October 26 is National Pumpkin Day, a day to celebrate all things about this large, bright orange fruit (yes, pumpkin is a fruit). And, to be sure, let’s not confuse this with National Pumpkin Spice Day, which was October 1. But while pumpkin spice – with its sugary goodness and spicy additives – is not suitable for the birds, pumpkin can be a great addition to a bird feeding station in many ways.
- Fruit-loving birds, including thrashers, catbirds, and thrushes, will feast on fresh pumpkin flesh, especially if it is shredded or diced.
- Larger seed-eating birds, including cardinals, mockingbirds, and grosbeaks, will happily sample pumpkin seeds if offered fresh or roasted, but without salt or flavorings.
- A pumpkin bird feeder – a hollow pumpkin or even a whole fruit with a dimpled top – can be a festive fall feeder when filled with any favorite birdseed mix, mealworms, or jelly.
- Use a fresh pumpkin vase to offer seed-bearing flowers to birds, such as dried sunflower stalks filled with plump seeds or millet sprays ripe with seeds.
Of course, there are other ways you can celebrate National Pumpkin Day combined with your love of birding and birds as well. You might carve a pumpkin into a bird silhouette or shape with a bird pumpkin carving stencil of an owl, crow, flamingo, or other favorite bird. You could even stack pumpkins into bird-like shapes or figures for fun yard decorations, using cornstalks or wheat sheaves as tails, wings, and plumes. Or you might just bake your favorite pumpkin treats – a pie, cookies, or breads – decorated with fun bird shapes or using fun bird-shaped cookie cutters.
However you celebrate, remember the birds on National Pumpkin Day!