[CT Birds] Peanuts are for the birds!
Mntncougar at aol.com
Mntncougar at aol.com
Wed Mar 4 08:16:30 EST 2015
For years I've put shelled peanuts out on my feeders, and they are a
favorite of many birds. But the price of them has gone up and up and up till
I've had to ration them. I used to get whole raw peanuts from Agway, but they
were very hard and only a few birds could really eat them, most notably
Bluejays. I once watched a Jay stuff 15 peanuts in his mouth without stopping.
I like Bluejays, but not that much! Other birds like Titmice and even
Chickadees would take them and fly off, but I wondered how they could eat them.
I tried to chop them up in a food processor and it broke; they were just
too hard. Carolina Wrens love peanuts more than anything, but they don't
have the technique down for eating them like some birds do. They don't hold
them down with a foot, just rare back and pound at them with their beaks.
Invariably the peanut squirts away and they have to retrieve it and try again.
More recently I have been able to get roasted peanuts, mostly halves, and
they are much softer. To make them go farther I tried a food processor
again and it works beautifully. Just don't grind too long or you can end up
with oily dust. And now all the birds are happy! Each can select just the size
piece they like best, and I've seen birds take them that never touched them
before. In the past few days I've seen both male and female Cardinals
eating pieces and flying off with more.
Now the Wrens take the tiniest crumbs, wolfing them down one after
another. I have one that spends 10 minutes at a time, eating them like a sewing
machine. I'm not sure but I think even the Goldfinches take the crumbs too,
although they come for the millet. There is no loss from chopping them up;
at the end of the day there is not a trace of peanut left on the feeder.
Only birds that are probably not as happy are the Bluejays; it takes a lot
more time and effort for them to get their fill and usually they don't
stay that long. But the best part is, now the peanuts last a lot longer on the
feeder and everyone gets a share. And since they are high in calorie and
fat content I think they are an excellent food to tide them over through the
Don Morgan, Coventry, Ct
mntncougar at aol.com
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