are salted nuts bad for birds

Can birds eat salted peanuts? Find out the dangers of feeding salted peanuts to birds, and safe alternatives to offer your feathered friends.

Why Peanuts Are Great for Birds

Peanuts are naturally high in fat. For all of a bird’s daily activities, including flying, preening, nest protection, raising hatchlings, singing, and more, fat provides an abundance of energy. Nuts and other high-fat foods are especially important in the winter and during cold snaps in the spring and fall. In the winter, birds need more calories to keep their bodies warm. However, as part of a bird’s well-rounded diet, peanuts also offer fiber, calcium, potassium, and other nutrients. These nuts don’t go bad as fast as other high-fat foods like suet. Plus, they are relatively affordable for budget-conscious birders.

Birds That Eat Peanuts

A wide range of birds readily snack on peanuts. Especially, birds that can benefit from this great winter food source and stay within the same ranges all year long. Different birds that eat peanuts include:

  • Cardinals
  • Chickadees
  • Crows
  • Doves
  • Grackles
  • Jays
  • Nuthatches
  • Titmice
  • Woodpeckers
  • Wrens

All of these birds will readily eat peanuts. If the nuts are easily accessible, even other birds like turkeys, quail, sparrows, and towhees might try them. The kind of peanuts (whole, shelled, chips, etc.) and other nearby food sources will determine which birds consume peanuts. ) are offered.

Shelled peanuts / Shutterstock

The Best Bird Feeders for Peanuts

Giving peanuts to backyard birds is a simple task. To make it easier for birds to find, you can simply scatter or sprinkle a handful of nuts on the ground. All varieties of peanuts can be placed in tray and dish feeders; additionally, specialty peanut feeders with larger mesh or holes to allow peanuts to pass through exist. Additionally, peanut butter or peanut-flavored suet can be applied directly to trees, provided in traditional suet feeders, or used to plug openings in feeders designed in the log style.

Even though peanuts—especially whole, in-shell nuts—are a more resilient food, they can still go bad in a matter of days, turning rancid or moldy. This is especially true in extremely hot or humid climates. In rainy areas, it is best to offer a small handful of peanuts at a time and take precautions to keep them dry. Just like backyard birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons will adore peanuts. Use baffles and other strategies to keep these robbers from obtaining all the nuts before the birds can partake in the treat.

Nuthatch perched at a pile of peanuts / Shutterstock