Peanuts are a great bird-friendly food, and today is the day to offer birds an extra tasty treat of in-shell peanuts, peanut hearts, or peanut butter – it’s National Peanut Day! But other than how much birds love them, what do you know about peanuts?
Nutty Peanut Trivia
- Peanuts are not really nuts, they’re legumes – edible seeds like peas and beans.
- Nuts grow on trees, but peanuts grow underground as part of bushes.
- Peanuts most likely originated in South America more than 3,500 years ago.
- These nuts are a great source of protein, minerals, and nutrients – for us and birds!
- Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free, and peanut flour is gluten-free.
- Four peanut types are grown in the U.S. – Spanish, runner, Valencia, and Virginia.
- Less than 1% of the U.S. population is allergic to peanuts.
- Peanuts are also called monkey nuts, groundnuts, goobers, earth nuts, pindars, grass nuts, and ground peas.
Peanuts and Birds
Peanuts are a great food for birds, and are especially popular with jays, crows, woodpeckers, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, and wrens. Peanuts can be offered whole, shelled, or as peanut butter or mixed in suet, and the birds will enjoy every bite. Because many birds that enjoy whole peanuts will bury the nuts in the ground to cache them for winter, if you have sandy soil in the right climate, you might find yourself with peanut plants! If you’d rather avoid that unintentional planting, offer the birds shelled or roasted peanuts instead, neither of which will grow. Do not, however, offer birds any peanuts with heavy coatings or other peanut treats, such as peanut butter cookies, chocolate peanut butter cups, or similar sweets and candies.
So, go out and celebrate National Peanut Day – enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, have your favorite nutty candy bar, toss back some honey-roasted peanuts, and don’t forget to give your birds a few extra nuts as a celebratory treat!