Attract More Backyard Birds by Feeding Peanuts

You’ll be impressed with the variety of species you’ll attract by offering peanuts at your bird feeders.

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Blue jay on peanut bird feederCourtesy John Pizniur
Blue jays love to visit peanut bird feeders.

Peanuts Attract 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! Check out more fascinating facts about blue jays.

Battling Squirrels

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  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.

Keep Peanut Feeders Clean

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. Learn how to clean bird feeders.

Are Peanuts Healthy for Birds?

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,” says birding expert Kimberly Kaufman.

tufted titmouse eating peanutsCourtesy Benjamin Blyther
Tufted titmouse

Birds That Eat Peanuts

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t attract 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:

Jays

Woodpeckers

Chickadees

Titmice

Nuthatches

Magpies

Sparrows

House finches

Cardinals