If you think Thanksgiving Thursday is the only day this month with a tasty theme, you’re missing out – November 23 is National Eat a Cranberry Day! Whether cranberries, cranberry jelly, cranberry sauce, or cranberry relish is a part of your Thanksgiving feast or not, this is a great day to share a tasty feast with birds.
These berries are native to North America and northern Europe, growing abundantly in cooler northern bogs and marshes. Their original name, craneberry, comes from the fact that the full plant, with the stem, flower, and petals, was thought to resemble a crane (another fun and unexpected connection to birds!). Many birds will enjoy cranberries, including thrushes, waxwings, grosbeaks, thrashers, wrens, cardinals, mockingbirds, and tanagers.
There are several different ways you can share cranberries with birds today (or any day!)…
- Add fresh, whole or halved berries to a platform or dish feeder
- Add dried, unsweetened cranberries to suet or seed mixes
- Share a small dab of leftover cranberry relish with birds just like any jelly
- String berries and air-popped popcorn or oat cereal into a feeder garland
- Plant cranberry bushes in your yard for a natural food source
And don’t forget to enjoy cranberries yourself – packed with antioxidants, high in Vitamin C and fiber but with no sodium or cholesterol, they’re a superfood you can enjoy as a snack, part of trail mix while you’re out birding, or as a refreshing drink to keep you hydrated during all your birding adventures. Happy National Eat a Cranberry Day!