Updated at: 18-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Feeding cashew nuts to backyard birds is completely risk-free, but you should still use caution.

Cashew nuts, located in the healthy food section, can be fed to birds, but only the raw, unsalted variety. Unshelling cashews isn’t difficult, but crushing them can help when it comes to providing food for birds. Cashews are enjoyed by many birds, including jays, chickadees, and titmice.

You won’t be feeding the birds in your yard the roasted, salted cashews that are so delicious to humans.

In contrast, offering salted or flavored cashews to wild birds can be detrimental to their health.

Nuts with a crispy coating or spice seasoning are a good example of this, as are chocolate-coated nuts of any kind or any nuts sold under a well-known brand name.

We recommend sticking to the cashews you find in the healthy living aisle rather than buying any name-brand varieties.

Just like you would with natural peanuts, serve cashews to the birds in the same way, except there’s no need to worry about de-shelling them.

Cashews are a great energy food for the birds that frequent your backyard due to their high fiber and protein content and low sugar content.

You could also give them some unsalted hazelnuts, walnuts, or macadamia nuts, any of which would be a nice alternative to cashews.

Unsalted Cashews only

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For your own good, you won’t be tempted to snack on unsalted cashew nuts because of how tasteless they are.

Only the unsalted variety of cashew nuts should be given to wild birds.

Cashews should be served in their purest form, without any added salt, sugar, or flavorings, and ideally not even roasted before consumption, but roasting is fine if necessary.

Cashews, like their related pistachios, can be fed to birds without first having to remove the shells.

Simply take the cashews from their packaging and distribute them to your local avian friends as you see appropriate.

Nutritional energy food

They’re as close as it gets to mimicking the birds’ natural diet of nuts in terms of sugar content, fiber content, and plant-based protein content.

Because of the protein they eat, wild birds will be able to continue their day of searching for food in the grass and trees without becoming too tired or exhausted.

However, the cashew’s additional nutritional content is going to be just as significant.

Wild birds can never get enough natural cashew nuts, but they also recognize when they’ve got enough.

As with other forms of unshelled nuts, cashews are an essential food source for birds.

Cashew eating species

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Only a small number of backyard birds naturally consume peanuts, so only those birds will benefit from your healthful cashew offerings in the yard.

Jays, Chickadees, Cardinals, Grosbeaks, the Junco, Nuthatches, Titmice, and Woodpeckers are just some of the popular backyard birds that are likely to dine on cashews.

Northern Cardinals, Grosbeaks, and Juncos all prefer peanut kernels, but you could see them trying out other nuts like cashews occasionally.

You won’t ever see any of the backyard birds hoarding their cashew nuts, but it’s possible.

Cashews can be fed to birds without having to remove the shells, unlike peanuts, which the Blue Jay is known to crack open in order to eat.

There aren’t many bird species that eat cashews and feed from bird feeders, so don’t limit the species that can enjoy your cashews by keeping them confined to the feeder.

Best served crushed

If you wish to feed cashews to wild birds, you should probably smash them up first to save the birds the trouble.

The shell of cashews can be easily broken by crushing them in a nutcracker or by banging on them while they are covered with a towel.

In order to accommodate various bird species, it is recommended that you break the cashews into smaller pieces or form the chunks into various sizes.

The normal behavior of wild birds is to hurl feed in their bill to break it up, so if the cashews are already crushed, you’re less likely to notice a mess on the ground below them.

Cashews in the backyard

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You shouldn’t bother storing cashews in the hanging peanut feeder because it’s quite improbable that you won’t use many of them.

But it doesn’t mean you can’t add some cashews to the peanuts in the feeders you already have out.

Also, serving cashews on their own is no big deal, and it will offer you a chance to watch the birds as they snack.

They can be placed on a flat surface in the garden or on a stand beneath the bird feeder platform.

Cashews would be especially useful in the winter, when birds are trying to put on weight, if they were to be placed inside of suet fat balls or other fatty balls or blocks.

To summarize

Small, common backyard birds will readily consume protein-rich cashews, but you should only give them the healthy variety.

There would be none of the salted, roasted cashews we love so much, just the tasteless healthy living cashews from the wholefoods aisle.

We should never give our birds nuts that have been covered in chocolate, spices, or any other form of crispy flavored shell since they are toxic.

Birds such as titmice and juncos, cardinals, chickadees, blue jays, and woodpeckers are all candidates for picking up pieces of broken up cashews, while other species are likely to devour any type of nut offered to them.

The cashews I recommended are best served broken up, which is why I brought that up. Leave some crushed cashews in the yard for the birds.

Crushing them first eliminates the need for additional cleanup, but the birds will eat them nonetheless.

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