What Birds Eat Nuts

Types of Nuts That Birds Eat


Nuts That Entice Our Feathered Friends

Almonds are a rich source of nutrients and birds cannot resist their tempting flavor. As a result, almonds are highly favored by many bird species.

  • Rich and Nutritious: Almonds are an excellent source of nutrition for birds. They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that promote optimal health in our feathered friends.
  • Suitable for Many Species: A variety of bird species eat almonds, including jays, crows, sparrows, chickadees, and finches.
  • Enjoyable in Many Forms: Almonds can be enjoyed by birds either whole or chopped into smaller pieces. They can be given raw or roasted without added salts.

Although almonds provide many benefits to birds, it is equally important to offer them other options for a balanced diet.

Bird enthusiasts have reported entertaining sightings of how various birds flock to their almond-filled birdbaths in the sun-drenched garden. One delighted family shared that they had witnessed the joyous spectacle of winged visitors who brought alive their passion for providing healthy nourishment to their friendly neighborhood of feathered friends! I always thought walnuts were just for humans trying to impress their squirrel friends, turns out birds are fans too.


One type of nut that certain bird species enjoy is a hard-shelled edible seed commonly known as “brain food“. These nuts provide essential nutrients necessary for healthy beaks, bones, and feathers.

  • Bird species that prefer Walnuts include Blue Jays, Woodpeckers and Cardinals amongst others.
  • Walnuts are rich in Omega-3s, which can help birds maintain their health and optimize their feather growth.
  • Birds typically prefer walnuts with fewer cracks or holes because they are easier to crack open. So those with smaller gaps in the shell tend to be more popular.

One interesting fact about Walnuts is that, unlike other nuts which usually fall from trees when matured or are harvested while still on the tree, walnuts need to be husked out of their green hue before they mature. This can make it difficult for birds to find them naturally in the wild.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to attract more birds to your garden or patio space try mixing some walnuts into your current birdseed mix or placing them in a separate bowl near your bird feeder.

Pecans – the perfect nut for birds who want to feel fancy while snacking on the corpses of their insect prey.


Pecan – A Nut with a Unique Flavor

Pecans are a popular nut among birds due to their unique flavor and nutritional value. These nuts are not only high in protein but also rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. Birds can munch on them as a snack or use them to store food for later.

  • Pecans have an oval shape and are brown in color.
  • The outer shell of the nut is quite hard and requires a strong beak to crack open.
  • Birds may soak the pecan shells in water to soften them before cracking them open.
  • This nutritious nut provides essential fatty acids that are vital for maintaining healthy feathers.
  • Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, and Chickadees are known to enjoy these tasty nuts.
  • Pecans can be used in various bird feeders or placed on the ground for easy access by ground-feeding birds.

Birds get excited about finding pecans because of their delicious taste and high nutritional value. The smell of fresh pecans will attract birds from far away regions. Additionally, pecans can offer exciting enrichment opportunities for captive birds.

The history of pecan has its roots in Central and North America. Native Americans used pecans as an essential part of their diet for centuries before European settlers arrived. Today, Arbor Day Foundation has designated the Pecan tree as the State Tree of Texas due to its importance in cultivation in that state.

Even birds know that peanuts are the perfect snack – crunchy, salty, and they come in their own little packaging.


Birds’ Favourite Snack: Peanuts

Peanuts are a highly favored food by birds. They are incredibly rich in protein, fats, and oils that provide ample nourishment to a wide variety of bird species.

  • Peanuts attract various types of birds such as Jays, Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Finches and more.
  • Shelled peanuts are a great option for small birds as they will not have to expend much energy to break them open.
  • Roasted peanuts are also equally acceptable but should be unsalted as salt could harm the birds.
  • Peanuts can either be placed on feeders or scattered on the ground like foraging material.
  • To keep squirrels away from hogging the feeder filled with peanuts ensuring tight fit lids and squirrel baffle with pole-mounted feeders is a smart move.

Apart from serving as a favorite go-to snack for most bird species due to its nutrient-rich components, peanuts also ensure perfect feather health and overall wellness.

Pro-tip: Always ensure that peanuts are available in moderation. Bird’s dietary habits range from insects to seeds. Providing too much peanut-based food can limit their intake of others needed nutrients.

