbohydrates. Hummingbirds are also known to be energized by carbohydrates.

They are a necessary fuel source for all cells. Carbohydrates are well-known to be birds’ primary source of energy. 

Calories: Calories are another source of energy. Grape jelly has a high calorie content.

According to research, grape jellies contain approximately 50g of calories. These calories are necessary for the birds to stay energized. 

As you may be aware, not burning off calories can result in weight gain. However, there is no need to be concerned about these birds gaining weight.

Hummingbirds are extremely active throughout the day. As a result, they’d naturally burn off these calories as they fly around on a daily basis.

How Often Can You Feed Them Grape Jelly?

Sugar may be addictive to birds, according to research. Despite our best efforts, we may unintentionally endanger our feathered friends. 

This is why it is critical to feed your hummingbirds in moderation. Jellies should be served as a mid-day snack or treat. 

Do not refill the feeders with jelly until the next day. Jellies are best served during migration.

Since hummingbirds require high-energy sources to refuel during migration, this is definitely a good time to feed them grape jelly.

Grape Jelly is also a good choice during cold weather when birds need to re-energize quickly.

According to research, when jellies are served in moderation, they attract a wide range of birds.

Also check out this article I wrote on reasons why hummingbird feeders is empty

Can Baby Hummingbirds Eat Jelly?

Yes, baby hummingbirds can eat jelly. However, it is often best to limit the amount of jelly given to young hummingbirds.

This is to allow the chick to feed on a more nutritious diet. 

A nutritious diet is advantageous to their growth and development.

Hummingbird adults feed their young a protein-rich diet that includes small insects, larvae, insect eggs, and spiders. 

This provides them with fats, protein, and salt that they would not be able to obtain from grape jellies, nectar, or sugar water.

How Do You Feed Grape Jelly To Hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds should be given jellies in a small container. In general, offering them jellies in large containers is risky. 

Hummingbirds have been known to fall into the container. This can result in them being coated in sticky jellies.

Sticky feathers make them vulnerable to predators and limit their ability to fly. 

However, it is best not to refill the small dishes until the following day. This encourages birds to seek food in the wild.

What are the things to be aware of before feeding them grape jelly?

Before feeding grape jellies to birds, there are a few things to consider.

First, birds can be given any brand of jelly. Brands with fewer preservatives will be healthier. 

Second, sugar substitutes like aspartame, sucralose, brown sugar, or honey are toxic to hummingbirds. It’s best you don’t give them any of these.

These sugars do not provide an adequate energy source for these birds to digest.

Furthermore, zero-sugar substitutes may be toxic to birds.

Also, fresh grape jelly is always the best choice for hummingbird feeding.

When buying store-bought grape jellies, it is best to crush and combine fresh grape berries.

This gives you more nutrients. They are beneficial to birds. 

However, older, obsolete, or less expensive brands are also suitable for birds. Moldy or fermented grape jelly should be avoided.

Check to see if it contains any other blended ingredients, such as chocolate or fruit seeds. If it does, do not give them to these birds.

It should be considered to grow berry bushes for hummingbirds. This would aid them in foraging in the wild.

They can also benefit from picking out their favorite berries. 

Other things to consider include; 

  • Feed them grape jellies with a low sugar content. 
  • Do not feed them spoiled jellies. When left for an extended period of time, jellies attract a wide range of animals. This can be harmful to the bird’s health. 
  • Birds can become overly enthusiastic and get soaked up in  jellies. This can harm their feathers and make it difficult for them to fly. 
  • Hummingbirds have a proclivity to become addicted to your feeder. It is critical not to allow hummingbirds to become overly reliant on your feeders.

What birds will eat grape jelly?

Grape jellies are not only eaten by hummingbirds. A number of other birds also enjoyed this delicious recipe.

Let’s take a closer look at them. 

Baltimore Oriole: This bird has been designated as the state bird of Maryland. They are completely obsessed with jellies.

They are also not picky. They subsist on grape jellies and fruits. These are high-energy foods that keep them going on their journeys. 

Gray Catbird: This species is found in Central and North America. Grape jellies are also a favorite of this bird.

They frequently supplement their diets with grape jellies. 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak: A migratory bird named after the rosy patched spread on its chest.

This bird species, too, has a sweet tooth! They absolutely adore grape jellies. 

Yellow-rumped Warble: This is the most common species of warble. They are known to consume grape jellies on a regular basis. 

The Downy Woodpecker: The downy woodpecker is the smallest of the woodpecker species. Grape jellies are a particular favorite of theirs. 

Brown Thrasher: This bird does not consume seed or suet. They are, however, known to enjoy grape jellies. 

Scarlet Tanager: This bird species enjoys grape jellies. They are known to be fruit-eating birds. 

The House Finch: This is a bird species native to western North America. Grape jellies in your feeder will undoubtedly attract house finch birds.

They are crazy about grape jellies. 

Northern Mockingbird: This bird is well-known for its mimicking abilities. They’re known as the many-tongued thrush.

Northern Mockingbirds are well-known for consuming grape jellies. 

The Hairy woodpecker: is a small bird. They are huge fans of grape jellies.


Grape jelly is a nutritious snack. Hummingbirds eat this delicious mix a lot. Grape jelly is available to both adults and juvenile hummingbirds. 

These nutritious treats, however, are not limited to hummingbirds.

Grape jellies are also consumed by birds such as the hairy woodpecker, Baltimore oriole, scarlet tanager, and many others. 

Humming birds can be energized by grape jellies, which are high in sugar, carbohydrates, and calories.

However, they should not be fed an excessive amount of grape jelly by birders. This could be harmful to hummingbirds. 

Photo of author

About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


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