Red apples and bird damage

Is it generally accepted that the redder the apple, the more likely they are to suffer bird damage?

Seems every Liberty apple I had this year was bird pecked. Other apples nearby that aren’t as red received much less damage.

I don’t know about birds, but Liberty sure is a codling moth maggot, whereas other red apples aren’t hit as hard, and Yellow Delicious seems to get a pass.

I happen to agree with the codling moths. I prefer Liberty too.


Birds usually attack red fruit with more passion than the ones that is not bright colored. Even white strawberries more safe than red ones when the flying thefts are around. But it is also may depend on what else is around. When my Ginger gold - blemish-less, bright yellow large apples -were ready in the end of August-beginning of September I had no loss to birds or squirrels. But at that time it was a lot of tomatoes, raspberries and strawberries around. Now, when berries and veggies all gone , and my Golden Russet just reaching technical ripeness and still hard as rock and covered in specks that make it blackish, squirrels and birds just do not leave it alone…


I have always been told that birds prefer red strawberries and leave yellow or white ones alone. I know a few permaculture places that claim planting yellow strawberries is a way to beat the birds naturally. Unfortunately this is an oversimplification and is not always true.

Last year I grew red alpine strawberries next to yellow ones. The birds only ate the yellow ones and did not touch the red ones at all.

I grow a few dozen different varieties of tomatoes, only one variety of the green ones were eaten by birds, none of the other colours or any of the other varieties of green tomatoes were touched at all. The green one that they ate is very sweet, even the leaves are less toxic than normal tomato leaves.

While birds often see red easier than other colours, the way they determine what to eat is far more complex than how red it is.


I had more yellow apples eaten/pecked this year by birds. I must admit I had more yellow apples than red apples this year though.