PEANUTS

in al­most any form are at­trac­tive to birds. Just be sure you set out the un­salted kind.

Birds & Blooms - - Bird Tales -

Chick­adees, tit­mice and nuthatches may be small, but they’re among the big­gest peanut fans, em­ploy­ing as­sorted tech­niques for claim­ing their prizes. Songbirds are known to ham­mer the shell, hold­ing it down with their feet. They carry off shelled nuts to stash or eat else­where, and they also ea­gerly de­vour chopped ones. All of these lit­tle gray birds usu­ally take their treats to go, but you can bet they come back again and again.

SMALL SONGBIRDS.

Serve these beau­ties peanuts out of the shell as whole or half nuts, or chopped. The pyrrhu­loxia, the “desert car­di­nal” of the South­west, loves this food just as much as its bright red rel­a­tive.

NORTH­ERN CAR­DI­NALS.

Shelled or chopped peanuts are fa­vored by these perky-tailed birds. If the nuts aren’t chopped, wrens work to break off man­age­able bits. Any species of wren in the neigh­bor­hood may visit a peanut feeder, and once a bird finds it, it’ll soon be a reg­u­lar.

WRENS. NA­TIVE SPAR­ROWS, JUNCOS, TOWHEES AND DOVES.

Keep an eye on the ground be­neath peanut feed­ers, where whitethroated, white-crowned, golden-crowned, song and other na­tive spar­rows, plus juncos, towhees and doves, of­ten gather to ea­gerly peck up bits that other birds have dropped.

When you serve peanuts, ex­pect the un­ex­pected! Blue­birds, robins, cross­bills and other not-so-com­mon feeder birds might visit peanut feed­ers. “Cat­birds, ori­oles and tan­agers hap­pily con­sume the bro­ken-off pieces from birds peck­ing the larger nuts,” Scott says. So will thrash­ers, robins mock­ing­birds, blue­birds and birds that usu­ally eat in­sects, fruit and other soft foods.

SUR­PRISE GUESTS.

When pretty yel­low pea-type blossoms popped up in Sally Roth’s yard, she turned to her wild­flower field guide, but noth­ing matched. Turned out to be a peanut planted by jays, the start of a small plan­ta­tion.

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