Bring in the Jays
Peanuts are like a secret weapon for people who love feeding birds. They can be an expensive item to offer on a regular basis, but they’ll bring in a wide variety of new birds. Jays seem to sense whenever peanuts are put out within a 5-mile radius. You won’t see them in your yard for months or years, but as soon as you offer peanuts in a shell, they can appear within days or even hours!
Yes, it’s true that squirrels love peanuts just as much as birds. First of all—good luck. They sure can be persistent! However, there are a few peanut feeders out there that are designed to be squirrel-proof. Most are for out-of-shell peanuts. Otherwise, find a good squirrel baffle to keep those furry critters away. Another option—buy a peanut feeder designed for squirrels! Many readers swear by the theory that if you give the squirrels their own place to eat, they’ll leave the bird area alone.
Shell vs. No Shell
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter—they’re going to get eaten. But it can be fun to watch birds with those large, in-shell peanuts, taking them off to crack or cache. Keep in mind that they do require different feeders. So make sure you align your feeder with your feed.
Word of Warning
First off, don’t offer salted peanuts or give birds your leftovers from the ball game. Next, if it’s damp or rainy in your area, clean out those feeders because like other seed, peanuts can get moldy. If you know it’s going to be rainy, conserve by just putting out a few peanuts at a time.
The Good Fat
Have you heard nuts are a “good” fat for people? This is true for birds as well. Peanuts not only provide protein for birds, they’re also a good source of unsaturated fat.
Expert Bird Feeding Advice
“If you like offering peanuts, but find them a bit pricey, mix out-of-shell peanuts with black oil sunflower seeds. Both can be fed from the same feeder.” Kimberly Kaufman
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get peanut eaters right away. Remind yourself that it’s worth the wait. Just look at the variety of birds you can add to your backyard when you offer peanuts: