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Peanuts are incredibly popular among birds as they are such a yummy and nutritious source of food. Especially during the colder months, birds are still constantly searching for food that will give them the sustenance they need to survive.
Peanuts are not only delicious, but they are packed with essential proteins, minerals, oils, and vitamins.
These scrumptious nuts are also a huge hit because they are ideal for birds to store away. With a bird feeder in your own yard, you can provide them with a wholesome source of food to help them thrive and survive.
- For a full list of the best bird feeders of all types, see our best picks list
Shelled Peanuts vs Peanuts in Shells for my Feeder?
The age-old debate. Should you feed the birds peanuts in their whole shell form, or without the shell at all? Ultimately it depends on the type of bird, as some prefer one to the other. Let’s take a look at the differences and which birds prefer which type.
All birds are able to eat these kinds of nuts. Seeing as they don’t have the bulky outer shell, it’s easier for them to grasp onto and eat in the moment, rather than having to break it down. Nuthatches, titmice, chickadees, woodpeckers, and cardinals are just some of the species that adore these nuts.
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In the Shell
Crows, blue jays and other species of jay, crows, and again woodpeckers, enjoy feeding with the shell on. They are slightly more difficult to break open, so smaller birds don’t tend to go for them. While bulkier in size, birds do have the opportunity to take the peanut away and store it for later.
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It will stay fresher inside the shell than if it were previously removed, so they can leave it for days without worrying it will spoil. Something important to mention is that squirrels love them in their shell, so you may be faced with a few squirrel invasions if you decide to feed this way.
- Want to keep squirrels away? Try these top squirrel proof bird feeders
- To feed squirrels for a change, we picked the best squirrel feeders around
Reviews -Best Whole and Shelled Peanut Feeders
Just some of the species that adore these nuts include chickadees, crows, cardinals, jays, and woodpeckers. With the right high-quality peanuts free of aflatoxin (which can be harmful to wild birds), you can enjoy hours of bird watching from your own home.
Since these nuts are rather plump in size, it’s crucial to provide them in a safe feeder that will prevent choking or damaged beaks. Keep reading to check out our list of the top 10 peanut feeders on the market today.
1. Brome Squirrel Buster Peanut Feeder
Our first and favorite is this squirrel proof model from Brome. A hit with woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees, you’ll never need to worry about thieving squirrels.
Its innovative construction is weight sensitive, meaning the weight of squirrels will trigger a closing mechanism which shuts the center feeding ports. You can even adjust the spring mechanism to choose which size birds can feed.
Perfect for clinging birds, the solid metal cages allow zygodactyl type feet to grip comfortably and feed effortlessly. Another huge standout for us is the woodpecker-friendly tail prop feature.
A small protrusion can be seen at the bottom, which allows woodpeckers to balance their tail for support. This means they can feed for longer as they are more comfortable.
Holding shelled peanuts, a built-in ventilation system keeps feed fresher. Made from top-quality metal, it’s completely chew-proof.
- Weight Sensitive Adjustable Spring Blocks Squirrels
- High-Grade Chew-Proof Metal
- Ventilation System Keeps Feed Fresh
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- Want to view birds feeding from the comfort of your own home? Try these window bird feeders that stick onto the windows via suction cups
2. Droll Yankees, Inc Metal Peanut Feeder
Next we have another simple design, holding a big capacity of nuts for longer feeding periods. Shelled nuts, mixes, or black oil sunflower seeds are all suitable for use inside. Stainless steel makes up the main tube section, and it measures 0.25” for the safest feeding experience.
The long stainless-steel area allows plenty of birds to cling and feed at the same time. Encasing the steel are top and bottom caps. They appear to be made from a thick plastic, which is slippery for squirrels and not easily removable.
We like that they have a dark green color, emulating the color of trees, bushes, shrubs, and other parts of nature. This makes it more attractive for birds, as they feel safer to land and eat.
- Robust & Chew-Proof Stainless-Steel Wire Mesh Tube
- Zinc Coating Prevents Fading or Chipping
- Large 453g Capacity
3. Nature’s Way Bird Products Platform Feeder
Moving away from tube shapes, this is a large, flat platform that can be used with many different mixes as well as peanuts. It’s also versatile enough to use as a nesting spot. Since it’s so wide and open, it’s super simple to fill.
An inner removable seed sheet has mesh holes for removing peanuts or seeds with ease. It’s also designed to circulate air, which keeps feed fresh and prevents rotting.
