The type of food wild birds are able to eat depends on several factors, including the type of ‘bill’ (or beak shape) they have. This affects their ability to break down certain foods or dig in the ground for different food sources. When selecting bird food, it is important to bear this in mind.
When it comes to feeding peanuts to wild birds, whole peanuts tend to be consumed by larger species of garden birds, including species of crow, such as Jays and Magpies, and Jackdaws. However, when feeding wild birds whole peanuts, it is important to always put them in a rigid mesh feeder, just like our gardman nut feeder as large pieces of nuts can choke smaller birds.
This type of feeder gives birds time to chip away at nuts, and is the only safe option for feeding whole peanuts to birds.
Chopped or split peanuts will be more readily consumed by smaller, softbill birds. This is because these birds struggle to break down whole peanuts with their beaks. For example, Robins and Blackbirds struggle to break down whole seeds or peanuts and so will more readily eat chopped or broken down versions of these foods. In addition to this, Blackbirds can’t actually cling to a mesh feeder to consume whole peanuts, therefore chopped or split peanuts are the better option.
Generally, bird peanuts last around one week in bird feeders in normal UK weather conditions. They can start to go rotten if they become damp after this period, and tend to last for a similar length of time when kept outdoors as suet products.
While bird peanuts, like our premium peanuts, must always be fed to birds using a rigid mesh feeder. This is because exposed whole peanuts can be hazardous to baby birds, which can choke on them. Using a mesh feeder allows birds to access and chip away at peanuts easily without being able to eat them in one go. Chopped peanuts are suitable to scatter on bird tables, and also work well in peanut feeders.
Opting for a specially-designed peanut feeder is ideal because these are designed to keep the peanuts in place for birds to peck at. This stops them falling straight onto the ground and gives more of a variety of birds easy access.
Peanuts are also a favourite of squirrels, which can often disturb birds feeding or hog bird food. Using a caged peanut feeder -- like our Nuttery Roundhaus Peanut Feeder, our Nuttery Lantern Squirrel Proof Peanut Feeder, or our Nuttery Caged Peanut Feeder -- will keep your bird peanuts squirrel-proof.
There are several benefits of including bird peanuts in your wild bird food selection. Firstly, they are very nutritious; they contain a high amount of protein, fibre and fat. This makes them an ideal bird food during the colder months, when birds need more energy to keep warm and survive. They are also a great food to put in your garden during nesting/breeding season. This is because parents need food which can easily be fed to their young.
Siskins are a small member of the finch family, usually found in Wales and Scotland and Northern England, but can occur across the whole of the UK outside of the breeding season. Some people like to see them in gardens for their bright green/yellow bodies, especially in the winter months when they regularly visit.
Siskins love peanuts and will readily feed on them. They will also feed on seeds, especially small seeds like sunflower seeds. If you want to attract Siskins to your garden, opt for a mesh feeder and fill it with whole peanuts. You can also put out de-husked seeds, such as sunflower hearts, which are a favourite of Siskins.
To avoid Siskins and other birds being frightened while feeding, try using a squirrel-proof caged bird feeder for peanuts, like our Nuttery Caged Peanut Feeder, to place your bird food in. This will stop big birds and squirrels from getting access to the peanuts or seeds while allowing Siskins and other small birds to slip through and get to the food.
Other birds that will readily eat peanuts include Greenfinches, many members of the tit family (such as Great tits, Long-tailed tits, and Blue tits), and Nuthatches. Peanuts are also a favourite of Starlings and are also readily eaten by the Great spotted woodpecker).
We recommend including a selection of bird foods at your bird feeding station, in order to attract different birds into your garden.
While wild bird peanuts are a great, high energy addition to any bird food selection -- especially during Winter months -- you should include them alongside other foods. We suggest also including wild bird seed mixes, suet fat blocks or suet pellets and live foods such as live mealworms. Live foods are very important for providing moisture to birds, especially during nesting and fledging seasons.