Albuquerque woman solves nutty problem
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A woman in northeast Albuquerque was dealing with a really nutty situation. Literally though — mysterious peanut shells have popped up on her property for years, and she finally went on a search for the culprit.
This particular peanut problem has been going on since 2016. The homeowner said shells kept popping up in different parts of her yard year round. She’s not mad – just curious as to who is leaving them there and why.
"Over here, right there’s one, there’s a couple. There’s some back here too,” said Karra Johnson, homeowner. "I find them all the time. It doesn’t matter, spring winter fall summer, they’re always here."
You can take Karra off the suspect list.
"I don’t even like peanuts myself, I was even thinking about it like, I’ve never bought peanuts in my life."
Perhaps it was a nutty prankster leaving them in her yard all this time.
"I first thought it was my neighbors behind me throwing peanuts over the wall, but they’ve moved and new people moved in and the peanuts were still here and then they moved and the peanuts were still here,” Johnson said.
So she followed the one lead that usually comes through these days, social media. She said she got on her Next Door app to see if anyone would shell out info on them.
"Someone said scrub jays bury peanuts everywhere. There’s a group of four that get peanuts from my yard every day."
But why this yard in particular? And where are all those peanuts coming from? We took those questions to the experts.
"There’s ten thousand birds on this planet and it seems like a lot of them do all different kinds of things,” said Diane Longenecker, senior keeper at ABQ Park Bird Department. "It’s probably either crows, ravens, scrub jays, if it’s the whole peanut, if it’s peanut pieces, it would be tit mice or wood peckers."
She said once birds find a safe place to eat – they’ll be regulars for years.
"They learn. They will learn from an adult, ‘Hey this is a good place to eat.’"
Longenecker said some birds’ short-term memory expands this time of year – letting them remember for longer where they’re stashing their food.
"They are probably digging, shoving the peanut in the ground, and they’ll come back later and eat it."
So in a nutshell, case closed, and Johnson didn’t seem too salty about it.
"I must just have the sweet spot for wildlife,” said Johnson.
Johnson told KOB 4 she does see a number of different birds in her backyard, and they – and their shells – are always welcome.