Are raw peanuts safe for birds and squirrels?
Unfortunately, how safe raw peanuts are for birds and squirrels seems to surface every so often due to some unfounded information that lives on the internet. The team at Wild Birds Unlimited have been unable to find any scientific research to confirm or expel this issue as it directly relates to squirrels and birds.
Raw Peanut and Birds:
There have been concerns raised at different times about the use of raw peanuts versus roasted for bird feeding. But after a great deal of research into this topic, and discussions with a number of experts, including the ornithologist at the Cornell Lab, the team at Wild Birds Unlimited has been unable to obtain any scientific documentation or verification that feeding raw peanuts to wild birds is harmful to their health.
Birds at feeders are the most highly studied and observed group of birds in North America. Citizen Science projects such as Project Feeder Watch, Great Backyard Bird Count, Christmas Bird Counts and others are providing detailed data about population trends and the movements of birds. If a problem exists with any aspect of backyard birdfeeding, this level of scrutiny and observation would be expected to expose it, or any issue of concern in a very timely manner.
Raw Peanuts and Squirrels:
Peanuts are not the squirrel’s only food source as many other natural foods are still being sought and consumed.
The general consensus is that giving squirrels a steady diet of raw peanuts may not be particularly good for them; but that in moderation raw peanuts probably cause no problem whatsoever.
While no research studies have been conducted, anecdotal evidence suggests that if peanuts were negatively affecting squirrel populations, a downward trend in their population would have been more widely noted and reported.