Nuts are an unexpectedly great food for a wide variety of birds, but you don't need an oak, beech, pecan or walnut tree in your yard – it's easy to attract birds with peanuts. High in fat and protein to provide great energy and nutrition for active birds, peanuts are a favorite treat of many different birds, including…
Many other birds will also sample peanuts, and you might be surprised at which birds keep returning to feeders where peanuts are available for snacking.
All types of peanuts can be made available to birds – whole, in-shell nuts, shelled peanuts, peanut pieces, and even peanut butter are all great options, and different birds will sample different nuts depending on their bill size and shape. Smaller birds favor smaller nut pieces or peanut butter, while larger birds that cache their food, such as crows and jays, will better enjoy whole nuts.
Only plain peanuts should be offered to birds, however; excessive salt or flavorings can be dangerous for birds, and seasoned peanuts meant for human snacks should not be added to bird feeders. Roasted, unsalted peanuts are some of the best choices, since they do not have any seasonings but will not grow if birds bury them in the yard. For peanut butter, either chunky or creamy varieties will do, but avoid sugar-free peanut butters that lack the calories birds need.
Peanuts can be added to a variety of different feeders, or don't need to be put into feeders at all. Whole or shelled nuts can be scattered on a patio, deck or table, and hungry birds will quickly find the treat. Smaller nut pieces can be offered in a dish, or specialized peanut feeders can hold either whole or shelled nuts. Peanut butter can be spread on the trunk of a tree or a wooden fence for woodpeckers and other clinging birds to sample, and peanut butter and nut pieces are often part of suet mixtures or mixed birdseed. Peanuts are such great foods, birds will find them – and love them – in any form, and offering different types of peanuts in different ways will attract even more birds to a bird-friendly backyard.