4 Foods to Attract Nuthatches to Your Yard

Attract acrobatic nuthatches to your bird feeders by offering a buffet of their favorite foods.

Red-breasted nuthatch on a suet feeder


Whether you make your own or buy it, a suet block in a cage-like feeder is sure to attract nuthatches. In the winter months, when conifer seeds are sometimes scarce, red-breasted nuthatches will travel in search of food and will likely stop at feeders for a suet snack. Add peanut butter to your DIY suet mixture and white-breasted nuthatches will love it even more! Learn how to make suet for birds.

4 Foods to Attract Nuthatches to Your Yard | Birding | Birds & Blooms MagazineJOHN PIZNIUR
White-breasted nuthatch eating sunflower seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Any form of sunflower seed will attract desirable birds, but when it comes to attracting nuthatches, serving up black oil sunflower seeds is a slam dunk. Because bully birds also seek out black oil sunflower seeds, a tube feeder with small perches is best. Check out the types of bird feeders you need in your backyard.

4 Foods to Attract Nuthatches to Your Yard | Birding | Birds & Blooms MagazineJOHN VAN DECKER/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
Nuthatches are caching birds. They might take seeds from feeders, hide them in trees and go back to eat them later.


If you don’t have a peanut feeder yet, get your hands on one for this upcoming cold season. Red and white-breasted nuthatches will entertain you for hours scurrying up, down and around a peanut feeder. Their favorite? Out of the shell, unsalted peanuts. Here’s how to attract more birds by feeding peanuts.

Courtesy Robin Edwards
Red-breasted nuthatch

Live Mealworms

More species than just bluebirds enjoy a mealworm snack. A large portion of the nuthatch diet is insects, so putting out mealworms for them is definitely worth a shot. They don’t require anything fancy; just toss some mealworms in a shallow tray or platform feeder and cross your fingers. Check out our guide to feeding mealworms to birds.

brown headed nuthatchCourtesy Steve Shattles
Brown-headed nuthatch in South Carolina

4 Species of Nuthatches to Know

The most common backyard nuthatches are white-breasted nuthatches and red-breasted nuthatches. Other North American nuthatches can be found in specialized habitats—brown-headed nuthatches live in the Deep South and pygmy nuthatches in western forests.

Next, check out 15 common backyard birds you should know.

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