Almonds in a bowl

Can Parrots Eat Almonds?

Did you know that almonds are actually seeds and not nuts? This probably explains why parrots like them so much. 

For parrots that originate in Mediterranean regions, almonds make up a large part of their diet. These parrots often eat almonds directly from the tree whilst enjoying the sweet feeling of hulling the shells. Parrots get a kick out of that for some reason.

Almonds are also among the healthiest snack options being high in protein and many important nutrients. So if you want your parrot to try a new snack, almonds can be a great option.

Parrots can safely eat almonds as an occasional snack. However, there are a few caveats. Always go for the unsalted ones as too much sodium can be harmful for parrots. Also, when serving almonds remove any bitter almonds from the pack, as they can be toxic to parrots.

Are Almonds Good For Parrots?

Almonds are nutrient-rich which makes them a good snack option for parrots. They can provide many important vitamins and minerals that supplement their diet.

However, as with all calorically dense foods, you should offer them in moderation. Almonds are good for parrots when combined with the right mix of foods. They can supplement a healthy diet, but you shouldn’t rely on them too heavily.

What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Feeding Almonds To Parrots?

Almonds are rich in various nutrients including manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. They also pack a good amount of protein and essential fatty acids.

They are particularly high in vitamin E which is a fat-soluble antioxidant. It can protect the parrot’s body from oxidative damage. Also, since they are low in cholesterol, they are considered good for heart health.

Here is the nutritional profile of Almonds (per 100g) (Source):

NutrientAmount per 100g
Protein21.15 g
Fat49.93 g
Carbohydrate21.55 g
Fiber12.50 g
Sugar4.35 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Calcium269 mg
Iron3.71 mg
Magnesium270 mg
Vitamin E25.63 mg

Are Bitter Almonds Toxic To Parrots?

Bitter almonds are a type of almond that contains the toxic chemical amygdalin. According to research published in Hindawi, this compound in almonds can break down into cyanide when ingested.

Ingesting as few as 7-10 bitter almonds can cause serious ill effects in an adult human being. As for parrots, which are significantly smaller than humans, their bodies are more sensitive to toxins. Therefore eating even a single bitter almond, can be fatal and even cause death.

In the US, the sale of unrefined nuts like bitter almonds is prohibited. So if you happen to live in the US, you shouldn’t be concerned about finding bitter almonds in stores.

However, if you live in other parts of the world, bitter almonds are sold separately. Besides that, you can sometimes find bitter almonds in the regular variety of sweet almonds. 

Out of a pack of sweet almonds, there is always a possibility of having one or two bitter ones. This is why you should be careful while serving almonds to your parrot. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can easily spot a bitter almond.

Tips to identify bitter almonds:

  • Extra wrinkles
  • Flat
  • Darker
  • Pointed 

One of the most notable features of a bitter almond is its pointed appearance. Almonds can generally get darker, wrinkled, and lose their fullness when they lose moisture, which can make them look like bitter almonds. But one way you cannot be mistaken is by looking at their pointedness.

Can Parrots Eat Roasted Almonds?

Roasted almonds can be safe for parrots to eat. The heating process destroys some of the antioxidants and nutrients which makes them less nutritious. However, heating can also get rid of any bacteria, and most importantly it can kill the toxins in bitter almonds. So you wouldn’t have to worry about weeding out the bitter almonds from the sweet ones.

One thing to be careful about while feeding roasted nuts is the method of heating. Generally, it is better if the almonds are dry-heated. Almonds roasted in oil or butter can be extremely high in fat and calories.

Can Parrots Eat Salted Almonds?

No, parrots should not eat salted almonds. Salt in high amounts can be toxic to parrots. While parrots might love the taste of salted almonds, consuming too many of them can cause a severe allergic reaction. If a parrot eats a few salted almonds, it may only experience increased thirst from the electrolyte imbalance. However if it consumes more than that, it can be fatal for its health.

Can Parrots Eat Almond Butter?

Parrots can technically eat almond butter. Homemade almond butter is generally okay for parrots to eat, however, the ones available in stores can contain ingredients that are harmful to your parrot.

Storebought almond butter often contains additives like sugar, salt, and preservatives which are harmful to parrots. Some products may also contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol which is highly toxic to parrots.

It’s also worth mentioning that almond butter is also high in fat, even more than the nut itself. So while it is safe to feed homemade almond butter to parrots, you should only give them a very tiny amount.

Do Parrots Like Almonds?

Almonds are a popular snack for us humans. And if you know your parrot, you know that they like to snack too. Parrots love eating almonds, especially raw almonds. The nutty texture and hard outer shell provide them great satisfaction in eating these nuts. Wild parrots eat them quite a lot. In fact, for some species, it is a staple in their diet because they are widely available in their habitat. 

How Many Almonds Can Parrots Eat?

Parrots like to indulge a bit too much in almonds, they are only good in moderation. Almonds are a high-calorie food which means they can fill your parrot’s appetite much quicker.

That is why, they should be offered in small quantities, preferably as evening snacks or training treats. For smaller parrots, 1-2 almonds should be enough whereas for larger parrots you can give up to 3-4 almonds at a time. 

How Often Can Parrots Have Almonds?

Almonds can be offered to parrots as an occasional treat. Almonds are quite high in calories which is why it is important to practice moderation. Giving your parrots almonds too often can lead to obesity and other health problems. Almonds shouldn’t be added to your parrot’s diet on a regular basis. It would be ideal if you served them no more than 2-3 times a week.

Should I Crush Almonds For My Parrot?

You should not crush almonds into small pieces for your parrots. Parrots can easily break almonds into bite-size pieces themselves. Large parrots may even enjoy cracking the shells of raw almonds.

If you crush the almonds into small bits, they may not be the appropriate size for your parrot’s mouth and sometimes they can become a choking hazard.

How Should I Serve Almonds To Your Parrots?

You can serve almonds to parrots in their plain unsalted form. Your parrots can extract the most benefit out of them. Although in the wild parrots eat raw almonds, you should avoid feeding them to your pet parrot. Raw almonds can contain certain bacteria which may not be good for them.

Since almonds are hard foods, you can also be creative with them while serving them to your parrots. You can put one or two in foraging boxes and let your parrot nibble on it for as long as it wants.


Despite being high in calories, almonds pack a lot of good nutrition. Giving your parrot whole almonds can be beneficial for their health. However, almonds can be a nutritious addition to your parrot’s diet when provided in the right way. You should offer them as a treat or make them a parrot of a healthy mix of vegetables, fruits, and pellets.

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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