Feeding Birds Peanuts

Feeding Birds Peanuts.


I've heard that chant more then once growing up. I still hear it from vendors at stadiums and other events.

If your birds could understand, they would fly, walk and run to your yards to get these nutritious morsels.

Once considered a poor man's food, they can be found in most households today.

peanut rejects

Feeding Birds Peanuts is gaining in popularity at bird feeding stations throughout Europe and North America as well.

Called goobers, and goober peas in early America, this humble nut isn't a nut at all.

They belong to the legume family.

Cousins of beans and peas.

They do not grow on trees like other nuts.

They are underground tubers growing much like potatoes.

There is a unique and well traveled history behind this humble nut.

Recognized as a valuable food source thousands of years ago by the South American Indians.

When Spain was busy conquering what is now South America they brought peanuts back to Europe.

Through other world travels, they found their way to Africa and became a vital food source for the African people.

You guessed it, they came to North America with the slave trade.

Now you know why this legume started out as a poor man's food.

Peanuts were critical as a food source during the "Civil War". In the early 1900's, Botanist "George Washington Carver" discovered the real value of the lowly peanut.

He discovered the importance as an oil crop, and nutritious food (peanut butter).

Almost over night this humble food was accepted in all societies as a valuable commodity.

The past couple of decades, they have grown in popularity for backyard birders as well.

Feeding Birds Peanuts

In the shell or out, they are a big hit. Peanuts are better raw, with no salt.

In the UK, peanut sales and specialty feeders out sell sunflower seed.

Here is a nut that packs a punch.

Why should you be Feeding Birds Peanuts?

They head the list as a bird food with a whopping 25% protein and up to a 45 and 50% oil content. Plus several minerals.

Raw or roasted, in the shell or out, (no salt please) it makes the ideal bird food for many of your backyard favorites.

Especially on cold winter days.

Cardinals, jays, woodpeckers, titmice, nuthatches and of course my favorite bird, the Black-capped chickadee.

Several other birds will enjoy your nutty treats.

Don't stop there!

You can rub peanut butter on trees, Or you can stuff a pine cone with the creamy treat mixed with seeds or nut chips.

If you are Feeding Birds Peanuts out of the shell, give some care in keeping them dry.

They will stick together when wet.

They also turn rancid in the warm and humid weather.

Rancid nuts can make for sick and dead birds.

Much like food poisoning to us or our pets.

I don't let this happen to me and neither will you.

Any nuts left in my feeders I shake up to keep them separated and let some air in. After a few day in the humid weather, I toss what is left on the ground.

They will not go to waste as the birds have a feeding frenzy.

Peanuts can be purchased in the shell, as rejects or splits.

You may also find in specialty shops what is called "peanut hearts".

These hearts are actually the embryo of the peanut. A dehydrated, dormant baby plant.

Take any legume, split it in half and you will find this heart or baby plant waiting to grow.

Peanuts are grown commercially from Texas and Oklahoma to the Gulf coast states. Also along the Atlantic coast from Florida to Virginia and in Tennessee.

You too can grow them if you have a 4 month frost free growing season.

I've grown peanuts successfully in my Michigan gardens and so can you.

In a pot or in your garden, prepare the soil and plant it raw in the shell about 1 inch deep.

They like a fertile well drained soil. Too much water and your nut will rot.

Why not give it a try.

When it is time to harvest your plants, hang them in a warm dry location for a month or so.

When you hear them rattle, they are good to go. For your own pleasure or for your birds.

Go ahead, Feeding Birds Peanuts is healthy and entertaining.

What Feeders to Use for Your Birds

Feeding Birds Peanuts, and Other Options

Be Sure to Offer Water for Your wildlife.

Trees for Protection and Nesting

Shrubs for food and a place to nest

Flowers for Birds and other Creatures

Grasses for Food and Protection

You can Attract cavity Nesting Birds

Share Your Passion Build a site like this

Birds, Butterflies, Gardens and more.

Sign up for your weekly "Gardening for Wildlife" newsletter.

Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Gardening For Wildlife.
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.