Wild Bird Articles

Peanuts for Feeding Wild Birds

Peanuts are a favorite food for many birds, and they're a fast, easy option for backyard birders to refill feeders.

Because peanuts are high in fat, they are an excellent source of energy and calories, especially during cold winters, and they're ideal for birds to tuck away and store for another day. No matter what types of peanuts or peanut products you feed your backyard birds, you're offering them a very nutritional treat.

Birds That Eat Peanuts

While the very smallest birds, such as hummingbirds and small finches, will not eat peanuts, many different species will give these nutritious nuts a try. The most common birds that enjoy peanuts include:

- Chickadees - Northern Cardinals - Dark-eyed Juncos - Doves - Jays - Nuthatches - Woodpeckers - Titmice - Wrens

Which birds will like your peanut offerings will depend on what types of peanuts you have in your feeders and what birds are regularly visiting your feeders.

How To Feed Peanuts To Backyard Birds

There are several ways peanuts can be offered to backyard birds. Whole peanuts are popular with larger birds such as jays, ravens, crows, woodpeckers, and grackles. Smaller birds may also take the peanut pieces.

Some types of peanuts should never be offered to birds. Flavored varieties, including salted, smoked, or seasoned peanuts, as well as any peanuts with a candy or chocolate coating, are never appropriate and can be dangerous for birds.

Because peanuts are so popular, specialized feeders make it easier to offer these treats in your backyard. A mesh peanut feeder will hold whole nuts and make the birds work to wrangle each nut out of the feeder - providing plenty of entertainment for backyard birders as well as making the supply last longer. Peanut pieces can be offered in hopper feeders, and any types of peanuts can be added to a tray or platform feeder.

It is important, however, not to offer too many peanuts at once - they are highly susceptible to mold and mildew and can go rancid in just a few days in warm or moist climates. To avoid wasted nuts, only put out as many peanuts as the birds will consume in a day or two. Always store peanuts in a cool dry place to keep them fresh as long as possible.

Squirrel Treats

Peanuts are also a favorite treat of squirrels and chipmunks. There are many ways you can work to squirrel-proof a bird feeder to make it more difficult for squirrels to raid the nut supply, or you can offer a second supply of peanuts in a specialized feeder, such as a hanging squirrel jar. In many cases, squirrels will prefer this type of diversion feeder as they opt for the easiest available food source. Only offering a day or two's worth of nuts will also help keep squirrels, chipmunks, or other wildlife from hoarding the treat.

Article Credit: https://www.thespruce.com/peanuts-for-feeding-birds-386575

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