Can Birds Eat Walnuts?

 Key Takeaways

Question Answer
Can birds eat walnuts? Yes, most birds can eat walnuts as long as they are unsalted, uncoated, and shelled.
Are walnuts good for birds? Yes, walnuts are a good source of protein, fat, and essential vitamins and minerals for birds. They can also provide mental stimulation and enrichment for birds.
Are walnuts bad for birds? No, walnuts are not bad for birds unless they are salted, coated, or moldy. These can cause dehydration, digestive issues, or fungal infections in birds.
How to feed walnuts to birds? You can feed walnuts to birds whole, chopped, or crushed, depending on the size and preference of the bird. You can also mix walnuts with other seeds, fruits, or vegetables to make a balanced diet for birds.
What types of birds can eat walnuts? Most nut-eating birds can eat walnuts, such as parrots, jays, woodpeckers, nuthatches, and titmice. Some waterfowl, such as ducks, geese, and swans, can also eat walnuts.
What are the best walnuts for birds? The best walnuts for birds are organic, raw, and fresh walnuts that have no added salt, sugar, or artificial flavors. You can buy them from reputable sources or grow them yourself.

Why Walnuts Are Good for Birds

Walnuts are one of the most popular nuts in the world, and for good reason. They have many health benefits for humans and animals alike. Here are some of the reasons why walnuts are good for birds:

  • Protein: Walnuts are a rich source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles, feathers, and other tissues in birds. Protein also helps birds maintain their immune system and fight off infections.
  • Fat: Walnuts are high in fat, which provides energy and warmth for birds, especially in cold weather. Fat also helps birds absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Walnuts contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are important for birds’ health, such as vitamins B, C, E, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc. These nutrients support various functions in birds, such as metabolism, blood clotting, nerve function, bone health, and antioxidant defense.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Walnuts are one of the few plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for birds’ brain, heart, and skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids can also reduce inflammation and improve mood and behavior in birds.
  • Phytochemicals: Walnuts contain phytochemicals, which are natural compounds that have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-aging properties. Phytochemicals can also protect birds from oxidative stress and environmental toxins.

How to Feed Walnuts to Birds

If you want to feed walnuts to birds, you need to follow some simple guidelines to ensure their safety and enjoyment. Here are some tips on how to feed walnuts to birds:

  • Remove the shell: Walnuts have a hard shell that can be difficult or impossible for some birds to crack open. The shell can also harbor bacteria, fungi, or pesticides that can harm birds. Therefore, you should always remove the shell before feeding walnuts to birds. You can use a nutcracker, a hammer, or a knife to crack the shell and extract the nut.
  • Avoid salt and coatings: Walnuts that are sold for human consumption may have added salt, sugar, honey, chocolate, or other coatings that can make them more palatable for us, but not for birds. Salt can cause dehydration and kidney problems for birds, while sugar and other coatings can cause obesity, diabetes, and dental issues for birds. Therefore, you should always choose unsalted and uncoated walnuts for birds. You can also rinse the walnuts with water to remove any residue or dust.
  • Check for mold: Walnuts that are stored for a long time or in humid conditions may develop mold, which can be toxic or allergenic for birds. Mold can also reduce the nutritional value of walnuts and make them taste bitter. Therefore, you should always check the walnuts for any signs of mold, such as white, green, or black spots, fuzz, or a musty smell. If you find any mold, discard the walnuts and do not feed them to birds.
  • Adjust the size: Walnuts are large nuts that can be too big or too hard for some birds to eat. Therefore, you may need to adjust the size of the walnuts according to the size and preference of the bird. You can feed walnuts whole, chopped, or crushed, depending on the bird. For example, large birds, such as parrots, may enjoy whole walnuts, while small birds, such as finches, may prefer chopped or crushed walnuts. You can use a knife, a food processor, or a mortar and pestle to chop or crush the walnuts.
  • Mix with other foods: Walnuts are a great treat for birds, but they should not be the main or only food for birds. Walnuts are high in fat and calories, which can cause weight gain and nutritional imbalances for birds if fed too much or too often. Therefore, you should limit the amount of walnuts you feed to birds to no more than 10% of their daily diet. You can also mix walnuts with other seeds, fruits, or vegetables to make a balanced and varied diet for birds. For example, you can mix walnuts with sunflower seeds, raisins, apples, or carrots to make a tasty and nutritious salad for birds.

What Types of Birds Can Eat Walnuts

Walnuts are suitable for most types of birds that can eat nuts, such as:

  • Parrots: Parrots are one of the most common and popular pet birds, and they love nuts, including walnuts. Parrots have strong and curved beaks that can crack open nuts easily. Parrots can also use their feet and tongues to manipulate and enjoy nuts. Walnuts can provide parrots with protein, fat, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for their health and intelligence. Some examples of parrots that can eat walnuts are macaws, cockatoos, cockatiels, parakeets, and conures.
  • Jays: Jays are a group of colorful and intelligent birds that belong to the crow family. Jays are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders, which means they can eat a variety of foods, including nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and eggs. Jays have strong and pointed beaks that can pierce and open nuts. Jays also have a habit of caching or storing nuts for later consumption, which helps them survive in harsh winters. Walnuts can provide jays with protein, fat, and antioxidants, which are beneficial for their health and survival. Some examples of jays that can eat walnuts are blue jays, Steller’s jays, and scrub jays.
  • Woodpeckers: Woodpeckers are a group of birds that have specialized beaks and tongues for drilling and extracting food from wood. Woodpeckers are mainly insectivorous, but they can also eat nuts, seeds, fruits, and sap. Woodpeckers have strong and chisel-like beaks that can break and open nuts. Woodpeckers can also use their long and sticky tongues to probe and lick nuts. Walnuts can provide woodpeckers with protein, fat, and minerals, which are essential for their health and energy. Some examples of woodpeckers that can eat walnuts are pileated woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, and red-bellied woodpeckers.
  • Nuthatches: Nuthatches are a group of small and agile birds that can climb and descend trees headfirst. Nuthatches are mainly insectivorous, but they can also eat nuts, seeds, and berries. Nuthatches have short and sharp beaks that can crack and open nuts. Nuthatches also have a habit of wedging nuts into crevices and hammering them with their beaks. Walnuts can provide nuthatches with protein, fat, and calcium, which are important for their health and bones. Some examples of nuthatches that can eat walnuts are white-breasted nuthatches, red-breasted nuthatches, and brown-headed nuthatches.
  • Titmice: Titmice are a group of small and sociable birds that have crests on their heads. Titmice are mainly insectivorous, but they can also eat nuts, seeds, and fruits. Titmice has short and stout beaks that can crack and open nuts.


In conclusion, walnuts serve as a nutritious and beneficial addition to the diet of many bird species, offering a rich source of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. When provided in the appropriate form, unsalted, uncoated, and shelled, walnuts can contribute to the overall health and well-being of birds. The inclusion of walnuts in a bird’s diet can support muscle development, immune function, energy provision, and various physiological processes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending Posts

About Us

Meet the passionate founders of Pet Everyday, a dynamic team of pet enthusiasts dedicated to creating a thriving community of animal lovers.

Follow us

Edit Template

© 2023 All Rights Reserved