Do pileated woodpeckers like peanut butter?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

Pileated Woodpeckers are known to be attracted to a variety of foods, including peanut butter. However, it is important to note that their preferences can vary from bird to bird. Some individuals may readily consume peanut butter, while others may show less interest.

To attract Pileated Woodpeckers with peanut butter, you can spread it onto tree trunks or on specially designed suet feeders. It is best to use natural, unsalted peanut butter without any added sugar or artificial ingredients. Avoid using peanut butter that contains xylitol, as this sweetener can be toxic to birds.

In my personal experience, I have found that Pileated Woodpeckers are particularly fond of peanut butter mixed with other ingredients, such as crushed nuts or birdseed. This creates a more textured and appealing treat for them. I like to spread a generous amount of the peanut butter mixture onto a tree trunk near my bird feeders, and it often attracts the attention of these beautiful woodpeckers.

Another option to consider is offering peanuts in the shell. Pileated Woodpeckers have strong beaks and can easily crack open the shells to access the nutritious nuts inside. You can place peanuts in a mesh bag or a feeder specifically designed for peanuts, ensuring they are securely attached to prevent them from falling to the ground. This not only provides a tasty snack for the woodpeckers but also engages their natural foraging behavior.

Black oil sunflower seeds are another excellent food choice to attract Pileated Woodpeckers. These seeds have a high fat content, providing a good source of energy for the birds. You can offer them in a tray feeder or a hanging tube feeder with large openings that accommodate the woodpecker’s size.

It is worth mentioning that while peanut butter and sunflower seeds can be enticing treats for Pileated Woodpeckers, they should not be the sole source of their diet. These woodpeckers also rely on insects, berries, and other natural food sources. Providing a diverse array of food options can help attract and support a healthy population of Pileated Woodpeckers in your area.

To summarize, Pileated Woodpeckers do enjoy peanut butter as part of their diet. Offering it along with other foods like black oil sunflower seeds and peanuts can help attract these beautiful birds to your yard. Remember to use natural, unsalted peanut butter and to avoid any products containing xylitol. Creating a textured peanut butter mixture or offering peanuts in the shell can also enhance the woodpeckers’ foraging experience.