Premium cedar wood makes up the tray, which is rot and insect resistant. For increased durability, the hardware is stainless-steel and rust resistant. Plus, the steel cables for hanging are made from vinyl-coated steel for added strength. All these elements combine to prevent discoloration, water damage, and mold.
With the flat, simple edges, birds can effortlessly perch on top and lean in for feeding. They can also cling to the steel cables. This means you can fit more birds at one time, as they can rest in different areas.
- Versatile Wide Tray Design Fits Different Feed
- Inner Perforated Tray Circulates Air & Drains Moisture
- High-Quality Cedar Wood & Rust-Resistant Hardware
4. Perky-Pet Seed Ball Peanut Feeder
Our second model from Perky-Pet is a fully round ball, presenting a unique and different experience for birds. The gorgeous rich green color is a highlight for us, as it blends in so seamlessly when hung on a tree. Ideal for clinging birds, the circular shape allows them to cling from all available angles.
Another benefit of this design is that it doesn’t allow water to pool inside, making it a safer environment with fresh and dry feed. Although round, the wire mesh is specifically constructed for peanuts to easily and safely be removed without causing damage.
To install, the top hanger gets connected to a chain which makes it hassle-free and suitable for many different locations. Since it’s all metal, squirrels cannot chew through to access the food. The circle form also makes it more difficult for them to grasp onto.
- Tough All-Metal Structure Ideal for Clinging Birds
- Rounded Shape Drains Water for Fresher Feed
- Huge 6 Cup Capacity
5. Perky-Pet Designer Peanut Feeder
This model looks somewhat like a lantern, with its eye-catching shape and colors. It’s bright yellow all over, with a dark green lid that has a beautiful sunflower pattern on it. We love how attractive and enticing these sunflowers are, as birds will be much more inclined to land and feed where they feel safe among nature.
The term “No/No” comes from the construction and how it uses no wood or plastic. The advantage of all metal rests in its durability, as it’s able to withstand rough elements and squirrels. Wire mesh makes it breathable, plus it’s zinc plated to resist rust.
With the 360° wire mesh and lower perching rim, this feeder is attractive for both perching and clinging birds. The top lid overhangs slightly, giving some protection to the feed and the birds. Holding just over 1kg of feed, you may not need to change it as often depending on the weather and amount of birds.
- Vibrant Yellow Coloring with Alluring Sunflower Pattern
- Circular Perch Ring & Wire Mesh for Clinging
- Durable All-Metal Build
6. Songbird Essentials Whole Peanut Feeder
Similar to the Pinebush Home & Garden Ltd model, this has a fun round spring shape that is comparable to a wreath. As well as whole peanuts, you can decorate it and use it as a traditional wreath during the holidays.
Since you can use whole peanuts, it’s super simple to restock once empty. The circular form allows birds to cling or perch from any position, from the top to the bottom. To hang, there is a hefty hook at the top that is large enough to hang on different things.
Instead of a traditional wire cage design that you would see on more classic models, this has a spring coil effect. Birds have plenty of space to reach through and pull out some nuts. It also lets them break the nuts as they pull them out, making them easier and safer to eat.
- Sleek Rounded Shape Doubles as Wreath
- Fit for Whole Sized Peanuts
- Effortless to Hang & Clean
7. Brome Squirrel Buster Classic
Finally, we have the Squirrel Buster Classic from Brome. Much like the previous Brome version on our list, this one doesn’t harm squirrels. It uses the weight of an adult squirrel to automatically close each port that gives access to the feed.
This allows both clinging and perching birds, as they can grasp to the outer metal cage. You can detach and position the perching stations in front of each port. Birds can access all the feed from either the doors or through the wire mesh. If you don’t want any larger species to use it, you can completely remove the perches and just use the cage for support.
The ventilation system is a real standout for us. It is designed so that hot air will escape from the top, and cold air can move through the bottom and ventilate the seed, keeping it fresh. A UV resistant coating stops the paint from fading, ensuring the rich green color remains to attract the birds.
- Innovative Squirrel-Proof Design
- Adjustable Perches & Wire Mesh for Clinging
- Dishwasher Safe
8. Pinebush Home & Garden Ltd. Whole Peanut Wreath
This model has probably one of the most unique shapes we’ve ever seen. It’s designed just like a wreath that you would hang on your door for Christmas, except this one obviously gets filled with peanuts. It’s such an attractive design choice that you could use it at any time of the year, and it can blend right in with any décor style.
With such a unique construction, you can actually fit whole peanuts inside, instead of shelled ones. Structured somewhat like a slinky or spring, birds can comfortably fit their beaks through each slot to remove the nuts. You can also fill it with pine bush suet balls, live plants or moss, or thin orange slices.
