Can Birds Eat Peanut Butter?

Our bird experts explain if peanut butter is safe for birds and what kind of peanut butter to offer at bird feeders. Plus learn the birds that eat peanut butter.

pine siskin and bluebird on peanut butter log feederCourtesy Mitchel Dickinson
A pine siskin and an Eastern bluebird perch on a log feeder covered in peanut butter.

Is Peanut Butter Safe for Birds to Eat?

“What type of peanut butter should I feed to birds?” asks Beth Mucci of Swanzey, New Hampshire.

Peanut butter is a good high-protein food for birds, and they can eat any of the same types humans do. If you’re buying it specifically for birds, look for natural or organic types with the fewest additives. Try offering crunchy peanut butter for an extra nutty treat. It’s best to avoid low-fat varieties, which may not have as much nutritional value for the birds.

If you offer peanut butter stuffed into holes in a log-type feeder, be sure to clean it out thoroughly before refilling it so mold won’t grow on the remains of older contents. Learn how to clean bird feeders.

spoon balanced on jar of peanut butterbaibaz/Shutterstock

Did you know it’s a myth that birds will choke on peanut butter? Go ahead and keep it in your homemade suet mix. You can also smear peanut butter on tree bark, or slather pine cones in peanut butter and dip them in bird seed. Woodpeckers, nuthatches and blue jays love to eat peanut butter.

Next, check out 10 foods you aren’t feeding birds yet.

Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman
Kenn and Kimberly are the official Birds & Blooms bird experts. They are the duo behind the Kaufman Field Guide series. They speak and lead bird trips all over the world. When they're not traveling, they enjoy watching birds and other wildlife in their Northwest Ohio backyard.