Cedar Waxwing eating serviceberries.

17 Birds That Eat Serviceberries (with Photos, ID & Info)

Serviceberry is a shrub or small tree from the rose family that grows in North America. Birds have been known to eat these berries for centuries. In this article, we will explore 17 birds that eat serviceberries, with photos of each bird and identification information below them.

American Robin

An american Robin perched on a tree branch.
Photo by Trac Vu on Unsplash

The American Robin is a small migratory songbird native to North America. Their diet consists of small insects, earthworms, spiders, and berries. Robin’s will eat serviceberries early in the season before they ripen, and other food sources become available to them. They are an important part of their diet, with up to 40% of their food intake coming from this fruit.  

  • Length: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm) 
  • Weight: 2.7-3.0 oz (77-85 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: United States and Canada, as well as much of Mexico.​​​​​​​
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, swamps, thickets, farmlands and yards in suburban areas.​​​​​​​

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Baltimore Oriole

A Baltimore Oriole perched on a branch.
Photo by Skyler Ewing from Pexels

The Baltimore Orioles are a migratory bird that can be found in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Serviceberries are a critical food source for the Baltimore Orioles during their breeding season. These berries can make up to 25% of their diet, and it is important that they have access to them, as they provide much-needed nutrients. The berry season is typically from June through September, so there should be plenty of opportunities to observe the birds’ behavior around these tasty treats.

  • Length: 6.7-7.5 in (17-19 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.4 oz (30-40 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.1-11.8 in (23-30 cm)
  • Range: Northeast United States and southeast Canada, and some parts of Central America. ​​​​​​​
  • Habitat: Wetlands, marshes, meadows and forest edges as well as yards in suburban areas.​​​​​​​

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Gray Catbird

A Gray Catbird perched on a tree.
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The Gray Catbird is a medium-sized songbird in the mimid family. It can be found in much of North America, Central America, and South America. They are primarily insectivores but also eat berries, fruits, seeds, and nuts. The Gray Catbirds love to eat serviceberries which are also called Juneberries because they have sweet juice that contains many nutrients for them to consume.

  • Length: 8.3-9.4 in (21-24 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-2.0 oz (23.2-56.5 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm)
  • Range: Eastern United States and Canada, with small populations in the Great Lakes region. ​​​​​​​
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, swamps, thickets of shrubs or trees, hedges along roadsides and farms, backyards with tall bushes near homesites​​​​​​​.

Hairy Woodpecker

hairy woodpecker
Image by Diana Roberts from Pixabay

Hairy Woodpeckers are found in North America, Europe, and Asia, though they have been spotted as far south as Mexico. They can be seen perching high up in trees where they look for prey such as ants or other insects. Hairy Woodpeckers can also be seen eating serviceberries which they find from the ground or from trees when they’re climbing around them looking for insects to eat. 

  • Length: 7.1-10.2 in (18-26 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 1.4-3.4 oz (40-95 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 13.0-16.1 in (33-41 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Eastern region of Canada and southward into Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and further westward into New Mexico and Arizona.
  • Habitat: Lives mainly in forests and woodlands but may also go to parks or other types of residential areas. ​​​​​​​

Hermit Thrush‍

hermit thrush on a rock
Image by CSJoyner from Pixabay

The Hermit Thrush is a medium-sized brownish bird that can be found in eastern North America and northern Mexico, but they are also occasionally seen as far south as Guatemala. The Hermit Thrush‍ will feed on serviceberry fruit during the summer, and also during the fall migration season when they are passing through Canada to their wintering grounds in Central America or Mexico.

  • Length: 5.5-7.1 in (14-18 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 0.8-1.3 oz (23-37 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.4 in (25-29 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Southern Canada to Northern Florida in the US​​​​​​​.
  • Habitat: Forests or woodlands with mature trees that provide dense cover for nesting sites​​​​​​​.

Related Post: How to Attract Thrushes to your yard?

Mourning Dove‍

Mourning doves are attracted to the sweetness of serviceberry, which is also known as shadbush. The berries are sour when unripe and taste better once they have ripened. Mourning doves will feed on these berries for hours at a time in order to get their fill before heading off to another spot where there might be more food. 

  • Length: 9.1-13.4 in (23-34 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 3.4-6.0 oz (96-170 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 17.7 in (45 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Includes all but the southernmost regions of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • Habitat: Agricultural fields, grasslands, and shrubbery with trees.​​​​​​​

Related Post: Facts About Mourning Doves

Cedar Waxwing

cedar waxwing eating serviceberries.
Image by Rick Tremblay from Pixabay

Cedar Waxwings are the quintessential North American bird. They reside year-round in the Eastern United States and Canada but migrate south to escape harsh winters. It is not uncommon for Cedar Waxwings to be seen with their long tongues extended into ripe serviceberries on a warm summer day. This fruit is full of sugar, making it an ideal snack for these beautiful birds that flock together to eat at once!

  • Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 1.1 oz (32 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Southwestern United States to Canada and south through Mexico. 
  • Habitat: Woodlands, thickets, and gardens that provide shelter a​​​​​​​nd food sources.

Eastern Bluebird

eastern bluebird on a birdhouse rooftop
Image by Naturelady from Pixabay

The Eastern Bluebird is a small songbird native to North America. They are found in many parts of the United States and Canada. These birds typically inhabit woodlands, brushy areas, and other natural habitats with trees. The bluebirds feed on insects, fruit, and seeds. Serviceberries are one of their favorite food because they contain nutrients which the bird needs for its feathers and egg production.

  • Length: 6.3-8.3 in (16-21 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 1.0-1.1 oz (28-32 g) ​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 9.8-12.6 in (25-32 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Eastern United States and Canada​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​
  • Habitat: Open areas with trees or bushes, such as pastures, parks, or farmlands.​​​​​​​

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Eastern Towhee

The Eastern Towhee is an oversized sparrow that lives in the eastern part of North America. The Eastern Towhee’s diet mainly consists of seeds, berries like cherries, mulberries, black raspberries, chokecherries and serviceberries (sometimes called “Juneberry”), and insects such as beetles or grasshoppers which it gleans from leaves or bark on trees while perched on branches or hopping along.

  • Length: 6.8-8.2 in (17.3-20.8 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 1.1-1.8 oz (32-52 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Most of Canada east of the Rocky Mountains, all the United States east of the Rockies except for Florida.​​​​​​​
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, old fields, parks, gardens and other green spaces.​​​​​​​

Related Post: How to Attract Towhees to your backyard

Red-Bellied Woodpecker‍

A Red-bellied Woodpecker perched on a tree branch.
Image by PETER TREMBLAY from Pixabay

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are one of the most common woodpecker species in North America. The most distinguishing feature of the red-bellied woodpecker is its bright, scarlet underbelly. Red-bellied woodpeckers are also distinguished by their short, stout beaks and powerful claws, which they use to cling to tree bark as they search for insects hiding within crevices in the bark. It has been observed that serviceberries make up about 20% of this bird’s diet during the summer.

  • Length: 9.4 in (24 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz (56-91 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 13.0-16.5 in (33-42 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range:  It lives throughout the eastern United States, as well as all of Canada​​​​​​​.
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests or mixed woods, usually near water sources such as streams, lakes, or swamps.​​​​​​​

Related Post: How to Attract Red-bellied Woodpeckers to your backyard?

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak‍

A  Rose-breasted Grosbeak perched on a fence.
Image by simardfrancois from Pixabay

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a beautiful bird, found in the Eastern United States. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a popular bird with people. They have been called the “Cadillac of Birds” and they are very charismatic.  They are most often seen in suburban areas, where they will eat insects and berries from ornamental trees planted by homeowners. One of their favorite foods is serviceberries which are high in sugar and make for an excellent food source when other food sources are still scarce.

  • Length: 7.1-8.3 in (18-21 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 1.4-1.7 oz (39-49 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 11.4-13.0 in (29-33 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Eastern United States and Canada, and winters in Central America, South America, Mexico, and Cuba.​​​​​​​
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests to swamps to agricultural fields.​​​​​​​

Northern Cardinal ‍

A male Northern Cardinal.
Image by Frank Dilorenzo from Pixabay

The Northern Cardinal is a red bird that lives in the Eastern and Central United States. Many people think that northern cardinals eat mainly seeds and insects, but they also enjoy a taste of other foods. This is seen in the winter when cardinals feast on serviceberries. The average adult cardinal will consume about 8-10% of their body weight every day to stay healthy. In the winter, many food sources are scarce it’s not unusual to see cardinals eating them.

  • Length: 8.3-9.1 in (21-23 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz (42-48 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 in (25-31 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: All over the United States, and in southern Canada​​​​​​​.
  • Habitat: Meadows, forest edges, farmlands, and suburbs.​​​​​​​

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Northern Flicker‍

Northern Flickers are in the woodpecker family, and are found in most parts of Canada and all throughout the United States, but they only live in areas where there is a large number of deciduous trees. Most of the time, they feed on insects and spiders found in trees, but during fall months when other food sources are scarce, they will eat serviceberries. They have a long tongue that can reach out far enough to get fruit or bugs from branches or leaves.

