Peanuts being ignored

Hi folks,

Can anyone tell me why none of my birds are using my peanut feeders? I have 2 different types, one in back garden and one in front garden. I am beginning to think I am wasting my money as none of the birds are interested, even during this freezing weather. I end up throwing a lot away when the nuts get soggy.

I also provide sunflower hearts, nyjer seed, high energy mixed seed, dried mealworms, fat balls, sultanas, and my own yukky mix of seeds, crushed fat balls, suet flakes and peanut granules. These attract the house sparrows, starlings, a few tits, robins, dunnocks, blackbirds, my one goldfinch, jackdaws and of course pigeons and collared doves.

Cheers, Linda.

See my photos on Flickr

  • Hi Sparrow,

    I've never foound the birds to be overly keen on peanuts when there is other food (particularly sunflower seeds/hearts) are available do I've never bothered feeding them peanuts.  Even birds that are supposed to be fond of peanuts such as siskins never bothered with them!  The only birds I've had visit that really showed an interest in the peanuts were the jackdaws when I scattered them on the ground in an attempt to get rid of them.

    Millie & Fly the Border Collies

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I have the same problem Peanuts, I have to buy really tough squirrel proof feeders, I have got one at the moment  that is laser cut steel for the mesh part and blue ceramic top & tray. I think its made by Mason Cash. It's fantasticly squirrel proof but so far all winter I've only seen one starling on it. I check / change the nuts weekly & clean it out but no-one visits it. I have tried the caged type but the birds wouldnt go in the cage even weeks later despite already having the same type for seed mixes (which are used). I buy all of my peanuts from a specialist company to ensure they are bird safe and I even put loose peanuts (the same variety) in my table / ground mix that get eaten. I watch blue & great tits come & take the loose ones and even steal from the squirrels feeder but flatly refuse to go to the ceramic one. I just on't get it. I'm gona have to take a photo of this feeder cos I can't find one the same on the internet.

     

  • In reply to KatTai:

    Hi Sparrow,

    I was told a long time back by a (then) RSPB chap that the birds will, for preference, go for foods they don't have to "work" at - being why mine ignore whole peanuts, fat balls, suet blocks, etc. etc. They much prefer the "ready-to-eat" foods i.e. seeds, peanut granules and suet pellets.

    The necessity of bird-watching is a really good reason for avoiding all forms of housework.

    The dust will still be there tomorrow - the birds may not be!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I think I am just gonna get a great big peanut granule feeder then. I put out whole peanuts in the hope of getting a woodpecker, there are some near me in the churchyard and at the zoo and I'd just like to tempt them my way. Do you think woodpeckers would go for peanut granules though, I thought they like to cling to mesh feeders.

  • In reply to Squirrel:

    I think your right there Squirel - birds need quick nourishment as they are always on the alert for preditors such as cats and sparrowhawks - I always have two peanut holders and mainly it is the Nuthatch, Greater Spotted Woodpecker and jackdaws that eat them - usually about one holder per week - now and then a squirrel unhooks a container and has a feast!  I notice even the tits will go for seed and chopped nuts scattered on high feeding tables before going to the seed feeders - again because its quicker I suppose and easier to move way if necessary.  We had a lovely display from the Sparrowhawk this afternoon but he didn't get any lunch!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    In reply to Squirrel:

    Hi Squirrel

    That is the case that birds have their own preferences with bird foods and it varies from garden to garden too.  We know about enough to know that birds like different food area to area.

    I think that the only birds that really go for peanuts are the Blue Tits.  So I add a few to the ground feeders at the moment.  The hanging nut feeder is left untouched, so I have to throw the peanuts out as they go 'off'

    As you say crushed nuts is more appealing, and they get eaten by all birds.  You can buy them whole, and crush them as we do.  They are more expensive already crushed so it is a bonus to do you own.

    We have just hung up a ready made 'fat' filled coconut and a Bird Cake to counteract the next cold spell at New Year time.

    Nuts must be very calorific and as birds eat their own weight in bird food each day - the more clories the better for them.

    I crumble up Fat Balls, and add to ground feeders and is devoured.  I buy 'Fat Sprinkles' and they are eaten very quickly.

    Another form of fat I give the birds is the Tesco scones (32p) per packet and the birds go mad for them.  I crumble them up and sprinkle on the ground.

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    Squirrel B said:

    Hi Sparrow,

    I was told a long time back by a (then) RSPB chap that the birds will, for preference, go for foods they don't have to "work" at - being why mine ignore whole peanuts, fat balls, suet blocks, etc. etc. They much prefer the "ready-to-eat" foods i.e. seeds, peanut granules and suet pellets.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Oooh I might try those tesco scones blackbird, thankyou, I buy a cheap genoa cake from the market for £1 and crumble it up & let it dry out before putting it in my table / ground mix. In my table / ground mix I also put wild bird mix, dried mealworms, suet pellets, peanuts, sunflower hearts and raisins. I can't think of anything else I should put in. I put an apple & pear out on the lawn for the blackbirds and bread to fill up the starlings.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    In reply to lucybob:

    Hi Lucy

    Very true I agree with you about the preditors Squirrel/Lucy.  Sparrowhawks have to eat too and 'garden' birds will not place themselves in danger in any way at all.  Over exposure in an open space etc.... Luckily we do not have cat problems here as I have chased them off a few time (hose piped them)  and I have not seen any for a long time now.

    Yes, that is what Squirrels (Not you Squirrel LOL) like to do - chew on plastic feeders (the portholes are the favourite area to chew) wooden feeders (yes that happened to me too) - Metal feeders are best.

    We have Squirrel proof Nut feeders, and we feel that they are no use for birds like Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Nuthatches, and the bar space is not big enough for the birds to go through to get the nuts.

    Lucy: Eeek Sparrowhawks will be taking full advantage of the Garden birds at the moment - with the cold weather on its way once more Spawks will be hiding behind every bush ready to pounce.

    Wonder who will be next on the RSPB to see a Spawk having its lunch/dinner in their back garden

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    lucybob said:

    I think your right there Squirel - birds need quick nourishment as they are always on the alert for preditors such as cats and sparrowhawks - I always have two peanut holders and mainly it is the Nuthatch, Greater Spotted Woodpecker and jackdaws that eat them - usually about one holder per week - now and then a squirrel unhooks a container and has a feast!  I notice even the tits will go for seed and chopped nuts scattered on high feeding tables before going to the seed feeders - again because its quicker I suppose and easier to move way if necessary.  We had a lovely display from the Sparrowhawk this afternoon but he didn't get any lunch!

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Well, it seems we all have full peanut feeders with no takers! I thought there was something wrong with my feeders! We just have lazy birds it seems.

    I gave up crushing my own peanuts and now buy packets of the granules, (about 10p dearer than a similar size bag of whole ones), which I add to my home made mix. I think I may now try some granules on their own in a dedicated feeder and see what happens.

    Any suggestions as to what I can now put in the peanut feeders?

     

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • Have you taken them out of the packet, as I had difficuly opening a pack of dry roasted in the pub today (sorry).

    Seriously it may be the type of feeder you are using. I have a few different types. The main feeders are Blue tits but they are very timid so don't spend long on the feeders that require much efforts to get the nut. I do end up throwing the nuts away as you do.This may be because we do have a Sparrow Hawk in the vicinity .However the seed feeders with nuts attract more birds as they take the nuts away to consume them.

    I must admit since using the squirrel proof cage to protect the feeders I seem to have many more birds.