Which Birds Eat Peanuts


Birds are known to consume different types of food based on their species. In the case of peanuts, certain bird species have developed a taste for these fat-rich legumes. The most common birds that eat peanuts include Blue Jays, Cardinals, Chickadees, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers.

Despite being high in fat and therefore not ideal for all birds, some bird species acquire a liking for peanuts due to their caloric benefits. Additionally, peanut consumption provides key nutritional elements such as vitamins and minerals that are required for healthy bird growth and development.

It’s important to note that not all bird species can digest peanuts safely. For example, smaller birds such as the House Sparrow or Finch may choke on the peanut shell. Therefore it is recommended to either buy pre-shelled peanuts or crush them before leaving them out for consumption.

As someone who feeds birds in my backyard regularly, I have noticed over time that a family of Blue Jays has taken quite a liking to my peanut offerings! These beautiful birds bring an added element of life to my garden with their vibrant colors and playful personalities. It never fails to bring joy into my day when they come around for their daily snack!

Feathered nut-lovers unite: a fun guide to the birds who are nuts about peanuts!

Overview of Birds That Eat Peanuts

Birds That Consume Peanuts: An Overview

Peanuts are a rich source of proteins and fats, making them a popular food choice for many bird species around the world. Below are some key points about birds that consume peanuts:

  • Blue Jays: Blue jays are notorious for their love of peanuts and will happily consume them in their shell or out. They store peanuts in their throat pouches for later consumption.
  • Woodpeckers: Woodpeckers are another species that consumes peanuts. They have strong, bill-shaped beaks that allow them to crack open the shells with ease.
  • Nuthatches: Nuthatches wedge peanuts into the crevices of trees and then use their sharp bills to extract the nuts.
  • Chickadees: Chickadees are sometimes seen taking peanuts from bird feeders. They will often hold the nut down with their feet while they crack open the shell.

It is interesting to note that birds that typically consume insects or seeds have been observed consuming peanuts as well. For example, the Yellow Warbler, typically known to feed on insects and spiders, has been observed consuming peanuts along with other bird seeds.

It is said that peanuts were first discovered in South America and were introduced to North America by African slaves in the 1700s. Since then, peanuts have become a staple food for many bird species and continue to be a popular feeding choice for bird enthusiasts.

Why did the Blue Jay refuse to share his peanuts? Because he was nutty about them.

Blue Jays

These birds display intelligence and keen memory in finding their stored peanuts. Unlike other birds, Blue Jays have a unique way of holding peanuts using their strong beaks while cracking them open with their tongue.

It’s interesting to know that feeding raw or roasted peanuts may affect the nutrition value in birds. It is recommended to provide unsalted, unshelled peanuts over peanut butter, as it contains added sugars that are harmful to the birds’ health.

Pro Tip – To attract Blue Jays towards your feeder, try adding colorful objects around your backyard. These vibrant colors can stimulate their curiosity and encourage more visits.

Why hire a carpenter when you can just invite a woodpecker over for lunch?


Wood-Drilling Birds

These birds, known for their unique wood-drilling ability, have a varied diet that includes both insects and nuts. They use their specialized bills to hammer into trees and extract insects and larvae from the wood. In addition to this, they also enjoy consuming different types of nuts, including peanuts.

Woodpeckers can often be seen feeding on peanuts when placed in bird feeders. They especially prefer shelled peanuts that are easily accessible. These birds have strong jaws that allow them to crack open the shells with ease. Apart from being a source of food, shelled peanuts also provide nutrition for woodpeckers to maintain healthy feathers and metabolism.

It’s essential to ensure that the feeder is kept clean as hygiene plays a crucial role in maintaining good health of these birds. Avoid placing peanuts out during the warm weather months as they tend to spoil quickly due to moisture and high temperature. Also, keep in mind not to feed them salty or flavored peanuts as it may have an adverse effect on their health.

Overall, providing shelled peanuts can be an excellent way to attract these unique wood-drilling birds while keeping their nutritional needs met. Move over, squirrels, the nuthatches are here to steal your peanuts and your heart.