Hanging with a single hook, its solid nature allows it to withstand rough conditions. It is wholly made from metal, which also provides a comfortably grip for perching or clinging. Top it up in a breeze with dual large access holes at the top.
- Unique Wreath Shape Fits Whole Peanuts
- Durable Metal Construction
- Large Capacity with 13” Outer Diameter
9. Birds Choice Magnet Peanut Feeder
Sporting an all-steel construction, this is a super simple model with a straightforward design. We actually love how simplified it is, as there is even no assembly required. Simple take out of the box, fill, and hang. Measuring 19” in length, it holds a large capacity of nuts for longer feeding times.
The steel mesh is accurately sized to allow easy retrieval of the nuts, while ensuring the birds feed safely. It is also weather-resistant, being able to withstand rough winds, harsh rain, or snow. Since the hanging loop is also steel, it means it will remain stable and firm no matter how many birds land and feed.
To enhance its alluring abilities, the deep green color is a smart choice. It signals that it’s a safe surface to land on, plus feels and appears more natural.
- No Assembly Needed
- All-Steel Robust Construction
- Attractive Dark Green Color
10. Perky-Pet 395 Peanut Feeder
Also suitable for sunflower seeds, this is quite a heavy-duty option with a full metal design that resists damage from squirrels. The access points are slightly different to a traditional feeder in this category, as they are more rounded than mesh-like. Birds can still easily grasp onto these holes to feed.
We like that the perforations or feeding holes are located around the entirety of the feeder. This means that they can access the nuts from all angles, and it also doesn’t limit the amount of birds in one go. Holding over 500g of nuts, you won’t need to refill as often depending on the season.
Moving to the top area, the lid has an interesting dome shape. It’s also fully metal, making it firm difficult for squirrels to remove. The hanging loop is wide and can be hung over larger sized tree branches.
- 360° Holes Allow More Birds to Feed
- All-Metal Design Prevents Squirrel Damage
- Large 566g Capacity
5 Things to Know About Feeding Peanuts to Birds
- These legumes (yes, they aren’t technically nuts as they are more closely related to beans) are packed full of healthy fats, oils, and proteins that are a wonderful source of nourishment for birds.
- Whole ones in their shells are more suited to larger birds, as they can crack them open without difficulty.
- Crushing the nuts will help much smaller birds, like robins or blue tits, to eat rapidly before a predator can attack, so they will prefer this size.
- 6mm holes inside the wire mesh of a feeder is the ideal size for birds to feed without hurting their beaks or choking on an over-sized piece.
- Never provide roasted, salted, or seasoned nuts. Never let them go moldy, as this can cause infections for the birds, which can lead to death.
Nutritional Information of Peanut Bird Feed
|Nutritional Value of Peanuts||Per 100g|
|Oils and Fats||45g|
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Peanuts Safe for Wild Birds?
They are definitely safe; however, you must take the right precautions before and during the feeding process. Here are a few tips:
- Don’t leave large chunks of peanuts out during breeding season as chicks can choke on them.
- As mentioned previously, never feed them nuts with any type of seasoning or roasting – natural is always best.
- Give small amounts at a time, as they can go moldy and accumulate dangerous bacteria or toxins if left to rot.
- Always purchase them from a reputable seller, as peanuts can have Aflatoxin, which is a type of fungus that is dangerous for birds and humans.
How to Clean a Peanut Feeder?
Check with the manufacturer if it’s dishwasher safe. If it’s not, or you favor hand-washing, then use a bleach solution of no more than 1-part bleach to 9 parts water. You could also use a very mild dish soap with warm water, or you can purchase special bird feeder cleaners online. Always rinse meticulously before filling up again.
How Often Should I Clean my Peanut Feeder?
Clean whenever you notice it is dirty, so it is important to check at least daily. Especially if it has been raining, snowing, or it’s been extra windy, you must check to ensure the feed isn’t soaked or dirty. It also depends on how often the birds are feeding, and other weather factors. Always clean it before refilling. Depending on all these aspects, you may need to clean it daily, every few days, or even once a week.
Conclusion on Peanut Bird Feeders
The purpose of bird feeders goes beyond just bird watching, and peanut bird feeders are the perfect example of that. Whether it’s the destruction of their natural habitat, or need to survive during colder months, giving birds a nutritious food source means they don’t need to scavenge at every waking moment.
With the right kind of peanuts and a specific bird feeder, you can help them to survive when they’re struggling. In our list, we included several different shapes and styles, ranging from tubes, to platforms, to even some unique circular models that all offer a different experience.