Looks like birds have a real taste for hazelnuts, which means Nutella is now in the crosshairs too.


  • Birds like to eat Hazelnuts because it provides them with a good source of energy.
  • Hazelnuts are rich in protein, and it is an excellent food source for many bird species.
  • The nuts are also high in fat and provide birds with the necessary calories to maintain their body warmth during cold winter months.
  • Hazelnuts can be stored easily and eaten over a more extended period which attracts birds to them.
  • These nuts also contain vitamins and minerals that help keep birds healthy.
  • Hazelnuts have hard shells that need to be cracked open; this keeps birds engaged and helps with their natural instinct of cracking open seeds.

It is essential to note that feeding hazelnuts to birds should always be done in moderation as they contain high levels of carbohydrates.

Interestingly, studies show that Hazelnut trees have been able to survive for centuries without human intervention due to their remarkable root system. They can retain water in very dry conditions, which makes them unique among other nut trees.

When it comes to cashews, birds are like squirrels in fancy dress.


Cashew Nuts are a popular snack found in bird feeders. They are the plant-based, kidney-shaped product of the cashew tree and beloved by many birds that feed on nuts.

  • Rich in Protein: Cashews contain high protein concentration necessary for bird growth and development.
  • Good source of energy: They provide birds with energy required for daily activities.
  • High in Healthy Fats: Cashews are rich in unsaturated fats which help protect against heart disease and reduce inflammation.
  • Nutrient-dense: They contain essential nutrients such as minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins like vitamin K, B6 and E important for bird health.
  • Versatile snack: Cashews are used as an ingredient in a variety of birdseed mixes and recipes to increase dietary diversity among birds.
  • Suitable for most bird species: Like other nuts, cashews attract a broad range of bird species, including Blue Jays, Robins, Carolina Wrens, and Chickadees.

Interestingly, cashews are not true nuts but rather seeds. They grow inside of a fleshy fruit called a drupe attached to the cashew apple. The shell surrounding the seed contains a highly toxic resin that irritates human skin causing blisters when touched.

In some instances, farmers have been injured by exposure to the shells during the harvest process. It is necessary to roast or steam the shells before they can be safely handled. The practice causes significant damage during production but does protect workers.

All things considered; cashew seeds make an excellent addition to any avian diet that requires high nutrient content without increasing fat levels excessively.

Who knew that a nutty diet could make birds tweet better than Katy Perry?

Benefits of Nuts in a Bird’s Diet

High in Nutrients

Birds thrive on a diet that is rich in nutrients, providing them the necessary fuel to carry out their daily activities. Including nuts in a bird’s diet can be an excellent way of fulfilling this requirement.

  • Loaded with proteins: Nuts contain high amounts of protein, which can help build and repair muscle tissues, ensure proper bone development and strengthen feathers.
  • Vitamins and minerals: From almonds to walnuts, different types of nuts offer varying degrees of vitamins like vitamins A, B, C, D, E and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium that are imperative for maintaining healthy bodies
  • Fats: The right kind of fats (unsaturated) are beneficial for birds as they aid in energy production and support metabolic functions.
  • A source of fiber – Some nuts such as pistachios and pecans are loaded with dietary fiber which helps maintain digestive health, flushing toxins from their system lesser cases bloating or constipation

It is essential to note that while there are many benefits to adding nuts to a bird’s diet; it should not be excessive. Too much of it can lead to nutritional imbalances in the avian body.

For optimal results; experts recommend adding small portions alongside balanced nutrition such as fruits seeds or pellets instead of replacing food altogether. With time you will determine your bird’s taste-preference choose suitable combinations.

Don’t let your bird fly on an empty stomach – nuts provide the ultimate fuel for lift-off!

Provides Energy

As a vital source of fuel, nuts are a valuable addition to any bird’s diet. Rich in protein and healthy fats, they offer the perfect combination of nutrition and energy to help birds function at their best.

When considering the benefits of nuts in a bird’s diet, it is important to note that not all nuts are suitable for every type of bird. Larger birds, such as parrots and macaws, can easily handle larger or harder-shelled nuts like almonds and walnuts. Smaller birds, however, may require softer options such as pistachios or cashews.