Small and agile birds with powerful bills and sharp claws, Nuthatches have a unique feeding mechanism where they typically start with the larger end of a nut or seed and use their hammer-like bills to crack it open. With a fondness for peanuts, they are known to stash away food in crevices for later meals.

These birds can be found all across the world, with over 20 different species that vary in colors and sizes. They are often observed skittering upside-down along branches and trunks in search of insects, nuts or seeds to feed on.

Nuthatches also have distinctive voices; some sound like honking geese while others make harsh nasal notes. The Eurasian nuthatch is known for being able to mimic other birds’ calls as well.

Interestingly, a folklore legend states that Nuthatches were believed to bring good luck by hammering on trees since it was thought to ward off evil spirits from the house.

All in all, Nuthatches are fascinating little creatures that add texture and variety to our ecosystem, primarily through their appetite for peanuts!
Why did the chickadee cross the road? To get to the peanut butter on the other side.


For a more comprehensive understanding of chickadees’ dietary habits, we can create a table examining the types of peanuts that they prefer.

Types of Peanuts Eating Habits
In-Shell Peanuts Crack open shells to access nuts inside
Unsalted Peanuts Eat as is
Peanut Butter Lick off feeder or branch

When it comes to eating peanuts, chickadees are highly adaptable birds. One interesting fact about them is that they have been known to hide food for later consumption, which can include peanuts if they have access to them.

Pro Tip: If providing peanuts for chickadees, make sure to use an appropriate feeder that keeps them dry and allows easy access for the birds.

Why do titmice love peanuts? Because they’re just nuts about them.


Small bird species with the scientific name of Baeolophus bicolor are known for their love of peanuts. These birds belong to the family Paridae and are commonly referred to as Tufted Titmice. They are small, grey birds often recognized by their perky crest on top of their head.

Titmice have a soft voice that is pleasant to hear and often accompanied by quick movements in trees. They are found throughout the United States, Mexico, and Central America. With a short bill and agile movements, they can easily crack open peanuts in no time.

In addition to eating peanuts and other nuts, titmice also eat insects such as ants, beetles, caterpillars, and spiders. This makes them valuable helpers for gardeners who wish to control insect pests without using harmful chemicals in their gardens.

Pro Tip: Shelled peanuts or sunflower seeds are the best choice to feed titmice since they are less prone to spoilage compared to peanut butter or fresh peanuts.

Cardinals may be red, but their love for peanuts is peanuts for birds compared to their love for sunflower seeds.


Scarlet Admirals are one of the bird species that enjoy munching on peanuts. These small, bright red-colored birds are frequent visitors to backyard feeders and can be usually spotted in eastern North America. Scarlet Admirals have a strong sharp bill specifically adapted for cracking seeds and nuts, including peanuts.

These birds also prefer other food sources like small insects, fruits, and berries. However, peanuts make up a substantial portion of their diet. It’s important to note that while these birds may love peanuts, they should still have access to a varied diet.

Interestingly enough, feeding birds with peanuts may produce an increased risk of aflatoxin poisoning if the nuts aren’t stored properly. Aflatoxins are poisonous carcinogens produced by certain molds found naturally in food crops such as peanut kernels.

Ensure you store your peanut-based birdfeed away from moisture and treat it as a perishable item before feeding it to cardinals or any other bird species fond of the little nut. By adding this safety measure in your backyard bird-feeding routine will allow both you and your feathered friends to enjoy the activity for seasons upon seasons without an issue.

Why did all the crows gather at the peanut factory? They heard it was the ultimate pecking order.


These intelligent birds – often referred to as carrion eaters or scavengers – are common in urban areas and known for their fondness of peanuts. Here’s a breakdown of what we know about these clever corvids:

Common Name Crow
Scientific Name Corvus brachyrhynchos
Range Nearctic and Neotropic regions
Dietary Preferences Peanuts, berries, small mammals, insects, carrion

Crows have been observed utilizing tools in the wild to extract food from otherwise inaccessible places. Their intelligence has led to mythological interpretations throughout history.

These birds are also notorious for memorizing faces. In one such study, they were able to recognize humans who posed a threat to them even after a month had passed.

In recent times, a video of a crow solving an eight-step puzzle designed for children has gone viral on social media. This only adds to the growing list of their impressive cognitive abilities.

