Suitable peanuts for birds

Homes for Wildlife

Homes for Wildlife
If you love the creatures in your garden, you'll love our Homes for Wildlife project. This is the place to ask and answer questions about making your backyard wildlife-friendly.
Wildlife in the garden

Suitable peanuts for birds

  • Hi everyone, here I am again, struggling with proper food for birds. Item today is peanuts. Of course I know I cannot give ordinary peanuts for human supply but I am wondering: are the peanut seeds, those used in agriculture to grow peanut plants, suitable for bird feeders? In fact, here in Sardinia it is quite impossible to find peanuts for birds in pet shops and I noticed that ordering them online from UK can be quite expensive. I am looking for a safe alternative. Of course, the seeds I mentioned are for organic agriculture and quite popular here. I grow them myself in my vegetable garden so I am quite sure they are organic.Shall I use them or not? Thanks! Tiziana
  • Hi Tiziana.

    I think the only peanuts you cannot give the birds are the salted peanuts that us humans eat.

    People sometimes put them out still in their shells for birds.

  • Hi Alan,thanks! But I have heard or read somewhere that the one we use, being toasted, are not suitable. Is that because birds don't like them? or are they dangerous too? Because the toasted one are quite popular here and I can buy them at supermarkets at less than € 2/kg. It would be great news if I can use those.

  • Looking at this from the RSPB page on feeding birds you are right about roasted/toasted nuts for some reason it says not to put them out.


    These are rich in fat and are popular with tits, greenfinches, house sparrows, nuthatches, great spotted woodpeckers and siskins. Crushed or grated nuts attract robins, dunnocks and even wrens. Nuthatches and coal tits may hoard peanuts. Salted or dry roasted peanuts should not be used. Peanuts can be high in a natural toxin, which can kill birds, so buy from a reputable dealer, such as our online shop, to guarantee freedom from aflatoxin

  • There! I knew there was something wrong with the toasted ones. But now I am worried about aflatoxin (which can be harmful to us too, not only to birds!). How can I be sure they are free of this pest! Aflatoxin is terrible and, quite oddly, it appears to be more possible on organic peanuts, being a natural toxin. It might be absurd but non organic peanuts would be safer as far as aflatoxin is concerned. The consoling fact is that "my" greenfinches and sparrows here do not eat peanuts... They stare at them while crunching their favorite seeds from the other feeders and avoid the peanut feeder accurately, as much as they avoid dried worms. Anyway, as soon as I reach home, I will take away the actual (toasted) peanuts until I find out if my so-called organic peanuts are really safe. You should become a chemist to unravel all these details :-(

  • Can you get sunflower hearts a lot of us find the birds love them and leave the peanuts.

    The Greenfinches I get prefer the black sunflower seeds.

  • Of course! My greenfinches eat only sunflower seeds. I mix them with oat and hemp seeds. They prefer sunflower though. I will definitely forget about peanuts until I am not completely sure about them. Thanks Alan!