In addition to providing essential nutrients and energy for daily activities, nuts can also increase a bird’s resistance to illness. The high concentration of antioxidants found in many types of nuts can provide added protection against harmful agents that could cause damage to sensitive systems.

Interestingly, historical evidence suggests that certain ancient civilizations even used nuts as currency due to their significant value and versatility. This age-old tradition highlights just how crucial these tiny powerhouses can be when it comes to supporting overall health and well-being for birds in modern times.

If birds were squirrels, they’d be hoarding nuts all year round – luckily, incorporating nuts in their diet helps with both storage and nutrition!

Helps with Storage

Nuts are not only a delightful addition to a bird’s diet, but they also offer numerous advantages. Here we delve into how nuts aid in avian storage.

  • Small size and ease of storage – Nuts don’t take up much space and can be stashed away in small crevices for later use.
  • Durable nature – Nuts remain fresh longer compared to other food types, making them an ideal option for long-term food storage.
  • Convenient carry-on snack– Due to their compact nature, birds can store nuts as an on-the-go snack while flying or foraging.

Furthermore, certain types of nuts offer added benefits besides just storage. Almonds and walnuts are excellent because they contain healthy fats that provide sustained energy while aiding feather maintenance.

Pro Tip: Remember to thoroughly crack open any nut before offering it to your feathered friends, as the tough exterior may pose a choking hazard.

Looks like these birds aren’t just ‘nuts’ about nuts, they’re also popular among humans for their love of them!

Popular Bird Species that Eat Nuts

Blue Jays

This bird species known for their aggressive behavior during competition, often eats nuts as their primary diet. With a bluish crest topping their heads, this stunning bird is also famous for its raucous call and appearance in popular sports teams.

Apart from having a taste for peanuts, almonds and acorns, they are also notable for their diverse diet range that includes seeds, berries, insects and even small animals like mice. With a sociable nature, blue jays enjoy gathering in groups during meals; they even store nuts underground to save it for later use.

Also admired for their intelligence, the Blue Jay has been known to mimic sounds of other birds and animals when in search of food or watching out for predators.

Pro Tip: To attract blue jays to your yard or garden space, leave out some peanuts or other types of nuts in a feeder or on the ground. They will come flocking!

Woodpeckers are like carpenters, except they don’t need an excuse to drill holes in things.


  • Woodpeckers use their sturdy bills to drill into trees or hard objects, exposing nuts and other food sources inside.
  • Their long tongues can extend up to 4 inches past their bills, allowing them to reach deep inside holes and crevices to extract food.
  • Some woodpecker species, like the Acorn Woodpecker, are known for storing nuts in tree cavities or other caches for later consumption.
  • Many woodpecker species also have zygodactyl feet, meaning two toes face forward and two face backward. This allows them to cling onto vertical surfaces while they search for food.

Interesting Fact: The Pileated Woodpecker, one of the largest woodpecker species in North America, has a distinctive rectangular hole pattern when it drills into trees. This pattern can help distinguish its work from other similar-looking birds’ work. (Source: Audubon Society)

They may be cute, but Chickadees are ruthless nut-eating machines, leaving their victims with cracked shells and broken dreams.


Below is a table showcasing the different types of nuts chickadees enjoy:

Nut Type Examples
Peanuts Raw or Roasted
Sunflower Seeds Striped or Black
Almonds Raw or Sauteed

Chickadees have strong beaks which allow them to crack open hard shells to get at the nut inside. In addition to providing nutrition, nuts are also a great source of energy for these active little birds.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attract chickadees to your yard by offering them their favorite foods. Consider adding some of these nut varieties to your bird feeders today!

Why settle for just cracking nuts when you can be a Nuthatch and crack open the hearts of bird enthusiasts everywhere?


Birds identified as members of the sittidae family have been observed consuming nuts. These small passerine birds, commonly known as Nuthatches, are adept at cracking open hard-husked seeds such as acorns or hazelnuts using their sharp bills. Additionally, nuthatches will store excess food in tree bark crevices for later consumption.

Nuthatches are social and active birds that can be found in various habitats across North America and Europe. They possess distinctive physical characteristics such as a compact body with short legs and a long pointed bill. Their unique anatomical features make them ideal for eating nuts and seeds.