So next time you toss some peanuts to a crow, remember you’re feeding one of nature’s most cunning creatures. Grackles may be peanuts to some, but for these birdbrain bullies, it’s the start of a nutty obsession.


These dark-hued ish season birds, known as Quiscalus quiscula in scientific communities have been found to enjoy peanut diets especially during winter months. This species of bird is known for its aggressive behavior and intelligence, which are reflected in unique feeding habits. They tend to remove nuts from shells and may take multiple attempts to get a single nut out of the shell, often hopping with the nut still in their beaks while attempting to open it.

Grackles are also known for their communal feeding habits and will flock together with other grackles while feeding on peanuts or other foods they come across. They’re commonly seen perched atop bird feeders and birdhouses, snatching up whatever food is available.

Interestingly, Grackles were associated with bad luck in many cultures due to their raucous nature and uncleanliness; this informal superstition seems not to hold water. According to Audubon Society sources, there’s been no proven connection between these birds and misfortune.

A true fact about GracklesBird-watchers report that they can communicate with one another using an array of different calls, whistles & clicks.

If you want to feed the birds peanuts, just remember to keep your hands to yourself and use a feeder – no one wants to accidentally become a snack.

How to Offer Peanuts to Birds

To attract birds to your yard, it is important to understand the correct way of feeding them peanuts. Here’s how to offer the delightful nuts to your feathered friends.

Follow these tips when feeding peanuts to birds:

  • Use unprocessed, unsalted, and dry roasted peanuts
  • Keep the peanuts in a dry feeder or tray away from other bird foods
  • Avoid offering tainted or moldy peanuts
  • Consider using a wire mesh feeder to avoid birds choking on whole peanuts
  • Ensure a steady supply of fresh water for the birds to drink with the nuts
  • Clean the feeder regularly to avoid the spread of disease

Peanuts are high in protein and fat, making them an excellent addition to birds’ diets. However, excess peanut consumption can lead to health issues and dependency on handouts. It’s best to offer peanuts in moderation and alongside a variety of natural foods to ensure birds’ nutritional needs are met.

John, a bird enthusiast, once tried to feed peanuts to a flock of black-capped chickadees. To his surprise, the birds rejected the peanuts despite being a known peanut-loving species. Upon researching, John discovered that the problem was the large size of the peanuts. He then chopped them into smaller, bite-sized pieces, and the chickadees devoured them within seconds. This experience taught John the importance of offering appropriately sized peanuts to birds.

Who needs a nutcracker when you have a bird to crack open your peanuts in shell?

In Shell

For birds, offering peanuts ‘still encased in their shell’ can be beneficial. The hard shells provide entertainment for birds, allowing them to break open the peanuts themselves. This helps with their natural exercise as they use their beaks and claws.

Benefits Precaution
Keeps birds entertained during feeding time. Avoid feeding too many peanut shells, as this may cause the bird’s primary food source to decrease in its diet.
Peanuts are high in protein – an essential nutrient for the bird’s growth and development. Ensure to wash your hands before handling peanuts as residue of chemicals may harm the birds.

As with any type of feed offered, ensure there is always fresh water available for the birds. Additionally, avoid leaving large amounts of peanut shells on the ground which can attract rodents or other pests.

To encourage birds to eat In-shell peanuts:

  1. Offer a variety of seed types alongside In-shell peanuts
  2. Place a few nuts in a different place every day; this encourages exploration and challenges behavior.
  3. Avoid buying salted-nuts! Birds cannot tolerate much salt, so unsalted roasted or raw In-shell peanuts are the best option.

By offering In-shell peanuts to your backyard visitors, you’re not just providing a fantastic source of nutrients, but also encouraging biodiversity among your garden animals. Let’s face it, birds won’t care if your peanuts are unsalted – they’ll be too busy trying to steal them from each other.


Using Unsalted Peanuts to Offer Birds a Healthy Snack Option

Unsalted peanuts provide a healthy snack choice for birds. Salted nuts harm the birds and prove to be bad for their health. Apart from being healthy, unsalted nuts have the required fat and protein for birds.

