The sixth bird feeder in the Wild Bird Habitat Store’s “7 Basic Backyard Bird Feeders Series” is the Peanut Bird Feeder for shelled peanuts. Peanuts contain about 48% fat, almost twice as much as black oil sunflower seed. This makes peanuts highly attractive to birds.

Birds are attracted to wild bird feeds that are high in fat. Fat is what keeps them warm in the winter and provides the high energy they need year round. This is why the quality of the wild bird feed you offer the birds is important. The higher the quality, the higher the fat, the more birds you’ll enjoy at your bird feeders.

Peanut Bird Feeders that hold shelled peanuts are generally tubular shape using 1/4” wire mesh with no perches. These feeders typically attract woodpeckers and they work well. Woodpeckers will hammer at the peanuts chipping off pieces of peanuts to eat. When they are drumming at the feeder they are striking it at roughly 12 miles per hour.

One peanut feeder I prefer that is probably the least expensive on the market is the Perky Pet Peanut Bird Feeder. Made of solid steel with round perforated holes it is almost indestructible. If squirrels happen to get it they can’t destroy it.

Peanuts, which are highly attractive to birds, are also just as attractive to squirrels so you’ll want to make sure you hang your peanut feeder out of their reach. If you cannot keep squirrels off the feeder you may want to mount it on a pole where you can use a squirrel baffle to defend it. When properly used squirrel baffles are very effective.

The other alternative is the Brome Squirrel Buster Plus Peanut Feeder. A guard closes from the weight of the squirrel preventing access to the peanuts. There are also caged peanut feeders that prevent squirrels from raiding it, and those caged feeders also deter European Starlings which have a fond appetite for shelled peanuts. But all the woodpeckers can easily get through or reach through the cage.

But woodpeckers are not the only birds you’ll enjoy at a peanut bird feeder. Chickadees, nuthatches, and Carolina Wrens. These birds can all cling so there is no need to provide a peanut bird feeder with perches.

Placement is not too big of an issue as the birds will fly up to the peanut feeder and grab on. It does increase the probability of attracting woodpeckers if there are mature trees nearby, but not so close to allow squirrels to get at the feeder. Woodpeckers typically land under their food and hop up to it. Nuthatches land above their food and hop down to it, head first. That’s why nuthatches have acquired the name ‘the up-side down bird’.

There is not much more to say about the peanut bird feeder except it is one of my favorite feeders and I have enjoyed and photographed a variety of birds at my peanut bird feeder:

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker 
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Yellow Shafted Flicker
  • Northern Flicker (red shafted)
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • Chickadee
  • Read-breasted Nuthatch
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Carolina Wrens

I’m sure if we had Pileated Woodpeckers out here on the Plains I’d have them on my list as well. Pileated Woodpeckers are slowly making a come back along the wooded bluffs of the Missouri River in Nebraska.

A Platform Bird Feeder stocked with shelled peanuts can attract even more birds. I have American Robins and Northern Cardinals feeding on shelled peanuts. For the robin a shelled peanut is no more than a large berry.   

For an exciting addition to your backyard bird feeding program I highly recommend adding a peanut bird feeder for shelled peanuts. Not only will you attract numerous species of adult birds of the tree trunk zone, both male and female, but their young off-spring as well. I have seen adults bring their young to the peanut feeders to feed as well as first year juvenile birds at the feeder as they learn to forage for foods on their own.Give a peanut feeder a try. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Wild Bird Habitat Store’s PEANUT FEEDERS

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