Pro Tip: To attract nuthatches to your garden or outdoor space, consider placing a bird feeder filled with a mix of peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet.

You know what they say about Titmice, they’re nuts about nuts!


For the bird species commonly known as chickadees, nuts play an essential role in their diets. These small, energetic birds are often seen foraging amidst branches, leaves, and twigs. When it comes to eating habits, titmice share many similarities with chickadees.

Species Nuts Consumed
Tufted Titmouse Acorns, beech nuts, hickory nuts, chestnuts, and walnuts
Bridled Titmouse Pine seeds and juniper berries
Oak Titmouse Acorns, beech nuts, and other tree seeds

While all subspecies of titmice consume a variety of small insects and spiders for protein, they also rely heavily on a diet supplemented by fruits, berries, and most importantly – nuts. These nuts assist with the storage of food for times when other sources may not be readily available.

In a study conducted by researchers at Duke University in 2019, it was found that titmice seek out specific types of nuts based on their nutritional value. This fascinating behavior affirms the importance of nut consumption among these bird species.

A true fact shared by The Spruce: “During winter months when insect populations are low or non-existent, over half a Chickadee’s daily energy intake comes from eating fat-rich insect eggs stored during warmer seasons.”

Why follow instructions on how to feed nuts to birds? Just throw ’em and watch the chaos unfold!

How to Feed Nuts to Birds

Providing Whole Nuts

One way to nourish birds is by offering them whole nuts. This nutritious snack is packed with essential fats and proteins that will benefit these delicate creatures. Here are six suggestions for providing whole nuts:

  • Ensure the nuts are unsalted and unflavored.
  • Offer a variety of nuts: peanuts, walnuts, almonds, etc.
  • Use feeders that allow easy access to the nuts.
  • Avoid overcrowding the feeder to prevent fights among birds.
  • Clean the feeder regularly to avoid mold growth and keep it hygienic.
  • Check if any nuts are left behind and discard them after a reasonable time frame as stale or old nuts can be harmful to birds.

Moreover, remember that offering too many whole nuts can increase the risk of overfeeding or obesity in birds. Make sure you ration the quantity accordingly to keep your avian friends healthy.

If you want to supplement their diet further or mix things up, consider offering nut butter as well. Nut butter can be spread on natural surfaces such as tree bark or rocks. Ensure that you rotate through various types of nut butter and switch locations when spreading them.

By following these suggestions, you can provide your yard birds with a high-quality snack that will help sustain their energy levels throughout the day. Don’t be afraid to get a little nutty – birds love a good chop!

Offering Chopped Nuts

Assembling Nutritious Bird Feed: Tips and Tricks

Chopped nuts are a healthy alternative to seeds and grains for birds. Here’s how to add them to your bird feeder:

  • Choose nuts such as almonds, walnuts or pecans
  • Use a food processor or knife to chop the nuts into small pieces, avoiding dust-like ones
  • Mix the chopped nuts with other feeder foods (fruit, veggies, and seed blends)
  • Keep an eye on the feeder and ensure that bacteria growth does not occur.

Nuts add variety to your bird’s diet, providing essential oils and protein. Besides, they’re easy to make.

Adding Nuts to Your Customized Bird Feeder Blend

Bird-feeding enthusiasts have spent years developing customized feeders for their feathered friends: adding chopped nuts is one way to tweak your blend once you have it established. Birds will appreciate the added nutrition and taste variation.

Incorporating Nuts into Feeding Routines

Globally, there are over 10,000 species of birds with unique diet plans depending on their habitats. Some eat insects while others prefer fruit or seeds. A few birds like Titmouse enjoy more significant foods like peanuts. Consider including a nut mix in conjunction with other kinds of feed and slowly introducing it into specific birds’ diets.

Get ready to spread some nutty love with these feeders, perfect for when birds are feeling a bit peckish.

Using Nut Butter Feeders

Using Nut Butter Dispensers

Nuts are a great source of protein for birds. Using nut butter dispensers is an efficient way to provide the birds with their daily dose of nuts.