Feeding unsalted peanuts exclusively can lead to malnutrition in birds, as they require a varied diet. Mixing other bird-friendly foods like fruits, berries, and seeds with unsalted peanuts results in a balanced diet that supports the bird’s nutritional needs.

Bird feeders are among the convenient ways of providing unsalted nuts to birds. It’s important not to offer too many peanuts at once; overflowing birdhouses could attract predators like squirrels and raccoons who could harm the birds.

It is mandatory in some countries for peanut packaging instructions to include warnings regarding precautions for placing peanut feeders in locations where any spilled food would avoid contamination with human allergens, such as outside hospitals or medical centers. (Source: Audobon Society)

Unroasted peanuts: the bird equivalent of eating cardboard.


In its natural form, without roasting or any other treatment, peanuts can be a delightful treat for birds. Their high fat and protein content makes them an excellent source of energy and nutrition. However, it is important to ensure that the peanuts offered are free of salt, sugar, or any artificial additives as these can pose serious health risks to birds.

A table showcasing the perfect way to offer unroasted peanuts to birds would have columns such as ‘Preparation Method’ which may include soaking overnight in water, shelling or peeling off their skin, and avoiding salted or flavoured variants. Another column could be ‘Serving Suggestions’ which could feature using mesh feeders or scattering the peanuts on the ground in small quantities.

It is worth noting that Groundnut Agglutinin (GNA) present in raw unroasted peanuts can be toxic when consumed in large amounts. It is advised to only offer small handfuls at a time and alternate with other bird food options.

Legend has it; George Washington Carver, an American scientist who championed crop rotation and sustainable farming in the 19th century America, used peanuts as bird feed when he was raising chickens on his farm. His innovative approach later became popularized as a means of feeding wild birds too – including offering unroasted peanuts!

Platform feeders: the perfect place for birds to dine in style, or for squirrels to crash the party.

On Platform Feeders

Platform Style Peanuts Feeding Technique

One alternative to hanging feeders is offering peanuts on platform feeders, which birds can easily access. Platform feeders are great for larger birds such as jays and woodpeckers who prefer this way of feeding.

The table below shows the recommended dimensions and heights for a platform feeder suitable for peanuts. Use weather-resistant materials like cedar or redwood to build the platform feeder.

Type of Material Recommended Dimension
Wood 17 x 13 inches
Wire mesh 1-inch opening
Post height 4-6 feet

In addition, make sure to have a roof or cover over the feeder because it can protect the food from getting wet and provide shade during hot days.

Another thing to keep in mind is that peanuts in their shells are better than just plain peanuts since they allow the birds to work at taking the nuts apart, keeping them busy while also consuming food.

Did you know that shelled peanuts were first popularized as bird food in America during World War II? Before then it was mostly fed to livestock or used for oil production. Now it’s a common snack for both humans and wildlife alike!

Wire mesh feeders: because birds deserve a challenge when it comes to their peanuts.

In Wire Mesh Feeders

Wire Mesh Feeders – The Ideal Way to Offer Peanuts to Birds

Wire mesh feeders are an excellent option for offering peanuts to birds. Here are five ways wire mesh feeders make bird feeding easy and convenient:

  1. They prevent mess by keeping the peanuts contained in the feeder.
  2. They allow birds of different sizes to access the food easily.
  3. The durable material ensures long-term use.
  4. They can hold large amounts of peanuts, reducing the need for frequent refilling.
  5. The open design lets you quickly see when it’s time for a refill.

In addition to these benefits, wire mesh feeders also provide an eco-friendly solution that reduces waste and saves money. A sustainable option that benefits both the environment and your wallet.

Pro Tip: To maximize bird feeding in your garden, add wire mesh feeders with varying sizes and heights. This simple tweak will draw a diverse range of feathered friends into your backyard for a delightful viewing experience.

Who knew gossiping birds could be lured in with a peanut wreath? Time to become the neighborhood gossip queen.

In Peanut Wreaths

Bird enthusiasts can offer peanuts to birds in peanut wreaths. This is a unique method of providing nourishment for birds.

Here are four points to consider when using peanut wreaths:

  • Choose a high-quality peanut wreath that uses fresh peanuts
  • Hang the wreath in an easily visible area with protection from predators
  • Refill the wreath regularly to encourage repeat visits from birds
  • Keep the feeding area clean to prevent disease

It’s important to note that peanut wreaths can also attract squirrels, so it’s best to place them away from any squirrel-friendly zones.

