Be Your Own Birder

Make National Pumpkin Day for the Birds!

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.
Blue-Winged Mountain Tanager on a Pumpkin Feeder
Blue-Winged Mountain Tanager on a Pumpkin Feeder – Photo by Benny Mazur

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!

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