Are Maple Trees Bad For Birds? Are They Poisonous?

Maple trees are common in many regions within the Northern Hemisphere and are very useful for many purposes. However, some types of wood can be dangerous for birds when planted in certain areas or when the wood or branches are used for bird toys or perches. This leads many to wonder if maple trees are safe for birds. 

Maple trees are not bad for birds. Many birds rely on maple trees in the wild for nesting and as a source of food, as they are usually heavily inhabited by caterpillars and other insects. Maple wood is safe for all birds as perches or toys, so long as you remove the bark first.

More than 130 species of maple trees grow internationally, which only adds to the concern of bird owners who wonder how safe maples are for their birds. 

To definitively answer this question, let’s explore this tree and its relationship with birds. 

Are Maple Trees Bad For Birds?

Maple trees are everywhere in some countries, but it is true that some trees, no matter how common, are not safe for birds, especially birds that are not native to the same areas as the tree. 

The good news is that maple trees are not on this list. All maple trees are safe for all birds, with one caveat. 

The Red Maple Is Harmful to Birds

The only maple tree potentially harmful to birds is the Red Maple, as the bark on this tree is well known to harbor a fungus that can cause several harmful diseases in birds. 

Only the bark of this tree is harmful to birds, so if the bark is removed, the wood itself is perfectly safe for all birds, and many bird owners use it in their bird cages.

Do Birds Like Maple Trees?

Maple trees are safe for birds in every regard. Maple trees are among the favorite trees of many wild birds. Hundreds of bird species regularly nest in these trees, and many birds rely on maple trees as a good place to find food. 

These trees support large populations of caterpillars and have soft wood and bark that allow insect-eating birds to access these caterpillars and other insects easily. 

Every part of the maple tree is safe for every bird, provided the tree is free of pesticides or other harmful chemicals.  

If you would like to plant a maple tree in a bird-dense area, or if you want to use maple for bird purposes, you can feel safe to do so. Removing the bark from the wood is safe to protect them, but it is otherwise suitable for all birds. 

Can Maple Be Used For Bird Toys And Perches?

Building natural wood perches and toys for birds is a part of being a good bird owner, but it is crucial to make these items from wood that will not harm the bird if they touch it or ingest it. All birds will ingest small pieces of wood while gnawing on perches or playing with wooden toys. 

Maple wood is safe to use for this purpose. Every bird can use perches and toys made from maple tree wood, so long as the wood is free of harmful pesticides or other chemicals and does not carry harmful pathogens that could hurt birds. 

As we have already learned, the only potentially dangerous maple woof for birds is Red Maple due to the fungus that grows in its bark, but when you remove the bark, you can use the wood for all kinds of purposes without harming the birds.

Maple trees make exceptional perches and toys for indoor birds, as the wood is very soft and will not harm their beaks if they chew on it, and it can be easily stripped and nibbled on by even small birds. 

This wood is perfect for this purpose, and many bird owners love to use maple wood for their birds. 

Can Birds Eat Maple Tree Wood?

Birds can ingest small amounts of wood and wood fibers when gnawing on wood or playing with it. 

Therefore, removing the bark from any maple wood you give to your birds is a good idea, especially if your birds tend to ingest the wood. However, the bark of maple trees can be problematic if overeaten simply because it can carry pathogens that can cause harm. 

If the maple wood is free of bark and well-cleaned, it is safe for birds to eat. However, if the wood has any chemicals on it, or if it has any faint odors of chemicals or anything other than the smells of the wood itself, do not give it to your birds. 

Homeowners treat maple trees with chemicals and pesticides, especially those used for farming to produce maple syrup. 

If the maple wood you use comes from a tree sprayed with harmful chemicals, it could be very harmful to your birds. 

For this reason, it is critical that you only use maple wood for your birds that comes from a trusted and reliable source. If you buy your maple wood, be sure you know what the wood has been through before it arrives at your home. 

However, if you grow your own maple trees, have access to a natural maple tree, or get your maple wood from a trusted friend or family member, it should be safe to give to your birds once you remove the bark.

How to Remove The Bark of A Maple Tree?

To remove the bark of a tree, you need to cut a branch or the portion of the tree you want. Depending on the size of the tree you’re removing the bark from, you may need to use a saw or a power tool.

This video walks you through removing the bark from a tree. 

Final Word

Maple trees and maple wood is safe for all birds. Of course, removing the bark from any maple wood you give to birds as a perch or a toy is always a good practice, but it is otherwise completely harmless and safe for birds. 

Many birds rely on wild maple trees for nesting and as a source of food. 

These trees are essential to birds in their natural habitat and are very useful for birds kept in captivity. Therefore, do not be concerned about maple trees harming your birds. 

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