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Pile of pistachios in shell on white surface

Can wild birds eat Pistachios

Its safe to say you can feed wild birds pistachios as nut eating birds are sure to come along and gobble them up in no time.

Not cheap to buy, nor are they easy to prepare, but if you remove the shell, peel off the seed coating before serving them up - then there's no issues at all. If you fail to remove the shell, common garden birds cannot access the kernels inside, so it must be pistachio kernels only with seed coat all gone.

As you can serve all kinds of nuts to wild birds who come to our gardens, such as cashews or almonds - pistachios can be just as fun to try.

You can not offer regular salted, roasted pistachios to wild birds as it can be bad for their health, with serious health implications.

To offer up pistachios to wildlife it must be the kind you can buy at the supermarket, in the wholefood, healthy eating section - so are unsalted only.

Hazard lies within too, that's not so much the shell as the nuts cannot be reach, so will be ignored all together - its that pesky seed coat that can get stuck in their mouths.

Its hard to remove this as it is, so its recommended to unshell the pistachio, blanch them in water for a few minutes - before finally peeling off the coating.

I only serve nuts of any kind in my garden crushed up, while it can be made easier for birds to get at, less mess is made as wild birds fling the nuts about to crush the nuts down themselves.

As a rule, follow these instructions for crushing up nuts to serve anything from Macedonia Nuts, to Brazil Nuts or delicious Walnuts. - where unshelling is not needed.

Pistachio kernels only

You can feed pistachios to wild birds in your garden with a few exceptions; those being kernels only so must be removed from shell.

Kernels are the actual nut inside the shell so is the yummy bit birds consume.

If you can stop the temptation of eating the pistachios yourself, then certainly do hand over a small pile to wild birds in your garden.

To offer up pistachios to wild birds, I do suggest waiting until Spring through Summer time because as a rule of thumb, nuts fed to the birds young can be a choking hazard, so you might want to wait until the nesting season is over.

However, that is not to say you can still offer nuts all year round providing you crush up the nuts into smaller chunks.

Pistachio's wont cause too much trouble to feeding birds whole or broken up in half.

Remove shell to offer wild birds

Never feed small common garden birds in your garden pistachio nuts still in their shell, as it can cause many problems for birds as they attempt to reach the goodness inside.

It won't take long for you to unshell all the nuts you wish to offer to the birds, so do take the time to clear them of all shells.

To keep pistachios inside the shells it can cause an issue in regards to nuts flying all over the place - as the birds try to reach the nuts.

But to pile them up under the bird table or on a safe surface in the garden can allow them to grab the pistachios with their beaks, to crush them up themselves to consume.

Its hard for people to personally shell a nut, so imagine what its like for our feathered friends who cannot do so.

So remove all shells from the pistachios but for any nut that can not be removed, then do not use the nut in question as birds won't bother with it anyway.

Hazardous peel must go

Or should I call it the seed coat, but anyway this thin layer of shell around the nut that is yummy to us, can be a hazard to birds.

You see, much like us the texture of the paper-thin coat can get stuck to the root of our mouths.

Likewise, it can do so to birds, only they don't have the hands to remove it. What else can go wrong is the seed coat can wrap itself around the beak on very rare occasions.

So, remove the shell before scraping off the thin seed/nut coating for the safety of birds.

It can be troublesome as its made to be eaten, but can be removed; I therefore suggest taking a little extra time and care to prepare the pistachios long before they are intended to be put out for birds.

If by chance the seed coat gets wets, it can turn to mush, so bonus reason to remove it.

Crushed nuts are favourable

Now that the pistachios you intend to feed wild birds out in the garden are free of their shell and the inner seed coat - its time to offer them up to birds.

Not quite yet though, as there's a little more to do to serve up these delicious treats.

And while I do recommend serving up pistachio nuts crushed, I would say its perfectly fine to hand them over whole.

But I wouldn't, for the very reason its far more easier for all types of wild birds species to grab small chunks - than breaking down a whole nut.

To serve up whole nuts can also lead to more mess on the ground as birds bite into it while flicking their head about - thus causing a terrible mess below them.

Pistachios offered to them in tiny bits requires little to no additional crushing up, so they can begin to eat right away.

Serve up in tray

No hard or fast rules to feed any type of nuts to birds in the garden, but there are options for making life a little easier for them - with a bonus for you.

Its probably safe to say the amount of expensive salt-free wholefood type pistachios you intend to use, would barely scratch the surface as they sit on the base of a classic peanut feeder, so its probably best to leave that for now.

But what you can do is use a sort of hanging bird feeding tray that is open to the elements, thus never restricting nut feeding birds.

It can be fixed or hung off the bird feeding station, or why not add the pistachios on the bird table, while under shelter.

Use of bird feeding equipment in the garden is not needed to feed something so simple to wild birds, so feel free to use a high point on a wall or fence that is not usually accessible to cats or other predators.

Worse comes to worse, simply throw the pistachios over the lawn or patio as ground feeding birds would appreciate that.


Serve up protein rich wholesome pistachios to wild birds in your garden with takers being in the many, not the few.

You can't use salted pistachios but only the wholefood kind, which cost a little more.

You need to remove the pistachios of the already difficult to access for people shells, while only serving them up, kernels only.

Up next would then be removing the paper-thin seed/nut coat to prevent any of it sticking to their beaks or inside of their mouths.

To do all that: remove shells; blanch nuts in water; peel seed coat; pat dry while putting to one side to dry off completely.

Birds who eat nuts will happily eat up pistachios but not those still in the shells, so I'll remind you again, kernels only.

How you serve up pistachios in the garden is up to you, but it would be better served crushed up into small bits - rather then offering whole as it can get messy - and more wasteful that is.

Serve up in a hanging bird feeding tray, mounted mesh tray on bird feeding station or under the bird table - or else serve up on high point out of way of predators if no type of bird feeder is available to you.

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