Ever wondered why people feed birds peanuts? You’re in for a feathered surprise. Peanuts can be fantastic treats for our avian friends, but there are some important factors to consider before offering it to them, like the quality of products you should use and the types of feeders that best suit them.
The benefits of peanuts for birds
Autumn is a great time to start putting out peanuts for local birds. This nut offers several advantages as a bird food supplement:
Peanuts are calorie-dense foods rich in fats and proteins, providing birds with a quick energy boost, especially during cold winters or breeding seasons when they need extra sustenance.
Appealing to a range of birds
They can attract a wide variety of bird species, including wrens, dunnocks and robins, making them a versatile option for bird and wildlife enthusiasts.
Ease of use
Peanuts can be poured into a feeder or placed on a bird table – or even on the ground for ground-feeding birds, but make sure to regularly clean the area of old food to deter rats.
When should you feed peanuts to birds?
While peanuts can be beneficial additions to your bird feeding routine, it’s important to follow some guidelines:
|IMPORTANT: Avoid feeding birds peanuts in spring (breeding season), as parents may feed the peanuts to their young, which can result in choking.|
Peanut products are especially valuable during winter when birds struggle to find natural food sources. The high fat content helps them maintain their energy levels.
During moulting and nesting
Birds require additional nutrients during moulting and nesting periods. Peanuts can provide a nutritious supplement during these times.
The best type of bird feeder for peanuts
You should put your peanuts into a feeder with easy access for wild birds, and which can keep food clean and dry to prevent the spread of disease.
Finches Friend has specifically created a range of high welfare, easy clean bird feeders to help reduce the spread of wild bird disease which affects 1 in 8 birds. Their simple concept – Food, Feet and Faeces – was developed on the belief that food should be provided dry, and that the birds should not be able to walk or defecate in the food and water we provide.
The brand has just added a new Peanut Feeder to its range. The Cleaner Peanut Feeder has been created to combat the spread of disease in wild birds and its simple design makes it easy to clean and fill.
Its innovative design means that the peanuts are held in a sealed compartment and are accessed from behind a rain-protected grill, which is covered by a protective cone. This ensures the peanuts stay dry and are consumed in age order. A secondary grill is provided which dramatically reduces foot contact and the spread of disease.
Cleaning is easy, with two components that drop apart in seconds and can be washed in minutes. As with all feeders, the Cleaner Peanut Feeder should be cleaned when empty, before refilling or at least fortnightly to reduce the risk of disease transmission.
Made in Britain, Finches Friend Feeders are a sustainable, high-quality choice that are built to last. Using components and packaging that are fully recyclable, they are made from durable, UV-stabilised polycarbonate that won’t weaken or discolour in the sun.
It’s currently £29.99 for a limited launch period and is available to buy at www.finchesfriend.com with pre-orders being taken now for delivery from November.
TIP: Finches Friend recommends that the feeder be filled with peanuts certified free of Aflatoxin, which is poisonous and particularly harmful to small birds.
Why use specialised bird peanuts?
While it may be tempting to use regular peanuts from your supermarket, these are not the best choices for feeding birds. Here’s why:
Salt and sugar
Many of the peanut packs from a supermarket contain added salt and sugar, which can be harmful to birds and lead to health issues.
Bird-specific peanut packs are formulated with the needs of birds in mind. These specialised products are free from harmful additives and undergo rigorous quality control to ensure bird safety.
In summary, birds do indeed enjoy snacking on peanuts, especially during colder months and times of increased nutritional demand. However, it’s essential to provide wildlife-centred peanut products designed for birds in order to maintain their health. With the right precautions and feeder choices, you can enjoy watching a variety of birds flock to your garden to savour these nutritious treats.
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.