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5 things you should know about feeding peanuts to wild birds

on October 28, 2020

If you don’t know already, Peanuts are a wild bird favourite and should be a staple food in your bird feeders throughout the year, with an exception.  Read on to find out 5 top reasons to feed garden birds peanuts!

Blue tits on a peanut feeder

Photo by Mark Timberlake on Unsplash

1 – Peanuts are high in fat

Peanuts are full of fat, which makes them an excellent source of energy and calories to your garden visitors.  This is especially important during colder months and whilst birds are migrating.  Peanuts give a great boost as birds work their way south.


2 – Peanuts are easy to feed

Whole peanuts, and peanuts in shells are super easy to feed.  They can be poured into a peanut feeder, or put on a bird table or flat surface.  Robins in particular will appreciate you putting peanuts onto a table or flat surface as they don’t feed from feeders.  You can also push whole peanuts into holes drilled into wood or logs to try and attract woodpeckers and nuthatches.


Coal tit on peanut feeder

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

3 – Most wild bird species will eat peanuts

With the exception of small finches, most garden birds will enjoy eating your peanuts.  Tits, wrens and sparrows will flock to your peanut feeder and keep you refilling regularly.  Larger birds such as jays, doves, and woodpeckers also enjoy eating peanuts.  If you want to offer peanuts to smaller finches, peanut granules are ideal for this as they are small enough for tiny beaks.  The smaller granules will also be appreciated by robins and tits as they can eat them very quickly, and then fly away, avoiding any potential predators.


4 – Peanut butter is a great alternative to whole peanuts

Peanut Butter offers a fun variation on feeding peanuts to wild birds.  Always make sure not to feeding any peanut butter that has sugar or salt, or old peanut butter that may have gone nasty.  You can buy peanut butter for birds that is specially formulated and doesn’t contain anything harmful.  Peanut butter can be fed in special feeders, or smeared on tree trunks, mixed into DIY suet cakes or spreading on fruit, toast or pine cones.


Loose peanuts

Photo by Dan-Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

5 – Make sure the peanuts are aflatoxin free

What is aflatoxin?  It is a toxic compound which appears in many types of mould.  This can cause illness in humans, but be fatal to birds.  Aflatoxin can severely damage wild bird livers and immune systems.  All the peanuts we sell are checked for Aflatoxin on arrival by the manufacturer, and are aflatoxin free.


As you can see, peanuts are a great versatile bird food to feed in your garden all year round.  However, we would advise not to put whole peanuts out in spring time.  Fledglings will struggle to eat the large peanut chunks and may choke.  To be safe, only feed peanut granules at this time, or peanut butter, as these are much easier for young birds to digest.

If you’re allergic to peanuts, black sunflower seeds make a great alternative.  Offering high energy food to your wild bird visitors which they will keep coming back for.

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