The oils, nuts, and leaves of the eucalyptus plant are beneficial to humans. Likewise, birds can safely use eucalyptus in different forms for a variety of health benefits. However, eucalyptus may not be safe for birds in all its forms.
What You'll Learn
Ah, eucalyptus, the lovely smelling yet refreshing tree with distinct entities held closely in our hearts. The ever-adapting tree consists of over 600 species, all of which hail from Australia and now grow worldwide.
Humans use the leaves, oil, sap, and nuts of the iconic “gum tree” for many purposes, including cold relief, aromatherapy, and even for treating congestion in the shower.
Eucalyptus is not only refreshing, the germicidal properties of eucalyptus can serve as a disinfectant or air purifier, which benefits humans and birds alike.
With its many forms, eucalyptus also offers holistic benefits to birds, who may have more uses for it than we do.
What Benefits Does Eucalyptus Offer to Birds?
Eucalyptus use is not just a trendy occurrence. Its benefits and uses have been traced back to Australian aborigines sourcing water from the tree’s roots. It has even been used as a treatment for fevers & congestion.
When it comes to birds and their relationship with eucalyptus, its benefits scale to an even higher magnitude. Of the many health benefits eucalyptus can provide birds, some of the most important benefits point to its aid in hygienic forms.
Eucalyptus possesses antifungal & antibacterial properties, which can be incredible preventative measures to ensure a healthy life for both indoor & aviary birds.
The catalyst for these properties is called eucalyptol, which comes from the oils that eucalyptus trees excrete.
In addition to these traits, eucalyptus can also be a deterrent for parasites. This is an effective strategy for indoor birds, but aviary birds experience more exposure to parasites and wild birds that may carry them. This is why it’s recommended as a preventative rather than a treatment.
Eucalyptus can also boost a bird’s immune system. The flavonoids that eucalyptus leaves excrete when chewed are large proponents of this benefit.
How Can Birds Use Eucalyptus?
Birds can actually use eucalyptus in more ways than humans. The main resources of necessity for any living being typically include food, water, and shelter.
Eucalyptus can be a great source of shelter for birds and a periodical choice for their diet, depending on the form.
Eucalyptus is a hard wood, which may not be the best choice for the bird to chew on, but thinner branches, leaves, bark, and flower buds are forms of eucalyptus that a bird can use to stimulate and retrieve nutrients.
The bark and gum leaves of the eucalyptus tree excrete oil, which, as mentioned earlier, will help strengthen their immune system and act as a parasite deterrent.
In the wild, holes have been observed in eucalyptus trees. The holes left by birds in the trees give them continuous access to the tree sap. The hard branches may not make the best chewing outlet for birds, but they can be an excellent nesting source or perch.
Since eucalyptus doubles as a deterrent for parasites, its leaves, branches, flowers, and nuts placed in the cage will provide an extra level of protection.
Birds have also been seen eating the flower buds and nuts of eucalyptus trees.
When Isn’t Eucalyptus Safe For Birds?
Considering the abundance of benefits birds can receive from the many states eucalyptus comes in, it can seem contradictory that not all forms of eucalyptus are safe for them.
When discussing the proper usage of eucalyptus for birds, it’s important to point out that these warnings are directed toward human involvement in the production and distribution of eucalyptus products & indoor birds.
Wild birds have the advantage over domesticated birds simply because they have access to fresh eucalyptus from nature, untampered by humans.
Humans treat nearly all produce, flowers, and plants with pesticides, which means we need to be aware of the sources that provide eucalyptus for domestic birds, especially indoor birds. Curating a nest and surroundings with eucalyptus treated with pesticides could be a detriment to the bird’s health, especially if the eucalyptus is then ingested by the bird.
The same caution is prevalent for eucalyptus in the essential oil form due to the additives that essential oils are typically mixed with during production.
When using eucalyptus for birds in any form, it is recommended to purchase as close to the natural source as possible and ensure the product is left untreated by any form of chemical sprays.
Most sources of eucalyptus, especially when catered to bird owners, will note whether their products have been sprayed with any pesticide.
Eucalyptus Can Be a Great Benefit to Birds
Nature gives us all we need when sourced with the best intentions. The Australian natives’ abundance of health & aromatic properties puts eucalyptus at the top of the tropical tree chain.
While we may enjoy dropping some eucalyptus oil in diffusers or its leaves in the shower, we don’t center our lives around the gum tree.
Birds, especially those that frequent areas where eucalyptus grows, could build their lives around the trees, finding the necessary sources of food and shelter from their branches and flower buds.
Eucalyptus can be sourced online through various eucalyptus farms across the world. If you are lucky enough to live near these areas, you can take advantage of purchasing eucalyptus directly from the source.
Bird owners who have not yet introduced their birds to the gum tree should consider implementing its branches and leaves in their bird’s cage and surroundings.
When doing so, just remember the best source is as close to nature as possible. Pesticides and sprays are unhealthy for all of us, including your bird.
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I am Bryan Powell and I own BirdHour.com. I love bird watching; in fact, I have a parakeet of my own. I enjoy spending time outdoors and observing the natural world around me. This website is a means of sharing my passion for birds with others who may be interested in this activity.