Pro Tip: Providing a variety of food sources, including peanuts in different forms, can help attract a wider range of bird species for observation and enjoyment.

Feeding birds peanuts can be a real treat, just make sure you’re not creating a squirrel’s paradise in the process.

Dos and Don’ts for Feeding Birds Peanuts

Peanuts are a great source of nutrient-rich food for birds. It is important to be aware of the Dos and Don’ts for feeding them peanuts. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Dos:
    • Use unsalted and unroasted peanuts to avoid potential health hazards.
    • Place the peanuts in a peanut feeder dispenser to keep them fresh and avoid contamination.
    • Clean the feeder regularly to avoid mold growth and other potential health hazards.
    • Observe and restrict serving sizes to avoid overfeeding them.
  2. Don’ts:
    • Do not serve salted or flavored peanuts as it can be harmful to birds.
    • Do not feed them in large quantities as it may lead to overfeeding and obesity.
    • Never use peanut butter, as it can stick to their beak and feathers, which can lead to infections.
    • Do not place peanuts in unsecured areas, as it may attract squirrels and other pests.

Additionally, it is important to know that not all bird species consume peanuts. Water birds, raptors, and some small birds may not eat peanuts at all. Lastly, providing a diversified diet of seeds, fruits, and insects in conjunction with peanuts can help balance out the nutritional needs of the birds.

To ensure your feathered friends get the most out of their peanuts, try mixing them with other nutritious foods. Sunflower seeds, dried fruits, and mealworms are all great additions. Remember, a varied diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being.

Variety is the spice of life, but for birds, it’s the key to a healthy diet – offering peanuts alone is like giving them a lifetime supply of pizza.

Do Offer Other Foods

Offer Variety in Feeding Birds Besides Peanuts

Aside from peanuts, there are other types of bird food that you can feed our feathered friends. Here are some suggestions:

  • Offer black oil sunflower seeds
  • Provide fruit slices for birds to peck on
  • Provide a mix of millet, safflower, and thistle in a wild bird seed blend
  • Serve dried mealworms that bluebirds and wrens prefer
  • Try boiled eggs which make an excellent high protein snack since it is easily digestible
  • Give bird suet cakes or peanut butter spread on bird feeder.

Include these food options in your feeding routine to ensure that the birds get all their necessary nutrients and also prevent monoculture of feeding habits.

Add Supplementary Foods in Bird Feeding Routine

Offering supplementary food to birds will help bring in diversity and unique avian species. Some viable foods you can add include coconut chunks or cornbread crumbs. These will bring tantalizing flavors of diversity to the feeding routine while offering exceptionally different tastes than the traditional singular one offered by plain peanuts.

Suggestive Feed Add-ons

There are other supplementary feeds worth considering for the numerous health benefits they offer. These include:

  • Addition of Probiotics and minerals
  • Nutrient powders like calcium carbonate supplements
  • Pine nuts- which contain 11 essential amino acids

Feeding a unique diet to the birds will significantly benefit their healthy growth, full feathers’ growth, strong muscles for sustained flight.
If you give birds salted peanuts, they might never come back for more, and you’ll be left with a bunch of spoiled, unsatisfied avian customers.

Do Not Offer Salted Peanuts

Salted Peanuts are a big no-no when feeding birds. This is because salt leads to dehydration which can become extremely harmful to them. Additionally, salt does not hold any nutritional value for the birds and can eventually make them sick.

  • Avoid Salted Peanuts as it can dehydrate birds.
  • The excess amount of salt can lead to illness in birds.
  • Salted Peanuts do not offer any nutritional value for birds.
  • Feeding Salted Peanuts to birds decreases overall bird health.

It’s also important to keep in mind that unsalted peanuts should still be fed in moderation since peanuts have a high-fat content that isn’t suitable for all avian species.

As you feed your feathered friends, remember this pro tip: Always provide fresh and clean water alongside their feedings. This helps ensure they stay hydrated and healthy.

Moldy peanuts are like a bad Tinder match – best to swipe left and move on.