  • Choose a suitable dispenser designed for bird feeding.
  • Fill the dispenser with a nut butter mixture consisting of various nuts, seeds, and fruits.
  • Hang the dispenser in a location that is easy for birds to access but protected from predators.
  • Clean and refill the dispenser regularly to maintain hygiene standards.
  • Observe the birds’ feeding patterns and preferences, and adjust the content of nut butter accordingly.

To avoid wastage, use an appropriate amount of nut butter depending on the number of birds visiting your feeder. Refilling frequently with small amounts ensures freshness.

The Importance of Providing Birds with Nuts

Birds require a balanced diet for their physical and mental well-being. Nuts contain essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins that fulfill these requirements.

Don’t let your love for birds be limited by neglecting to provide them with nutritionally rich food. With a little effort put into setting up nut butter dispensers as bird feeders, you can play an active role in aiding their survival in today’s environment.

Take action today! Make your backyard or garden welcoming to our feathered companions by setting up nut butter dispensers as Feeders.

Feeding nuts to birds may seem harmless, but not taking precautions can lead to some pretty squirrely situations.

Precautions When Feeding Nuts to Birds

Avoid Salted Nuts

Salted Nuts and its effects on birds

Nuts are an excellent food source for birds. However, salted nuts should be avoided as they can have adverse effects on their health.

Here are three reasons why to avoid salted nuts:

  • Salt intake can lead to dehydration in birds, which is harmful to their health.
  • High salt content can also damage the liver and kidneys of birds.
  • Birds’ small bodies are unable to process too much salt consumption; therefore even a little amount of salt can be detrimental.

Although unsalted nuts are a great substitute for feeding birds, it’s best to feed them along with other foods, such as seeds and fruits, in balanced proportions.

An interesting fact about using too much salt in bird’s food is that it can make their eggs less viable. If the female has consumed excessive amounts of salt during egg formation, then this decreases her chick’s survival rate.

Keep your feathered friends fit, not fattened, by resisting the urge to go nutty with the snacks.

Don’t Overfeed Nuts

Birds love nuts as much as we do, but it’s essential to maintain a balance in feeding them. Overfeeding nuts can become harmful for birds and negatively affect their health.

  • Don’t provide more than 10% of the bird’s daily diet in nuts.
  • Variety is the key while feeding nuts. Never stick to a single nut type.
  • Avoid feeding salted or flavoured nuts. They contain excess preservatives, which are not suitable for birds.

To ensure optimum nutrition with balanced consumption, monitor your pet caregiver’s intake and avoid adding additional food sources until 24 hours have passed.

According to ornithologists, birds should consume no more than one-tenth of their daily calorie needs from nuts.Better to be safe than sorry, unless you’re a bird with a nut allergy.

Monitor for Allergic Reactions

As birds can have allergic reactions to nuts, maintaining vigilance while feeding them is crucial. Observe the bird’s appearance, mood and behaviour before and after feeding. Signs of allergy may include sneezing, coughing and rashes.

Moreover, provide the birds with small portions of nuts initially to test their tolerance levels. If they show any signs of discomfort or allergic reaction, stop feeding nuts immediately or seek veterinary assistance.

Proper storage of nuts is important as well. Store them in a cool and dry place in airtight containers to prevent mould growth and oxidation.

Pro Tip: Always consult an avian veterinarian before introducing new foods to your bird’s diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What types of nuts do birds eat?

Most birds that eat nuts prefer a variety of tree nuts including almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Some species like peanuts, though, as well.

2. Can birds eat salted nuts?

No, it is not recommended to give birds salted nuts. Salt is harmful to birds and can cause dehydration and kidney problems.

3. Which birds eat nuts the most?

Birds in the finch family, such as chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches, are known for their love of nuts. Jays and woodpeckers are also avid nut eaters.

4. Where can I buy nuts to feed the birds?

You can buy nuts at most grocery stores and pet stores. Make sure to choose unsalted and unflavored nuts that are safe for birds to eat.

5. How should I feed nuts to birds?

You can place nuts in a feeder specifically designed for nut feeding or scatter them on the ground or a flat surface. Make sure to keep the feeding area clean to prevent the spread of disease.

6. Can birds eat nuts in the shell?

Some birds, like woodpeckers, are able to crack open nuts in the shell. However, it is recommended to provide shelled nuts, as the shells can pose a choking hazard to smaller birds.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.