Peanuts are a favorite food for many backyard birds. High in fat, oil and protein, peanuts provide a great energy source for stoking birds’ high metabolisms. Our unsalted peanuts are grown in the USA and are sought after by Blue Jays, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, titmice and woodpeckers.
Blue Jays, chickadees and nuthatches cache peanuts away in their secret food stores. Caching food helps birds survive when natural food sources like weed seeds, tree nuts, berries and crabapples become scarce in deep winter. In-shell peanuts resist the effects of snow and rain.
Blue Jays are adept at pulling whole peanuts through the openings of in-shell peanut feeders. Often Blue Jays will “swallow” one and take another in their bill. They fly up to a tree branch or favorite perch and peck the shells open, eating or storing the nuts. Downy Woodpeckers and chickadees will peck open the shell while the peanut is still in the feeder and extract one nut.
Peanuts out of the shell, called “peanut pick-outs”, provide fast energy with less effort. They also leave less mess! These are usually put in a wire mesh feeder. Pileated Woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, Downy, Hairy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers frequent these feeders.
Cardinals also love peanut pick-outs but don’t do well with the mesh style peanut pick-out feeders. Peanut pick-outs in a fly-through feeder, hopper feeder, hanging tray or on a tray attached to a tube feeder are a treasured find for cardinals.
Peanuts in Suet and Seed Cakes
Peanuts are a main ingredient in many suet, seed cakes and seed cylinders. Suet is a must, especially in the winter, as a fast food source rich in fat and protein. Woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches flock to this tasty treat.
Seed Mixes with Peanuts
Many of our seed mixes contain peanuts. Cabin Mix is loaded with peanut pick-outs and is a great seed mix to use all year. However you choose to offer peanuts, they will be welcomed enthusiastically by birds visiting your backyard buffet. ■