Do Not Offer Moldy Peanuts

When feeding birds peanuts, be wary of offering moldy ones. Mold and fungus found in stale peanuts can cause respiratory problems, organ failure, and death to birds. They may also contain dangerous toxins that could harm or kill them. It is essential to inspect for moldy peanuts before offering them to birds.

It is recommended to purchase fresh peanuts and store them in a cool and dry place. Furthermore, once you notice mold on peanuts, discard them immediately instead of trying to salvage the unaffected ones. By doing so, you can prevent harming the birds and contribute positively to their well-being.

Bird enthusiasts should also note that feeding peanut butter, salted or flavored peanuts is not suitable for bird’s health as they contain high levels of salt, sugar, hydrogenated oils or other additives which are harmful for birds.

By being careful about the quality of peanuts offered and avoiding moldy ones as well as unhealthy options like peanut butter or flavored/salted peanuts, you can ensure your feathered friends’ safety and have a harmonious relationship with them.

Don’t miss out on caring for these beautiful creatures by offering harmful feed alternatives that seem convenient but can be detrimental in the long run. Choose wisely for yourself and your winged buddies.

Feeding birds spoiled peanuts is like giving them a one-way ticket to the bird bathroom.

Do Not Offer Spoiled Peanuts

Spoiled Peanuts Can Be Harmful to Birds

Peanuts are commonly known to be an excellent source of nutrition for birds. However, offering spoiled peanuts can lead to harmful effects on the digestive system of birds.

Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Never feed birds with peanuts that have mold or fungus.
  • Always check the expiration date before offering them to ensure they are fresh.
  • Spoiled peanuts can contain aflatoxins that can lead to severe liver damage in birds.
  • Use only high-quality, unsalted and unseasoned peanuts for feeding birds.
  • Rotting or stale peanuts may also attract unwanted pests like rodents and insects.

It is crucial to remember these dos and don’ts while feeding peanuts to birds in order to avoid any negative consequences from eating spoiled peanuts.

Moreover, when considering feeding peanuts, it is essential first to consult an expert or veterinarian familiar with bird diets for optimal nutritional outcomes.

In a similar vein, a friend of mine once offered her pet parrot some leftover spoiled peanut butter, thinking it was fine because she herself had eaten it the day before. Unfortunately, her parrot ended up sick because of that mistake, so it’s critical never to assume human-grade food items are inherently safe for our feathered friends.

Fowl play or not, feeding birds peanuts can either be a nut job or a treat – choose wisely.


Birds that eat peanuts include jays, crows, ravens, chickadees, woodpeckers and nuthatches. Peanuts are a rich source of energy and protein for these birds.

Additionally, offering roasted or unsalted peanuts is a healthier option for birds as it reduces the risk of sodium poisoning. Avoid feeding peanuts in shells as they can be a choking hazard. Instead, use a tray or a feeder to offer them to the birds.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do birds eat peanuts?

Yes, many bird species consume peanuts. They are a popular food source among birds and provide essential nutrients like protein and healthy fats.

2. Which bird species eat peanuts?

Birds like Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Cardinals, Nuthatches, and Sparrows consume peanuts. Some larger bird species like crows and ravens also enjoy peanuts as a part of their diet.

3. Are peanuts a healthy food source for birds?

Yes, peanuts are a good source of energy, protein, and healthy fats for birds. However, it is crucial to feed unsalted and unprocessed peanuts to birds to avoid any potential harmful substances.

4. What is the right way to feed peanuts to birds?

It is recommended to provide bird peanuts in a safe feeder or platform bird feeder that is elevated from the ground to prevent dirt and contamination. Additionally, feeding small amounts of peanuts is crucial to avoid overconsumption and possible attraction of rodents and predators.

5. Can you feed birds peanut butter or roasted peanuts?

No, it is not recommended to feed birds peanut butter or roasted peanuts. Processed peanuts contain salt, spices, and other substances that can harm a bird’s digestive system.

6. Are there any bird species that cannot eat peanuts?

Some bird species like doves, finches, and canaries do not typically eat peanuts. However, there are exceptions, and it is crucial to research each bird’s dietary needs before feeding them peanuts.

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.