Peanuts Peanuts are the seed of the Arachis hypogaea plant and actually grow underground. They are not true nuts but are actually legumes–and many birds love them! You can offer peanuts shelled or in the shell. Larger birds like jays may grab several peanuts at a time and fly off to hide them for later consumption. Smaller birds like chickadees, nuthatches, and titmice will have more success feeding on shelled peanuts. You can offer raw or roasted peanuts, but avoid salted peanuts or peanuts that have been roasted with any coatings or flavorings.