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Terminalia catappa nuts, the super nutritious "cork nuts"!

There are so many great things to say about this nut.

It's a natural cork/balsa wood-like chew toy with three different layers that all parrots, small or large, will love to tear apart.

The outer layer of the nut is fibrous and cardboard-like; the next innermost layer is denser and cork-like; finally, the central portion that protects the kernel is rough and hard.

...and the best part is.....

The nut kernel inside all of that is more nutritious than walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts and many other nuts (and a lot fresher than commercial nuts too!).

For example,

100 g of Terminalia catappa nut kernel has more protein, and a whopping 12x more potassium, 3x more calcium and 2.9x more magnesium than an equivalent 100 g of almonds! 

African Poicephalus, Grey parrots and Palm cockatoos are reported to feed upon Terminalia in the wild as synopsized and reported by Juniper and Parr (1998) in their "A guide to parrots of the world"  book.

Terminalia catappa nut's nutritional profile can be seen here:


Terminalia catappa nutritional synopsis: 

4.13% moisture, 23.78% crude protein, 4.27% ash, 4.94% crude fiber, 51.80% fat, 16.02% carbohydrate

Potassium (9280 mg/100g)
Calcium (827.20 mg/100g), 
Magnesium (798.6 mg/100g) 
Sodium (27.89 mg/100g)
Fats: high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic (up to 31. 48%) and linoleic (up to 28.93%).
The dominant saturated acids were palmitic (up to 35.96%) and stearic (up to 4.13%)

For comparison, other common nut nutrition can be seen here:

Almond nutrition for an equivalent 100g sample (conversion from a sample size of 1 oz to sample size of 100 g)  [1 oz = 28 grams, 100g/28g = 3.57 conversion factor]:

Protein 21.5%

Potassium  714 mg

Calcium  268 mg

Magnesium  271 mg 


Is it a chewable, shreddable, chew toy? is it a nutritious food?.......Terminalia provides the benefits of both in one natural package with the reward in the center!  

The nuts are very unique - cork nuts are a great way to describe them.  Starting from the inside and moving outward, the hard shell that protects the edible kernel is surrounded by layers of light but strong corky material and that, in most nuts, is surrounded by fibers.  Your bird will strip the fibers off first, then start gnawing away at the corky material (similar to dense balsa wood or cork) then finally, reach the rough, hard, inner stone that contains the edible nut kernel.  

Budgies, Lovebirds and cockatiels probably will not be able to crack the inner nut but persistence may pay off, each nut is unique!  Psittacula and Pyrrhura conures may be able to crack the kernel if they are motivated (they will be once they try the kernel) but all parrots larger than a small conure should be able to crack the inner kernel, especially once they learn what is inside of it.  

Terminalia nuts are like a wood/balsa wood chew toy and a super nutritious nut all in one!   

A little more about Terminalia catappa trees and fruit........

Terminalia catappa nuts start out with a thin, firm fruit layer surrounding them.  The ripe fruit drops off the tree and since the trees often grow at the beach, the fruits lay on the beach sand while their pulp dries up and falls off.  I collect these nuts that have dropped off the tree a few days before and put them through at least eight abrasive washes in tap water to rid them of the remaining fruit pulp and any sand or debris.  I do not use any soaps, detergents of disenfectants; just unfluoridated tap water.  Immediately after washing they are set up in 24 hour ventilation hoods on drying racks, in a matter of hours they are thoroughly dry and continue to dehydrate on subsequent days in the continuous climate-controlled airflow.  The fiberous, corky nut is designed to float in the ocean for weeks, so it repels water well and dries quickly.

I only ship well-washed and bone-dry Terminalia nuts that are handled with attention to cleanliness and care with the intent of them becoming a parrot's toy and meal. That said, they are a natural, unprocessed plant item, just like any natural produce. Please inspect and clean/modify each nut before presenting it to your bird.  It also is prudent not to allow your bird to contaminate its drinking water with the nut debris.  If the nuts do not meet you approval I will be happy to refund your money minus the shipping cost.  Being a new and nutrient dense food item, it is also prudent to wait several days after your bird eats one to monitor its digestion/droppings. 

Terminalia catappa is a favorite food of humans too!  The nut kernel tastes like a fragrant almond, having eaten many, I can vouch that they are quite delicious!

Though the seed should be maintained in a moist state to stay viable, these have the potential to germinate to grow your own Terminalia catappa tree.  The dried leaves have antibacterial properties and are beneficial to freshwater aquarium fish.

Store Terminalia nuts well ventilated, in the refrigerator, where the humidity is low.



Terminalia nuts are light - that means that shipping costs for an order of 20 nuts will work out to be $5 for first class mail. Terminalia nuts will not spoil in transit so 1st class mail works well.  For larger orders I will ship I using USPS Priority medium and large flat rate boxes. Normal USPS Shipping costs are $11.35 for the medium box (approximately five to six orders = 100-120 nuts) and $15.45 for the large box (about ten orders = 200 nuts) - that is too expensive!... so to help out I chopped the cost! The shipping cost I am charging - listed on my PayPal purchase page when you check out - is only $9.95 for the medium USPS Priority Mail box and $14.95 for the large USPS Priority Mail box and confirmation through the USPS (tracking) is free!  I combine shipping so if your whole order of any combination of nuts will fit in one of these boxes you will only pay the shipping cost for one box.  Since it is a flat rate shipping charge per box (and not by weight) it benefits the customer to buy as many pounds to fill the box up!

I am always interested in photos or videos of your parrots eating Terminalia nuts. please email me your photos or links to videos and I will post them on this website.

Order Terminalia catappa "cork nuts"! 

                                                 20 Terminalia catappa nuts $15.95



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Updated December 12, 2013