  • Length: 11.0-12.2 in (28-31 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz (110-160 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in (42-51 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Northern Canada to the southern United States​​​​​​​.
  • Habitat: Forests, woodlands, mountain areas and even urban landscapes such as the suburbs or parks​​​​​​​.

Related Post: How to Attract Northern Flickers to your yard?

Northern Mockingbird‍

Northern Mockingbird
Image by zoosnow from Pixabay

The Northern Mockingbird is a songbird that resides in North America. They are most commonly found in areas with trees and bushes, which makes them very territorial. Their territory can range from one acre to up to 5 acres. They usually eat insects, berries, seeds, fruits, and other invertebrates in the summer months. One berry they like to eat is serviceberries which usually ripen during late summer (July-August). ​​​​​​​

  • Length: 8.3-10.2 in (21-26 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 1.6-2.0 oz (45-58 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 12.2-13.8 in (31-35 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: United States, Canada, and Mexico.​​​​​​​
  • Habitat: Temperate deciduous forest, scrubby woodlands, thickets and edges of marshes or other wet areas. ​​​​​​​

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Yellow Warbler

yellow warbler
Image by simardfrancois from Pixabay

Yellow Warblers are one of the most common types of birds in North America, and they love to feast on serviceberries. Warblers are typically insectivores, but they will eat Serviceberries when insects are scarce. They will eat serviceberries while they are migrating. These birds gorge themselves on berries and build up fat reserves in order to survive their long journey south for the winter. 

  • Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (9-11 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.9 in (16-20 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Southern United States to Canada​​​​​​​. Spends the winter in the Central and South America​​​​​​​.
  • Habitat: Brushy areas, marshes and thickets near streams and rivers​​​​​​​.

Related Post: How to Attract Yellow Warblers to your yard?

Wood Thrush

A wood thrush on a tree branch.
Photo by Alexa Popovich from Pexels

The wood thrush is a medium-sized songbird, closely related to the American Robin, that lives in the Eastern United States. The bird has a varied diet consisting of worms, insects, fruits, and berries.​​​​​​​ Wood thrushes are often seen eating serviceberries in early spring. They enjoy them a lot and do not mind the tart taste. The birds will come out in droves when these berries are around, eating until they’re satisfied. ​​​​​​​

  • Length: 7.5-8.3 in (19-21 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 1.4-1.8 oz (40-50 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 11.8-13.4 in (30-34 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Eastern United States and Canada. Winters in Central America, South America, or Cuba.​​​​​​​
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, thickets, and swamps.​​​​​​​

Brown Thrasher

A brown thrasher foraging on the ground.
Image by Miles Moody from Pixabay

The Brown Thrasher is a large songbird found in North America in the New World thrasher family. It gets its name from the “song” it sings with a loud, rolling trill, and also for its habit of beating on branches to communicate with other birds. The birds love to eat serviceberries that are in season from July to September. The bird will look for ripe berries, or wait until they fall off the branch or on the ground.

  • Length: 9.1-11.8 in (23-30 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 2.1-3.1 oz (61-89 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 11.4-12.6 in (29-32 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Range: Canada, Southeastern US, and Mexico.​​​​​​​
  • Habitat: Forests, shrublands, grasslands, and wetlands as well as near streams and lakes.​​​​​​​

Frequently Asked Questions

Do hummingbirds like serviceberry?

The Serviceberry tree blooms small white flowers which attract insects. Hummingbirds enjoy feeding on the insects, as well as the nectar of these blossoms because they are high in sugar, making them a reliable food source for hummingbirds during winter when other sources may be scarce. 

Do bluebirds eat Serviceberries?

Bluebirds will enjoy eating serviceberries when they are available, but do not need to rely solely on them for sustenance. They also feed on insect larvae and insects such as ants or caterpillars that the serviceberry tree attracts.

Are serviceberries messy?

Serviceberry trees can be a pain to maintain. Some people may think that Serviceberry trees are messy because of the fallen leaves on the ground during fall time. The dried out leaves will stick to your shoes or track into your house. And when you shake them off outside it will scatter more of those tiny brown pieces everywhere!

How tall does a serviceberry tree get?

Serviceberry trees are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves in the fall. The size of a serviceberry tree can vary greatly depending on factors such as climate and soil conditions. In the Midwest, where serviceberries grow best, a typical height is 15-25 ft., with a diameter of 3-4 ft.

Which serviceberry is best for birds?

The downy serviceberry is a wonderful option for your backyard, orchard, or home. They are very fast growing and hardy. The fruit of the downy serviceberry is edible by humans as well as birds which means they are great for attracting them to your yard with food!