peanut butter feeder

Years ago when I had just begun feeding birds, I was advised not to feed peanut butter to birds as they often choke trying to swallow the sticky food. According to some, peanut butter poses a threat because birds do not have salivary glands and therefore cannot moisten the thick, oily food before trying to swallow it.

Since that time, I have tried to unearth evidence that peanut butter does actually pose a danger to hungry birds. My effort to unearth any documented cases of birds dying from eating peanut butter have been fruitless.

For years, I have feed birds this nutritious food offering it in holes drilled in logs or smeared on pinecones. Never once have I seen any indication that peanut butter posed is a problem.

In fact, I once read an article by the father of birding, Roger Tory Peterson, where he stated that had never seen any proof that peanut butter should not be fed to birds.

Consequently, it does appear that birds choking on peanut is nothing more than a myth.

However, if you are still not convinced that birds do not choke on peanut butter, you might try mixing cornmeal, chopped peanuts, seeds, or even grit with the peanut butter you serve to patrons of your backyard bird cafe. These additives will add texture to this smooth, thick popular bird food.



  1. Great article Terry. I never thought of the idea that birds could choke on peanut butter! My biggest problem is keeping squirrels away from the feeder. We are trying one of the feeders with the half globe to prevent squirrels from getting the food. Please let us readers know of any new thoughts on this problem!



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