The ripe fruits of black cherry trees (Prunus serotina) are tasty treats for wild animals and birds. They also make a good addition to your bird feeders. Cherries are high in nutrients and antioxidants and are beneficial to the heart, boost immune systems, and fight disease.
Some cherries contain cyanogenic glycoside, which can release cyanide in the stomach of animals that ingest it. This poison prevents cells from using oxygen, causing asphyxiation. In order for cyanide to affect an animal, the seeds and stems must be chewed, but many animals eat the fruit whole. This is why it is important not to offer cherries as a treat. Only feed birds cherries that are pitless and have been processed to remove the stems and seeds.
It is possible that squirrels eat cherries, but they tend to take more than their fair share of other fruits, nuts, and corn. When feeding squirrels cherries, it is best to use only small, sour cherries and remove the pits.
The fruits of wild black cherry trees can be eaten by a variety of wild animals including bears, raccoons, deer, mice, and squirrels. The pits of these fruits are often scattered far and wide by the animals, and scientists have even been able to determine the distance that the pits traveled by staining faeces. You can enjoy cherries by planting them in your own backyard or by purchasing them at a store. If you grow cherries, it is recommended to plant other food-producing plants for wildlife as well.